Mark 14:49

I have been among you day after day in the Temple Courts teaching, and yet you did not arrest me; but this is in fulfillment of the scriptures.”

you’ve waited too long
a teaching has gone out
in the seat of power
an antidote is loosed

an ancient hope
held in abeyance
dimmed through time
rises once more

claiming tomorrow
recalculates today
it is worth adjusting
for fuller joy

It is difficult to know what needs commenting on and what needs no response. LaVerdiere2252 puts it this way,

Jesus had not responded to Judas’ hypocritical address and display of affection. Nor did he respond to the bystander’s effort [with a sword]. Like Judas’ gesture, it spoke for itself. Instead, Jesus responded to those who arrested him.

Those in a mob are seldom able to understand their own action. There is not a response from this crowd that would be believable. Jesus’ comment would seem to appeal to some narrative need for a comment.

Though there may be something in verses 48–49 a Reader might well attend to, this explication of the unnecessary nature of a night-time raid with implements of violence it is more likely a reminder of Chapter 13 with betrayals in every direction and arrests. It is just as likely that it fills a narrative need to prepare for the running away of the disciples that was set-up back in verse 27 with the quote from Zechariah about scattered sheep.

Aichele19 raises questions about the identification of the scripture reference and what is fulfilled here.

It is not clear what specific scriptures, if any, have been fulfilled in this story. The best intertextual candidate is perhaps the “servant song” of Isaiah 52:13–53:12. Or is the reference in Mark 14:49 to “the scriptures” simply a euphemism for God’s will? However another possibility is that the only “scriptures” which have been fulfilled are Jesus’ three intratextual betrayal prophecies in Mark 9:31 and 10:33 (see also Mark 8:31). Could Mark’s gospel be referring to itself in this passage as “scripture”? Could any single text possibly fulfill itself?

It is Aichele’s last question that is most intriguing. Is scripture, in its entirety or particulars, fate or fulfillable? If it is, what is fulfilled when a heart and behavior are changed? A circularity of good news?

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