Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Mysterious naked stranger (Mark 14)

Alfred Hitchcock, the great director, loved to play cameo roles in his own movies. Careful watchers can spot him in Lifeboat on the back of a newspaper one of the survivors is reading -- as "before and after" pictures in an advertisement for a weight-loss program!
Mar 14:50 O zaman öğrencilerinin hepsi O'nu bırakıp kaçtı.
Mar 14:51 İsa'nın ardından sadece keten beze sarınmış bir genç gidiyordu. Bu genç de yakalandı.
Mar 14:52 Ama keten bezden sıyrılıp çıplak olarak kaçtı.
A mysterious, unnamed "young man wearing a white linen robe" shows up in this account of our Lord's arrest. Since none of the other gospels include this event, the best guess is that the one who wrote the story was the one in the story. Mark was, after all, Peter's nephew.

Later on, at the trial, an enigmatic exchange takes place between Jesus and his principle accusers:
Mar 14:61 Ne var ki, İsa susmaya devam etti, hiç yanıt vermedi. Başkâhin O'na yeniden, "Yüce Olan'ın Oğlu Mesih sen misin?" diye sordu.
Mar 14:62 İsa, "Benim" dedi. "Ve sizler, İnsanoğlu'nun Kudretli Olan'ın sağında oturduğunu ve göğün bulutlarıyla geldiğini göreceksiniz."
To understand Biblical metaphors, read the Bible. Throughout the sacred text, when we read of God appearing "in/with clouds," it's a reference to God's presence made manifest by visible, and spectacular, events. Jesus was giving His accusers a "heads up" -- they might appear to have the upper hand at the moment, but they could expect, within the near future, to see God's response.

John Calvin once wrote that God punishes some sins openly and immediately, so that men will not have grounds for questioning His justice. Other sins are punished in the next life, since we do need to walk by faith, not by sight. Finally, still other sins are punished years after they are committed. On 9/11, we got to see in one hour the thing that grieves God's heart every day, the murder of 3,000 innocents. Nearly 50 million of our fellow Americans were killed before they saw the light of day -- and their blood cries out to a God who values life above "privacy." I suspect that a terrible day of reckoning lies before us, but also have confidence that God has good things in mind for these United States afterward.

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