Mark 14:10

After this, Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests, to betray [hand over] Jesus to them.

you always hurt
the one you love
sings a lonely heart
discounted by the one
they love

they love
a bargained life
measuring every move
against a standard
unexamined unreachable

in a mere moment
lasting until death parts
deeds are done
we won’t undo
no won’t undo

Mark’s self-aware style of self-interruption has occurred again. If we were to return to the first two verses of this chapter we would see how smoothly the story might have flowed from 14:1–2 to 14:10–11.

The inability of the Chief Priests and Scribes to figure out how to do away with Jesus, given the Passover crowds, has now found its way in conjunction with the assistance of one of the inside Twelve—Judas Iscariot.

Mark doesn’t try to find a motivation for Judas’ action, just reports it in his usual rushed fashion.

Sabin2125remarks on the way Judas was going to carry out his decision:

Mark consistently uses the phrase “hand over” to express betrayal. That use carries ironic overtones, because “hand over” can also mean hand on, as of a tradition. By his persistent repetition of the phrase, Mark suggests that Jesus is handing on the tradition of being handed over. It is the same word that Paul uses with the same double meaning when he says that he is “handing on” to the Christian community at Corinth what he knows about Jesus’ institution of the Eucharist “on the night that he was handed over” (1 Cor 11:23).

If we were not so many generations, cultural shifts, language changes, and translational issues away from Mark we might find even more ironies than these that stick their hand up and wave. Sometimes we are willing to acknowledge that irony is a major tool in spiritual awakening and continued growth.

If we were going to look anywhere for a specific cause for the suffering and dying that would precede a rising, it would be in what comes between 14:2 and 14:10—the anointing.

What is it about that event that would trigger Judas? See if you can avoid Matthew’s avarice, Luke’s Satan, and John’s thievery.

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