Each time I read the account of Jesus’ arrest I feel so helpless. I know in my heart that it HAD TO happen this way. But in my head, I know it is truly God’s hand at work to blind the chief priests and scribes, and all those “churchy” folks. It is also God to scatter Jesus’ closest friends when he needs them the most. After all, they gave Jesus their word.
Was there something in today’s passage that stood out in some way? I know for me it’s the naked man. (Gotcha – if you haven’t read the passage yet, now you must!) What is his significance here? Who is he? Those are the questions that have made many curious over the years. Speculation exists, of course, and one interesting idea (not necessarily the one I resonate most with) is that it’s the scribe for Mark, putting his/her own “signature” on this gospel.
Don’t let that cloud what the message we take from today’s passage. It starts, “And immediately” which would suggest that it flows right from what we read in the last post, Jesus had been in the garden praying, very distraught, and then finds his disciples have already fallen away because they fell asleep when he asked them to remain awake and in prayer with him. And immediately, he looks up and he’s surrounded.
Close your eyes and picture that moment. Breathe in and out slowly. The Savior of the world. Loves you. You.
Jesus has been deserted three times. By his sleepy friends, by Judas, and then by all of them as they flee for the hills. His steadfastness reflects a God who holds to his saving purpose despite all that humankind does to the contrary. Do we flee like the disciples from Jesus’ saving grace? God is faithful. How do we respond?
Let’s pray. Father forgive me when I fall short of your perfect will for me. Thank you for the opportunities you give us each day to serve others. Today the kiddos at the children’s home showed me such grace and love. I pray that my giving to them also blessed them in return. Help me to be the light in this world that you want me to be. In Jesus’ name. Amen.