Mark Essay

This essay has a total of 3336 words and 14 pages.


To truly understand the Bible takes a lot of research. One process used to interpret
scripture is OIAP. OIAP stands for observation, interpretation, application, and praxis.
This process helps you to understand scripture in its text. The passage that is going to
be researched in this paper is Mark 14:32-42. My intent through this research is not only
to understand the text, but also know how to apply its meaning to today’s society.
I hope to know more about who Jesus was during His time here on earth. I want to research
the human aspect of Christ. It is impossible to understand what Jesus actually felt
without understanding his human side. I hope to find out how much of his godliness he
retained when he came to earth as a man.

In observation we analyze the scripture with no help from outside sources. We also stay
within the book of Mark, trying not to use what we already know about future events in the
Bible. It is easier to understand how the characters in scripture felt if we immerse
ourselves in the text. “That, I concluded, is the problem with most of our writing
and thinking about Jesus. We read the Gospels through the flash-forward lenses of church
councils like Nicea and Chalcedon, through the churches studied attempts to make sense of
him”(Yancey, 24). While observing the text we need to act as if we were never
taught anything about Jesus or the Bible.

The characters mentioned in this text are Jesus, the disciples, Abba Father (God the
Father), and Jesus’ betrayer. Peter, James, and John are specifically mentioned.
The betrayer is not mentioned by name in this scripture, but is named as Judas later in
the book of Mark. God the Father is only mentioned in Jesus’ prayer.

The main characters repeatedly mentioned are Jesus, Peter, James, and John. This
scripture focuses on Jesus and who he sees and speaks to. The rest of the disciples are
mentioned, but not present after the first verse. God the Father never responds to Jesus
as far as the author states.

This text takes place in Gethsemane, around the time of Jesus’ death. It is a time
that Jesus wishes to be alone to pray before his upcoming hardships. He finally gets away
from the crowds to a quiet place.

This scripture begins with Jesus taking Peter, James, and John with him to a quiet place.
Jesus then asks them to stay and watch as he goes a little farther to pray alone. He then
prays to God the Father asking if he’ll let the hour pass from him. Jesus then
comes down to the three disciples and finds them sleeping. Jesus lectures Peter and then
goes back to pray. He comes back a second time and finds them sleeping again. On the
third time of his return he finds the three sleeping still. He tells them that he is done
and “the hour has come” and that “the betrayer is at hand.”

The author seems to speak from an omniscient point of view. He uses the third person,
never mentioning himself in the text. I don’t believe he knew everything that was
happening though. I think he was an omniscient implied author, not an omniscient person
that knows everything that’s happening. He never reveals anything about Jesus
prayers following the first time he returns to the three sleeping disciples, other than he
spoke the same words. It is assumed that the readers know where Gethsemane is, or at
least the relative area of this event.

Some key terms to look at in this text are “the hour might pass from Him” as
well as “take this cup away from me.” Also two phrase to learn from later
would be “not what I will, but what you will”, and “The spirit indeed is
willing, but the flesh is weak.” Jesus repeatedly catches his disciples sleeping,
but still does nothing harsh to discipline them or keep them awake. He only tells them to
pray so that they will not enter into temptation. This also has foreshadowing of Jesus
death and betrayal. In this text Jesus says he is sorrowful before he goes to pray to
God. When he returns he seems ready to accept his death. We are not told in Mark what
changes Jesus’ attitude.

The main relationship discussed in this passage is between Jesus and his Father when Jesus
prays to him, though the author actually does not focus much on it. He only writes about
Jesus asking for help. Two brothers, James and John are mentioned, but their relationship
has little relevancy to this text. Another aspect is the three not doing the job they
were asked to do. It’s like hiring guards that never do their job, because
they’re always sleeping.

This scripture mentions Jesus’ prayer to God and foreshadows Jesus’ betrayal
and death. The main focus is on Jesus’ fear and the sleeping disciples. The author
spends a lot of time talking about the three disciples. I’m not yet sure of the
importance of the sleeping disciples. More importantly what I’m interested in is
Jesus’ request for God the father to change his mind. Doesn’t Jesus know why
he has to go through his suffering? If he does know the reason for his own sacrifice, why
would he ask God to take the cup from him? These are the questions that I wish to discuss
in interpretation.

