My daily exploration of the Bible, taking it one chapter at a time. If I do it everyday, it'll take 1189 days.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Mark 14

Naked boys and tasty cups of death

Jesus was wastefully anointed, but it wasn't a waste in Jesus' eyes. It was for his burial. Judas went to betray him.

They went up to an upper room, where Jesus said that one disciple would betray him. He then shared bread and wine as his body and blood for him remembrance.

Jesus said that everyone would flee. Peter said he wouldn't, but Jesus said that he would deny him.

They went to a garden, where Jesus prayed so that he didn't have to die, but he did. The disciples couldn't keep away, then Judas came to betray him. Jesus was arrested, and there was a little scuffle first. A wee lad who was following Jesus dropped his pants and ran.

In front of a Jewish court, then struggled to find a clear case against him, but they wanted him dead once he claimed to be the Christ, up there by God.

Peter denied that he knew Jesus three times, then the rooster crowed.

Key verse:
51-52. A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.

My thoughts:
What a freakishly long chapter. 72 long verses. Dumb.

Anyway, some people speculate that this young lad in verses 51-52 is Mark himself, a low-key follower of Jesus. Why else would this weird little statement appear? Can in no way be proven of course, but some point to an eye-witness source of Mark dues to little details like this.

Yea, so here again is the almost identical start to the passion narrative. Notice how Jesus often talks about his resurrection before his death. Mark's brief ending is not an indication that the resurrection was added later to the Christian 'mythology'.


Anonymous Deane said...

The young man was probably a disciple - 'following' ('synakolouthein') is more often than not used in Mark to denote disciples. And the arresting party tries to seize the young man, as they did Jesus (14.1, 4, 46, 49) - which shows he was treated as one on Jesus' side. It is probably just depicting a person who disgracefully abandoned Jesus at the hour of his arrest and death - like all other disciples.

5:43 pm

Blogger Pete W said...

It does seem a bizarre detail to say he dropped his clothes though...

But yea, he almost certainly was a disciple of some description.

10:23 pm

Anonymous Mark said...

I find this chapter really interesting because, as Deane says, it shows all the disciples disgracefully abandoning Jesus.

In v31 it's noted that all of disciples joined Peter in insisting that they would die before they disowned Jesus.

Then in v32-43 the three 'favourite' disciples fall asleep three times when Jesus needs them to stay awake.

In v50-52 all the disciples run away, and one of them fled naked.

And finally, in v66-72, Peter denies Jesus three times.

It's such a comprehensively humiliating portrait of the disciples. They really were quite useless when the pressure came on. That's especially interesting if Mark was written by the disciple John Mark. You'd think he might've been tempted to leave a few of those failures out of the final story...

10:35 am

Blogger Pete W said...

They certainly were hopeless at that stage. You'd think any person in the early church would want to leave out such details...

If I was writing a document to look good, rather than to relate a true story, then I could do a lot better than the New Testament

11:41 am


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