Lent Day 41: Mark 14:27-42

Mark 14:27-42

Unkept promises

It is perhaps somewhat telling that, at least according to tradition and a few ancient sources, John Mark, the so name author of the Gospel of Mark (though there is no named author for any of the Gospels within the text, nor throughout the New Testament), wrote his Gospel from listening to, and working with, Simon Peter. Peter, in particular, does not come across well here. Perhaps Peter had learned to make himself low in order to bring Christ high.

Specifically we have two incidents. The first, Peter brashly tells Jesus he will never deny him, and Jesus predicts that not only will Peter deny him, but that he will do so three times. Thanks be to God, though, that being a disciple, being welcomed by God, is more dependent upon who Christ is than who I am.

The second incident involves Jesus praying in Gethsemane. Jesus calls out Peter, James and John specifically and asks them to “keep watch.” While Jesus pours out his prayers to God, he returns only to find them asleep. The sleep of Peter is highlighted. It happens twice more. Jesus is both frustrated and also understanding (the spirit wants to, but the flesh keeps giving in). Personally, I can relate to Peter and the others here. How many times do we have a “go, go, go” mentality in our world today? How many times do we lose out to sleep? I cannot tell you how often I would plan to get up to study the bible and either stay asleep, or fall asleep while reading. Again, I am thankful that my physical failing (i.e. falling asleep), is not a condition of my salvation. This is not to say that a willing spirit is all that is required. The actions and words of Jesus clearly indicate that a willing spirit must be paired with real physical action. Perhaps if I learned to rest more in God when I need to, I would have the strength to stay awake when it is more difficult. I don’t have a simple answer to it all, only to note that this struggle is a common one.

silhouette image of person praying

Photo by Rodolfo Clix on Pexels.com

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