Mark 9:31

for he was instructing his disciples, and telling them – “The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of his fellow men, and they will put him to death, but, when he has been put to death, he will rise again after three days.”


some teachings
are best uninterrupted

those whose mystery
runs too deep

there is no explaining
only stretched soaking

an immersion
until fluency comes

the click unexplainable
the translation intuitive

intentional killing field
three-day cooling-off period

finality taken back
interrupts everything else


Mark is always ambiguous about who is going to suffer, die, rise. This gives opportunity for those engaging this anticipation to be able to wriggle away from its arc in their lives. They can deny that Jesus means himself. They can escape applying it to themselves or their loved ones.

The great, final, last temptation Jesus will face is this one about stepping outside the arena of consequences in a world privileging a few over the many and the power needed to maintain such inequality. [Note: It would be helpful for readers to review again Nikos Kazantzakis’ Last Temptation of Christ.]

We have heard these words before and will hear them again. Such repetition reminds us how difficult it is for us to step outside our desire for comfort, desire for some avenging angel, or desire for a plan that will work itself out without engagement by such as ourselves.

This difficulty can be seen in the disciples responses. As they avoid putting Jesus squarely into this model, they are able to also keep from seeing themselves ever having to participate in the suffering inherent in limited lives.

Sabin-1143 notes: “The paradigm of Jesus’ dying and rising is thus projected as both universal and particular; his death and resurrection is special to the beloved son and at the same time normative.”

It is the normative part of this that blocks seeing it as applicable to Jesus and reminds us again about the difficulty that arises when we emphasize divinity having a great gap from humanity. Such divine glorying eventually and essentially diminishes every connection we try to make between the two.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *