And the scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘He was counted among outlaws.’
anyone can claim
scripture is fulfilled
anyone can be
beside the point
While found in a number of manuscripts of Mark, this verse is not found in the earliest and best. In addition to a questionable provenance, there is the matter of style. Mark does quote scripture but does so as a part of his story, not by introducing scripture as something to be fulfilled on a one-to-one basis—Jesus’ life reveals scripture.
It feels more like a later addition attempting to reconcile Mark with Luke (22:37).
In addition to the linkage with other reports, this verse doubles down on the mockery of Jesus (in whom Pilate found no wrong but a political advantage) by locating innocence in the midst of the unlawful. In so doing, the connection with James and John is lessened—this is not what drinking the cup Jesus drinks or bearing your cross means.
Readers can return to 8:34–9:1 to reflect further on the positive nature of taking up a “cross”, rather than martyrdom. The suffering, rejection, death, and rising Jesus speaks of for himself is simply the consequence of living as a beloved well acquainted with wilderness and the healing of grief. Such living in a world of constrictions rather than openings carries with it the disruption of business as usual, whether that is in the realm of business qua business or the business of religion or governance through power and violence.
Those who desire a life that connects their inner life with its outward and visible activity, know how easy it is to be dismissed as a nobody when this connection is made. If such living proceeds to be practiced into a habit of heart and hand, what was ignored will be actively opposed with an accusation of lawlessness or a breaking of regular order. Should such living challenge current power-brokers beyond their comfort level, their response will escalate. This is cross-bearing—to take up one’s belovedness, have it tested in a wilderness setting, and embodied in a consistent manner that looks at everyone with a clear and caring eye that there may be a fullness of joy in their life and larger common good within the community.