Notes On Mark’s Gospel (123)

“On Your Mark”

The way, the truth and the life!
The way, the truth and the life!

A Wake Up Call (Chapter 14 Verses 32-42)

The amazing thing is that Jesus’ disciples see this condition he is in (v33), hear his complaint, and instructions (v34), yet respond by falling asleep (v37)? The prayer of Jesus (v35), which beseeches his Father that, if, there be another way of saving the world from sin, if redemption can be accomplished by other means than his suffering and death, then let him pass from this hour (John 12.23). It is the hour that has been set by his Father, that none so far have been able to precipitate, but now it has arrived. The hour when all hindrances are removed from the Son of Man’s enemies, the forces of hatred and Satan will be let loose, to apply all their invective upon Jesus (Luke 22.53). Who would want to drink such a cup (v36)? Unless, it was God’s will? We need to keep this scene at the front of our minds, especially when we are suffering. Because we think it not possible that it could be God’s will that we suffer. We begin to question whether we are God’s children, if we have really been saved, this cannot possibly be God’s will for me. But it might well be. It was so for Jesus, but that suffering that he had to endure did not mean he was any less the Son of God, and that his Father did not love him supremely (John 3.35; 5.20), his agony, his suffering has not changed that. Neither does it yours (Romans 5.1; Romans 8.1; Philippians 1.6; 1Corinthians 1.8), he still loves you.

Jesus is utterly deprived of any human comfort (vv37-38). Here is Simon who will stand with Jesus through all, who will never desert him like the others (v31). Jesus deliberately and rightly singles him out. It was he who boasted. The call of Jesus that sought to awaken his men to the need of the hour was in vain. At a time when they needed to be spiritually alert, danger, temptation, trial was lurking. As true disciples of Jesus they had spiritual life in them, that spirit is always ready, eager to respond to God’s promises and instructions in every one of his followers. But, the other part of us, the bodily, the flesh, our nature, is weak. It wars against the spiritual (Galatians 5.17), in fact it would seek to gain the ascendancy again if allowed. Their sleeping was giving way to the wrong part of their being, the need was for spiritual sharpness. The flesh is of no profit to us (John 6.63), it is the Spirit that gives and sustains spiritual life. You cannot just wake up and be spiritual, only what you have been, no more. The water never rises above its own level (v38; 1Thessalonians 5.1-10).

(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)

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