Mark 11:4

The two disciples went, and, finding a foal tethered outside a door in the street, they untied it.

against all better judgment
and letter of the law
we’re doing what we can’t see
any reason for

just because our intentions
are purer than legal
we do what we need to do

in the process of undoing
nine-tenths of the law
possession is in the hand

Sure enough, the storyline that was set up is going to be followed through on in the next four verses. This raises a complaint about it taking so long to complete this task when so much of Mark takes place lickity-split.

Where is the sense in hurrying up the mountain to Jerusalem in no time (verse 10:52 completes the Bartimaeus event in Jericho and verse 11:1 has us entering the Jerusalem environs), only to spend seven verses (11:1–7) on the task to get a colt when walking into Jerusalem would be sufficient and “…this carefully choreographed political street theater is designed to repudiate Messianic triumphalism” [Myers145]?

Commentators bring forth various linkages to the scriptures Jesus would have known and symbolic importance of this parade which is still re-enacted in many congregations as Palm Sunday. They do so from their various perspectives that range from a literal one-to-one linkage with prior scriptures to an over-arching meta-story of the life and times of Jesus.

Here I will first claim that the two disciples sent on this mission were not of the Twelve because the task went so well. Except for being sent out two-by-two, the Twelve primarily misunderstand and fail at their assigned tasks. This understanding allows the reader to begin preparing for the final subversion and considering their part in a story that can only be trusted, never confirmed.

Next I claim contingency is a universal component of faithful living or loving life. It is helpful to have a built-in response that can be pulled out at a moment’s notice—necessity.

A third claim is that we never have the opportunity to see how much we trust a partnership with Jesus and his followers without actually getting into a situation that entails a risk of learning our part in a larger mission didn’t work. Direct action comes with no guarantee.

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