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"Insights" from the New Testament Greek

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 "Insights" from the New Testament Greek

By Bob Jones, Northside Bible Church, Jacksonville Florida

"Disciples R Us"

Or, "Why are we so Confused?"

 I recently received two interesting questions:

 Question 1, in Mark 14:38, Jesus told his disciples to watch and pray lest they fall into "temptation". What "temptation" was Jesus speaking of?

 Question 2, in Mark 14:51 & 52 A "certain young man", was in the Garden of Gethsemene with Jesus, the night Jesus was betrayed, "having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him: and he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked". Is there any way to know who this "young man" was?

 Answer: Let's start with what we do know. We do know the disciples were barely hanging in there, and when Jesus would tell them of His death on the cross, they would rebuke Him.

 We know that after the cross they were "whipped puppies" and decided to go back into the fishing business - until Jesus met them in Galilee in His resurrection body.

 Peter demonstrated how confused the disciples were, when he boldly pulled out his sword and started swinging, and cut off the servant's ear in the Garden - willing to die for Jesus - and Jesus told him to put the sword away and healed the ear and then Jesus let the crowd take Him to the high priest - then Peter did the opposite, in denying that he even knew Jesus while Jesus was being interrogated.

 Virtually all the Bible commentators presume the "young man" who left his linen cloth behind and fled naked, was Mark the author of the Book of Mark, because that was the common method of the Jewish writers when they spoke of themselves in their writings. Just as John talked about the unnamed "disciple whom Jesus loved", when he spoke of himself.

 We know that Jesus said "smite the Shepherd and the sheep will be "SCATTERED", and that starts with His own disciples, who ALL wound up fleeing that night in the Garden (Mark 14:50), and later is fulfilled when the armies of Titus, the Roman General, surrounded Jerusalem and destroyed it, and the Jews were scattered to the four corners of the earth.

 We know that Peter had said "If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise, and must have MEANT it, when he SAID IT, as demonstrated by pulling out his sword against overwhelming odds and fighting for Jesus. But Peter became totally confused when Jesus told him to stop fighting and put the sword away.

 The disciples were confused because of their refusal to believe what Jesus had been clearly telling them, because Jesus had repeatedly told them that He was going to be killed, and be raised again the third day and would meet them in Galilee after the resurrection:

 --- Mt 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

 --- Mt 17:23 And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.

 --- Mt 20:19 And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.

 --- Lu 9:22 Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.

 --- Mark 9:31 For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.

 --- Mark 10:34 And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.

 --- Lu 9:22 Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.

 --- Lu 18:33 And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.

 --- Lu 24:7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

 --- And in Mark 27:28 & 29 Jesus said to them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. But after I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee.

 They didn't "LIKE" what Jesus said, so they refused to BELIEVE what they didn't "LIKE"!

 This verse really knocked me for a loop when I taught the book of John recently:

 --- John 14:28 - Jesus told His disciples: "Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I". The Greek word for "love" here is "agape", which is "divine love", love that only comes from God (1 John 4:7 & 8) and lines up with His Word.

 We only have this "agape" type of love when we are "in fellowship" (1 John 1:9), and it is not a "feeling" or an "emotion", but "agape" seeks the best interest of the object, in accordance with the revealed will of God in His Word.

 Incredible! Jesus told them that if they really loved Him they would be rejoicing at the mention and thought of Him dying on the Cross, being raised the third day and meeting them in Galilee! (Mark 27:28 & 29) That is the purpose for Jesus leaving heaven and entering the stream of humanity through the virgin birth.

 I count at least eleven individual instances where Jesus plainly told His disciples that He had to die on the Cross, be raised the third day, and would return to them afterward.

 Aren't we the same way when it comes to the things in the Scriptures that we may not "like"?

 The disciples of Jesus couldn't get anything right that night in the garden because they refused to believe what was clearly revealed to them by the Living Word!

 Peter went to the garden that night prepared for a fight!

 It appears that Mark went to the garden that night dressed to FLEE!

 Fight for Him with a sword - willing to give up their own life to fight for Jesus' sake - then all flee from Jesus and finally deny Jesus - everything from pillar to post except the right thing - rejoicing and acting in the clearly revealed TRUTH !

 I had a friend at work that used to say "what I don't understand about the Bible doesn't bother me, what bothers me is trying to live by the things in the Bible that I DO understand!"

 I believe that the "temptation", that Jesus told His disciples to "pray that they would not inter into" that night in the garden, is the temptation to do everything except what Jesus had told them to do - rejoice in and act on the clearly revealed truth's of God's Word.

 As the cartoon character "Pogo" used to say: "We've met the enemy and it's US!"

 We must not discard the great truths and clear teachings of God's Word, but we must believe it, even if we do not yet understand it - and allow God, in His time, to make the truth clear and real to us!

 Bob Jones