Sunday, March 14, 2010

Mark 14 -- you're in for it now!

This is a long chapter, with a lot going on. Jesus has the Last Supper with his disciples (although there is a later breakfast!). He prays, while they sleep. Peter talks big while safely at table, but denies Jesus while in a position of danger, and goes out weeping bitterly.[1] Tonight, though, I'd like to look at the heart of the exchange between the high priest and Jesus:
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."
Jesus is "remaining silent." He is wisely declining to incriminate himself. He is demonstrating a fact that anyone who deals with the police is aware of -- nothing you tell a policeman can do you any good. Anything you say can do you harm. "Anything you say can and will be used against you." Anything means anything. In the state of North Carolina, if you use a handgun to defend yourself, and shoot an assailant, you are considered guilty 'til proven innocent. The burden of proof is on you. In the words of my instructor, the only word you should say to the police in such a situation is "Lawyer!" Hey, it makes for good television drama to watch cops and criminals matching wits in interrogation rooms. In real life, though, the wise have a lawyer at their elbows, and keep their lips zipped. You can give your side in open court -- if the incident "goes to trial." The cops wish to shorten the process, by having you "incriminate yourself" before a costly trial cranks up.

But, how could the process of redemption proceed if Jesus stood on his rights? In frustration, the high priest demands, "Yüce Olan'ın Oğlu Mesih sen misin?" The High One's Son, the Messiah, are you?[1] And Jesus answers, Benim. I am. Ah, but there's more: "Ve sizler, İnsanoğlu'nun Kudretli Olan'ın sağında oturduğunu ve göğün bulutlarıyla geldiğini göreceksiniz." And you, the Son of Man[2] at the Right Hand of the High One and on heaven's clouds coming you will see.

Throughout the Bible, clouds are emblems of the visible judgments of the invisible God. When God comes "on / with / in clouds," it's not for tea. Jesus is informing the leaders of Israel that they will see, they will experience, the consequences of their shabby little power play.

And, for my readers who are studying Turkish, let's look at the last verse of the chapter:
Petrus, İsa'nın kendisine, "Horoz iki kez ötmeden beni üç kez inkâr edeceksin" dediğini hatırladı ve hüngür hüngür ağlamaya başladı.
When you look up the word hüngür on, it's in doubled form: hüngür hüngür: sobbingly. This appears to be a parallel to half of the Turkish farewell, Güle güle: smilingly. That man was crying bitterly. Loudly. With a broken heart.

[1] Christians do not believe that the Eternal God had marital relations with Mary. They do not believe that Jesus is the natural son of the Almighty. When you call a merchant "the son of a table," you are not saying that his mother had lewd relations with an article of furniture. There is, however, a relationship between the Eternal God and the Jesus we know. The one reveals the other, and provides us with access to all of Heaven's resources. Think of a "graphic user interface," or GUI. Study this one Man's biography, and you will have insight into the character, behavior, and nature of your Creator.

[2] Son of Man is a formal messianic title in the Book of Daniel.

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