Mark 13:12

Brother will betray brother to death, and the father his child; and children will turn against their parents, and cause them to be put to death;

no it’s not
as bad as it gets
a betrayal beyond belief
awaits in room 101

it is not
each turns in each
to be feared
as fearing our worst

in the end we rue
not being betrayed
such shows our trust
but o-o-oh our betrayal

Betrayals are realities in most times, not just Mark’s. This must be dealt with in real time and is also a narrative foreshadowing of the announced suffering and death that is still on its way.

Disciples not only want a preferred seat in projected glory days ahead; they also are the ones who, in large and small ways, betray

The “father” mentioned here will have connections to a later “daddy” who will be absent through silence and through inaction will have the effect of turning their child over to a death system.

Those who once held a parent’s finger in hope and trust will turn to point a finger at them. So it is with siblings, disciples, parents, and crowds of people who, having found a particular healing, have not found a way to heal the system in which they are immersed.

Alongside all the healings and hope of a Good News, Elizabeth Struthers Malbon in her chapter on “Narrative Criticism” in Anderson39stresses conflict:

Conflict is the key to the Markan plot. As Markan characterization does not depend on psychological development with the characters, so the plot does not turn on high suspense and complicated intrigue among the characters. The plot moves by conflicts between groups of characters, or rather, between God or Jesus and groups of characters. There are multiple conflicts, along several dimensions.

Conflict beyond their control is the reality that displaced persons of every generation face. How have such unwise sapiens continued? This is particularly pertinent in terms of the created order not mentioned here. Regional cultures have, time after time, betrayed and denuded their landscape to the point of it being uninhabitable. In an increasingly global world, this same behavior will have the effect of destroying the whole context of human life. The warning here returns us to ever-present questions of idolatry leading us so inward there ceases to be any other reality than an increasingly rigid ideology.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.