Sunday, April 23, 2017

Mark: a streaker, hypocritical religious leaders, and screw-ups with a future

Mark 14:50-end of chapter

This next section starts with unlikely humor in the saddest time in human history.  Jesus has been betrayed and is being taken to an illegal trial when someone runs away from the scene.  Someone takes hold of his clothes and he escapes completely naked.  No more mention is made of this guy.  History says that this is likely a cameo by John Mark, the author, himself.  He is there in all honesty, completely scared and not sure what to do.  He is showing more honesty than the clothed disciples and is much more clothed than the hypocritical religious leaders.

Here are Annas and Caiaphas holding a trial at night, in a house when it is the law to hold it in public in the day.  They are not to make a rushed decision for capital punishment on the eve of a religious festival, but that is exactly what they do.  And why is this?  They don't want to defile themselves before Passover.  Can it be more ironic to be trying our God in the flesh in order not to defile oneself before a festival made to point toward him?

And lastly, Peter, not knowing what to do, sits in a courtyard warming himself.  Three people ask him if he knows Jesus, and each time, he says "no."  This is hours after he declared that he would never leave Jesus even if he had to die.

I find it amazing that this section starts out with a naked man who people think is Mark and ends with Peter.  They were both cowards and runaways who later on became bold in their witness in the Lord, and Peter even trained Mark in the ministry after he ran away from Paul and Barnabas on a mission trip.  Paul would not take him back, but Barnabas took him and he was trained by Peter later on to be very useful to both Peter and Paul and he wrote one of the four gospels.  All the people in this story failed, but Mark and Peter repented and turned to the Lord.

If you have screwed up, you can also repent.  Judas Iscariot could have repented had he not given up and committed suicide.  But he did not do that.  Peter did.  Mark did.  You can do the same.  Will you do that?  Tomorrow is never guaranteed.  You need to decide today.

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