Good Morning, Siblings!
Today’s reading is Mark 14
Read today’s Bible readings at BibleGateway by clicking here.
There is so much in today’s single chapter reading that it is actually a bit overwhelming to even try to write about it, we could spend weeks here. Instead, I’ll keep my notes brief and look forward to your rabbit trails in the comments.
One of the recurring themes we will see today is that people (including us) focus on the physical while the Messiah focuses on the eternal.
4 Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? 5 It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly. Mark 14:4
Here we have Messiah’s own apostles viewing someone using expensive perfume to anoint Him as a waste. These men had sat at His feet while He taught about the kingdom of Heaven and yet, their focus still remained on the wealth and offerings of this world. She took the best of the best and literally poured it out on Messiah’s feet. That one bottle could have constituted everything of value she had in her life and she poured it all out for Him.
You know, while people today talk about finding balance and carving out “me” time, it doesn’t get more indulgent than sitting at our Father’s feet. I don’t want balance. It is a privilege to serve our mighty King. Let us, then, serve Him with our whole hearts and our whole lives. Tip all my scales towards Him, put it all in His corner.
We have a mysterious passage in today’s reading about an unidentified young man.
51 And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized him, 52 but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked. Mark 14:51-52
That is all we’re told of this young man but it is very deliberately added to the story in a manner which tells us that it is important.
Many historians speculate that this was Mark, himself, the author of this book. They say that this was his way of saying “I was there, I left Him, too.” These are well developed theories for that and also for it being Lazarus. These are just two of many theories.
However, with so little information given, each theory must rely most heavily on speculation and so I go back to my default of “If YHWH had of needed us to know who this was, He would have told us.”
Still some see it as a literary device to tell us that all abandoned the Messiah, even those who followed Him in silence, with the act of running away naked representing their shame. I take this story as true because it is presented to us as true and I have no reason not to have faith in that. We can’t know who this was or exactly why it was placed here but I do think there are parallels between this young man and the verses that tell us we will be clothed in righteousness, in white robes. This scene reminds me of our salvation, that linen cloth representing, for me, the pure white garments we will be given. And the young man running away from His is symbolic, to me, of us when we turn from our salvation. The Father doesn’t take back the gift, but we leave it. Yeshua didn’t take his cloth away, he left it when he left Messiah. We’ve spoken of this at length before so I won’t go any further with it but I just wanted to share the pondering of this world weary brain of mine.
Mark 14:27 is quoting Zechariah 13:7
Mark 14:48-50 then see Isaiah 53:7-12
Mark 14:62 -then see Rev 1:7
Now I’d like to take a writer’s liberty and backtrack a bit to a passage in Matthew. My sister in Messiah, Donna, and I had a wonderful conversation about this passage this past week and I gained some insight that I think will be encouraging to all of us.
The passage is from Matthew 9:18 While he was saying these things to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples. 20 And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, 21 for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” 22 Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. 23 And when Jesus came to the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, 24 he said, “Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. 25 But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. 26 And the report of this went through all that district. Matthew 9:18-26
So this grief stricken father comes to Messiah to plead for his young daughter, who has passed away. Let’s talk about timeline here. Surely her parents had done all that they could do. No doubt time had passed between the girl passing away, their efforts, their cries for help to neighbors, perhaps local healers coming to try to help, and then taking the journey to find Messiah in order to plead for His help after all else had failed. In fact, when Messiah arrives an organized movement of mourning has already taken place. Unlike with Lazarus, we aren’t told how much time has passed but keep in mind with Lazarus we were told that it had been three days. I think it is safe to assume the same had passed for this girl as well. My point is, she was dead. Gone. Her physical body had ceased to function. What did Messiah say, though? She is not dead. She is only sleeping.
Now, let us connect one more set of dots by keeping in mind that touching a deceased person makes one unclean for a period of seven days (Numbers 19:11) and this would have been well known. But Messiah did not hesitate to touch her. Why?
His statement tells us far more than we realize.
The girl is not dead but sleeping.
Here is where we need to step back and moment and look at the bigger picture.
Messiah was not fully of this world. His time here was only temporary, as is ours, but we lose sight of that more than we remember it. However, Messiah realized that in a way that we can only begin to understand.
He saw her as soul first, not as body.
In Messiah’s primary world, she wasn’t dead. She was only sleeping.
We get too caught up in this world. We see skin color and political party and social class and education and these are things that will all be stripped away when we enter the spiritual world. We claim to see beyond that, and we claim to focus on the spiritual as Messiah did – but then we spend an inordinate amount of time fighting for the things of this world as if our eternity depended on them.
Messiah saw the soul, He didn’t see the outer shell. We fall so terribly short in this.
Let it be stripped away in our sight now, just as it was with Messiah.
She is not dead.
She is only sleeping.
Perhaps the same is true with us.
It’s time to wake up.
In our reading, our Messiah is about to die for us. All He asks in return is that we live for Him. All in. Time to tip those scales.
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!
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