Friday, April 14, 2017


Encore post by request at Easter
[The night Jesus was betrayed] "...they all left Him and fled. And a certain young man was following Him, wearing nothing but a linen sheet over his naked body; and they seized him. But he left the linen sheet behind, and escaped naked." Mark 14:50-52 

 Mark is the only Gospel writer who records this incident. Was he himself perchance that young follower of Jesus whose mother is identified as Mary of Jerusalem? Mark is referred to by historians as 'John Mark of Jerusalem'. His mother is known to have hosted Jesus and His disciples in her probably spacious home, which remained a gathering place for prayer for the early Christians. (Acts 12:12). She may have been one of the women who followed Jesus seeing to their collective material needs with their own resources.

Her home may have been the location of the Last Supper. (Mark 14:15) My pure speculation, but Mark may have been there that night assisting his mom with the hospitality. After they had sung the last hymn and headed off to the Mount of Olives, (Mark 14:26) young Mark might have been getting ready for bed when his mom got wind of something sinister about to happen to Jesus in a familiar location not far from their home. He might have taken off at a run to see for himself, neglecting to put his clothes back on. Could he have been "the young man wrapped in a sheet" who got scared and ran off after the soldiers arrested Jesus?

 From a Commentary: The early Church is practically unanimous in ascribing the Second Gospel to Mark, the cousin of Barnabas and associate of Paul and Peter. Thought to have been baptized by Peter, strong tradition also supports the assertion that in this Gospel he recorded the firsthand recollections and preaching of Peter, who calls Mark "my son" in 1 Peter 5:13. Mark was along on one of the early missionary journeys with Paul and Barnabas but dropped out and returned home to Jerusalem for unknown reasons. (Acts 13:13) This resulted in "a sharp disagreement" between Paul and Barnabas and a parting of their ways. (Acts 15:39) As John Mark, the unproven fledgling Christian, matured in his faith and became a steady, dependable disciple, he was restored into the good graces of Paul. (Colossians 4:10) After the death of Peter, historians say that John Mark became the first bishop of the Alexandrian Church.

(An imagined scenario)
What happened to Jesus’ sandals?
Leona Choy

Soldiers jerked off His sandals
to nail His bare feet
to a rough-splintered cross
callously casting lots
for His seamless garment.
They tossed aside His filthy sandals
caked with mud
stained with blood
from His painful struggle
up Golgotha's hill
--not worth a throw of dice.

Then I noticed the sandals
hugged tightly under the arm
of a frightened youth.
They called him John Mark.
Where had I seen him before?
At the synagogue door?
Or helping his mother
hosting the Last Supper?
Perhaps in Gethsemane
running naked from the grasp
of Jesus' enemy?

What would that lad do
with those precious sandals?
Were they just a souvenir
of a grisly spectacle
that even in a later movie age
would surely be rated "R"
for violence and brutality?

Hiding alone in the shadows
on the fringes of the crowd
the boy watched the Man on the cross
suffering and dying.
Without Parental Guidance
to explain the meaning
of this atrocity
would he grasp the import
of this scandalous documentary?

Would this wide-eyed youth
understand the dreadful drama
he beheld that historic day
outside the city wall?
Would he realize that God 
had planned it all
from Eternity?

Would God provide a mentor
to relate the significance
of the death of this Man
who laid aside His sandals and robe
in the Upper Room
and stooped to wash
the grimy feet of His friends?

Would the boy wear those sandals?
Would he dare?
Would he be found worthy
and chosen eventually
to walk in the sandals
of that God-Man of Galilee?
Would they be to him
like the mantle of Elijah
enduing him doubly
with power for service?

Would he wear those very sandals
to take the Good News
one day far away
on missionary journeys?

YES! And he would write
a Gospel for those 
who weren't there
those scattered everywhere
down the corridors of time
to tell what he had witnessed
firsthand with his youthful eyes
at the Cross that terrible day
and received from the keen memory
of Peter the fisherman-disciple
who too had known
the beloved Christ of Galilee
and followed Him
in his own sandals!

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