Bible Reading Day 74
Day 74 – Mark 14:51-72
Today we reach the trial of Jesus, and Mark’s account starts with a little autobiographical detail: most scholars believe the young man who escaped without his clothes was John Mark himself – the gospel author is the only one in a position to give us this detail!
It is well attested that Mark’s gospel is based on Peter’s account of the life of Jesus, with material drawn in from other sources too. Thus we can conclude that the description of Peter’s part in this story is also autobiographical. The self-incriminating nature of both men’s record of events adds to their authenticity.
We also see strong indications in the account of the trial before the Jewish rulers (The Sanhedrin) of the servant nature of Jesus. Mark’s gospel has the servant and His suffering as the predominant theme. Jesus remains silent amid all the false accusations. He knows His destiny is to be the sacrificial lamb for the whole of humanity this Passover.
Only when the High Priest asks Jesus the direct question “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” does Jesus respond. “I AM” He replies, echoing the words God the Father spoke to Moses in Exodus 3:14 when Moses asked “what shall I say when the children of Israel ask me your name?”
I AM (hayah in Hebrew) is closely related to the four letter name of God YHWH (which we render Yahweh). It carries very deep significance to the Hebrew speaker, conveying something of God’s unique and self-sufficient existence as well as His absolute power. It is much more than just a name! When Jesus replies “I AM” to the High Priest’s question, you can imagine the power of that simple answer. Jesus is declaring the truth – He is God present on earth, the God worshipped by the Jewish religious system. How poignant that the High Priest denounces this as blasphemy and the assembled leaders sentence Jesus to death!
Meanwhile in the courtyard, Peter is having his own moment. The bravado of the previous evening is gone in the darkness of the early morning hours, and when he is challenged Peter draws back and denies Jesus. Even after the first rooster crow he does not register the significance, and goes on to curse himself as he denies Jesus a third time. When the second rooster crow breaks into Peter’s self-preservation, the full force of his empty bravado hits him and he goes out a broken man.
It may not be as blatant as this, but does that remind you of any times you have denied Jesus, or failed Him? Why not admit those failings to Him this morning, and see how Jesus responds to you?
Have a great day!
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