The questions asked in observation cannot be answered for sure. This is a question that
deals with the deity of Jesus Christ. How much Godliness did Jesus give up to become
human? There are many theories behind the reason that Jesus asks for God to change his
mind. First we have to show that Jesus was both God and man.

The Gospel according to John provides proof of Jesus being God. John 1 “1 In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...14 The Word
became flesh and made his dwelling among us”(Stafford, 1100). This passage shows
that God became a man, which is later in John to be shown as Jesus Christ. So if Jesus
was God why did he fear his upcoming trials in Mark.

The first theory is that it was the human side of Jesus that feared his upcoming suffering
and death. Many times in the Gospel Jesus shows emotion and human qualities. Jesus
cries, gets tired and mad, and is tempted. So maybe the flesh aspect of Jesus feared
death, an experience God would be unfamiliar with. At the same time the following
argument is stated in reference to Jesus’ sorrow: “The shadow of the cross had
fallen upon him. It was not fear of the agony, or fear of the death, for he bore all,
when the moment came, so sublimely that a heathen officer exclaimed, ‘surely he must
be the son of a god.’ I doubt whether it is possible for a mortal to comprehend the
mystery of his suffering, but I think the key is found in the declaration, ‘He was
made sin for us’”(Johnson). So another thought is that Jesus feared having
sin put on him. Even if this is the case why would Jesus ask God to change his mind?
Didn’t he know that this sacrifice was necessary to save mankind?

With that question we ask was Jesus omniscient? We know that God is omniscient, but is
that one of the things Jesus gave up to become man? Jesus seems to know a lot in the
Gospels, but this may have been information that God the Father chose to give him.
“At times He spake from within as God. At other times He spake as man, or the body
of God”(Manuwal). Was Jesus speaking from within as God, or was he just revealing to
us what God the father revealed to him. Mark also shows an example of Jesus not being
omniscient in his human form, Mark 13:32 “No one knows about the day or hour, not
even angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father”(Stafford, 1054). This
shows us that Jesus did not know everything while on earth. He still may have had some
insight from his godly form though. There really is no way to know for sure.

If Jesus wasn’t omniscient then maybe he was only aware of his death and not the
necessity of it. He then may ask God the Father to “ ‘remove this cup from
me,’ referring to Jesus’ suffering and death”(Metzger, 118). Not being
sure of what is to happen to him in the future is a fear that all man faces. “The
‘cup’ is now revealed as the Way of the cross, and Jesus encounters it with
genuine human terror, not contemplative detachment”(Myers, 189). According to Myers
it was the human aspect that feared the unknown.

As stated above maybe Jesus was terrified of the affects of sin being placed on him. If
this is the case then perhaps it was the God side of Jesus speaking out. Jesus had never
been separated from God, and therefore may not be able to know what to expect when this
event occurs. Sin is a separation from God, and “the Holy one of God” was
about to have sin placed on him. This was surely something that the mortal side of Jesus
could not comprehend, but could the God side comprehend it either. God is Holy and
therefore without sin, so how could God truly know what was going to come of having sin
put on him. Maybe it was the God aspect of Jesus crying out to God to really think about
the repercussions of this event.

Either way it is lucky for us that God sent down his angel to comfort Jesus as stated in
Luke 22:43 “then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him
strength”(Metzger, 118). Jesus chose God’s will and not his own. Something
humans have a difficult time doing. “Jesus’ inner turmoil alludes to the
anguish of Jonah, a reminder that God’s ‘will’ is redemption of those
who ‘do not know right from left’”(Myers, 189). In other words when
Jesus found himself unsure he leaned on his father to make the right decision.

We may never be able to understand Jesus’ fear for this event, but we do know that
Jesus experienced the separation from God. Mark 15:34 “My God, my God, why have you
forsaken me?”(Stafford, 1058). For his sacrifice we have been able to enter into
the kingdom of God.

One of the hardest things to understand is the relationship between Jesus and God the
Father. It’s hard to comprehend how a father could sacrifice his only son. In the
time of Jesus a father son relationship was extremely important in family status. The
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