Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives. The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version. At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture. To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.
Questions & Observations
O. (Mark 14;53-65): I see several things to comment on here. 1) And what is Peter’s role here. He seems like a coward. 2) This is the pinnacle of Jesus’s “I Am” response. 3) Here we have Jesus saying He will be at the right hand. What did we say the right hand signified way back in the OT? 4) It’s amazing the effect on people of crowd mentality. They become like a mindless mob. 5) V. 65: If they only knew to whom they were jeering, spitting and slapping!
A. 1) Peter is acting like a coward, just as Jesus said he would. 2) This is just one more piece of evidence that Jesus knows what is happening and is prepared to die. The men who were accusing Him of blasphemy couldn’t get their story straight, and Jewish legal proceedings in this day required two eyewitnesses to bring blasphemy charges. So if Jesus had just said nothing, or denied being the Messiah, He likely would’ve been freed: there would have been no ground to charge Him. Instead, He incriminates Himself (if you want to think of it that way) by proclaiming the truth that He is the Messiah. Without Jesus doing so, there would have been no basis to charge Him. This passage is fascinating to me for that reason. 3) The right hand was the seat of power for a king or ruler (in this case God the Father): the trusted general or other confidant that acted on the king’s behalf. Its where we get the term “right hand man” from. 4) I suspect that the crowd was disappointed that Jesus did not conquer the Romans when He entered the city on Sunday, as many expected Him to. Over the course of the week, it appears that public opinion turned against Jesus. The mob is fickle indeed.
Q. (Mark 14:66-72): Why a rooster and why would he deny Jesus three times before it crowed twice. It’s just seems like an odd thing to happen.
A. The rooster crowed at dawn, signifying Peter’s failure during the night. I don’t know if there is anything else special about the event, except that it is a time marker in a period where there obviously were no watches or other ways to tell time before sunrise: the rooster was it.
Q. (Mark 15:1): Because the Jewish officials took Jesus to Pilate early in the morning, is this why many churches have sunrise services? Or is it the resurrection?
A. The resurrection, you’ll see when we get to the story.
Q. (Matthew 27:3-10): Poor Judas! This just shows that someone can wake up when they realize the consequences of their actions. So, Judas hangs himself. This is an aside comment, but isn’t it a sin to take ones life that is a ticket to Satan? I have been told that, but I don’t think we’ve come across it in the Bible yet. And lastly, why would the Lord want the Israelites to purchase a potter’s field with the 30 pieces of silver that Judas returned?
A. Suicide is not expressly forbidden in the Bible, but it is surely not something God desires. It is obviously impossible to know if it is an offense that condemns one to hell, but we have established that through Jesus that no sin outside of blaspheming the Holy Spirit is unforgivable, which presumably includes suicide. What we don’t know is if Jesus refers to sins that we can seek forgiveness for, which you can’t do in the sense that we are used to if you are dead, so it remains a mystery. In the end, as with all things, we must trust in God’s grace, and I believe that at least some of the people who tragically commit suicide can still find forgiveness and grace in Christ. No one is beyond His reach, but not all will seek to take hold of it.
As to the Potter’s field, the story appears to be saying that since the money was blood money, it could not be used in the Temple, so they basically found a way to get rid of the money by buying a field from a potter to make a public cemetery. What this has to do with the role of a potter is beyond me.