Mark 14:2

for they said, “Not during the Festival, or the people may riot.”

we do so want
unfettered autonomy
doing what we want
when and how we want

to be soft and cuddled
when we want
with whom we want
as long as we want

to always be right
no questions
no challenges
no doubts expressed

to remove embarrassments
before the surface
under polite cover

when unfairly constrained
go to stealth mode
stretch your morality
just do it

Note the shift in Mark’s language from “crowd” to “people”. The crowds have been helpful revealers of how astounding the quality of belovedness is in Jesus’ life, and the life of others who have joined a long line of conscious avatars—G*D and Neighb*or partners.

LaVerdiere2226 identifies the trap within which the Chief Priests and the Temple structure have found themselves:

On the one hand, they could not arrest Jesus during the feast, for fear the people (ho laos) might riot on his behalf. On the other, they absolutely had to arrest him during the feast, for fear the people (ho laos) might rally to Jesus and riot against them. The only way out of the dilemma was to arrest Jesus by treachery (en dolo).

The Chief Priests were not yet able to discern just what diabolical mechanism would work to get them out of their pharaonic dilemma of self-protective leadership in a time of transition. This leads Readers to anticipate a concluding parenthesis and to begin paying attention to what lies between the raising of this problem and its resolution—this plotting and a convenient betrayal.

From here to the end of Mark, Readers do well to reflect on how “Holy Week” activities suppress the terrible realism of an intensely political drama still being played out in the crowds of injured and vulnerable persons. Myers183 notes raw themes of “back-room deals and covert action, judicial manipulation and prisoner exchanges, torture and summary execution” are “persistent in our own world” and act to deny any hope of rising to fuller partnership with one another.

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