Mark 11:6

And the two disciples answered as Jesus had told them; and they allowed them to go.


imagine that
naming authority
makes différence

arguments sharpen
when beginnings
are clarified

clearing suppositions
lessens blame
gives commonality

unacknowledged desire
claims complicity
empire sabotage


This would seem to confirm that the disciples sent for an unridden animal were not of the Twelve, who tend to misinterpret what Jesus says. Like Eve and Adam, the Twelve forget exactly what was said to them and shift it, ever so slightly, in applying it to a current situation.

The Twelve would likely question this task of fetching an animal as technically outside the framework of fishing for people and proceed to modify Jesus’ instructions, ever so slightly.

In a time of resistance, the slightest bobble of a password is a major failure. It is also a time when a password can be past its “sell by” date. Repeating an out-of-date password is the same as “sibboleth”ing the up-to-date one—failure.

This can be read as an appeal to keep one’s call up-to-date. When a call goes out of date and we keep repeating it, there is trouble a-brewin’.

As in any system, the quantity and quality of feedback loops are a measure of health. In a sense, this is a confirmation of Jesus’ assessment of the situation by way of a confirmation by the people that a challenge of the current oppressive situation is needed. Releasing the colt is putting the questioners in the position of being accomplices, accessories before the fact.

These bit players reflect well the role of all later disciples. Each actor resolving to shift Macbeth’s perspective from strutting and fretting their shadowy hour within a generations-long play to steadily and trustingly living their meaning in its proceeding. Along the way there will be new tasks. As the songwriter says, “New occasions teach new duties”. This is all summed up by Henry in The Fantasticks, “Remember, Mortimer (the generic name of all disciples), there are no small actors, only small parts” and concludes with the call, “Remember me—in light!” We do our best and leave the rest to be seen, in light, in a larger context than we knew at the time.

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