We may read Jesus’ rant here and be a bit surprised. But, we shouldn’t be surprised at Jesus’ words but by the unrepentant sinners of whom he is speaking. We might ask, how do you experience healing, even just as a witness, and not be changed? Or, how do you go back to business as usual after seeing a miracle from God? God is awesome, we should stand amazed!
Do we take our own faith for granted? Do we need constant reminders to keep us focused on God? How long will God be patient with us? It may be hard to picture Jesus with anger in his voice, but he was human. He was surprised at the lack of faith that followed his work. He came to draw people to himself. You would think the people who had seen his great miracles would be especially drawn in and want to know him more.
We read about Abraham’s faith in Genesis (chapters 15-22) several months ago. You can look back to those reflections for reference. Abraham was a true hero of faith. He set a great example for all of us to follow. We have so many stories of how he trusted God no matter what.
Abraham overcame so many obstacles because of his faith. Unwavering faith. He didn’t wait for the situation to match God’s promise to be faithful. He trusted in God’s promise from the moment it was uttered. Are we as trusting? Do we cling to God’s promises with as much intensity and devotion?
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.
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