Jesus entered Jerusalem, and went into the Temple Courts; and, after looking around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
what an anticlimax
specific risky plans
suspiciously complex preparations
arrival at the center
only to find it bare
there is no power here
nor its vacuum
only ordinary lives
trapped in ordinary lines
the holy of holies leads back
to an ordinary little town
This is quite the dud of an adventure. “We came all this way to turn around?!”
All the build-up of redemption and overthrow seems to have come to nothing. Only a resurrection sputtering away into silence could be worse.
What false bravado we had. Our chants and banners turn out to be fake news, not good news.
Kings in David’s line are not supposed to surrender without a fight. At best this might be described as a feint, a casing-of-the-joint, for a later theft of power. “Surely, tomorrow will bring victory. Just as Joshua had to spy out Jericho and camp out for three days, so we will exalt over a new Jerusalem.”
Trying to follow these early days in Jerusalem leads Carrington236 to recognize:
These notes of time in Mark do not help us to frame a chronology of the Gospel. The sense of motion and continuity and development is conveyed in other ways, by the dramatic presentation of various crises, by the repetition of important words or phrases, by the use of place-names, and so forth.
One of the clues of place-names lets us know this is the conclusion of the colt vignette. We began this chapter with reference to Bethany and Jerusalem. We end with Jerusalem and Bethany. If we were coding a website this portion would begin with <bethany><jerulsalem> and conclude with </jerusalem></bethany>.
We can’t help wondering what Bartimaeus is making of this. His “Son of David” reference seems to need redefining. Is Jesus not going to take a false ruler’s life when he had it right in his hand to do so? Surely Jesus will take over the failed kingship of Saul and the Temple Priests and the Romans. But, how if not by overthrow? Undermining?