Watch and pray

The paragraphs below are an excerpt from:
A Ransom for Many: the Gospel of Mark Simply Explained (Welwyn Commentary Series); Wilmhurst, Steve; © 2011 EP Books.

One of Mark’s goals in this book is to bring everyone to a verdict about Jesus. He gives us the facts; he lets the evidence speak for itself; and he calls us to make our own decision about Jesus Christ. Everyone must reach their own verdict, just as Pilate did so unwillingly in this story; and just as the crowd did, for all the wrong reasons. Many today follow the example of the crowd and simply borrow a ready-made opinion from someone else, swayed by a sound-bite or inherited prejudice.

Throughout his life, the Lord Jesus has obeyed the will of God actively. He has spoken, taught, healed, worked; now we find his obedience taking a different form. It is striking just how little Jesus now says or does. In fact, all the way through from his arrest to his death, Mark records only three times when Jesus speaks at all. Assaulted, he does not protest. Accused, he does not defend himself. He simply follows the path laid out for him. He makes no attempt to avoid the cross. He treads the path of a humble servant all the way to that dreadful death. How can he do that? Simply, he did what Peter and friends did not do. He watched and prayed. The victory was won at Gethsemane in solitary prayer among the trees.

How do we stand firm when we are accused or persecuted? We watch and pray – ahead of time. Until Christ returns, this is how it will always be.

In many parts of the world Christians face just such treatment today. One day the same may happen to us: meanwhile, we have our own battles to fight; and we must learn to be on our guard, to watch and pray; and to follow the example of our Master.

It is worth recalling what Jesus has already been through before he faces Pilate. In the course of a totally sleepless night, he has struggled with the horror of death and the dread of God’s wrath as he’s wrestled in solitary prayer; he has been betrayed by an ally and deserted by his friends; he has faced volleys of unjust accusations by people who hate him; and then he’s been beaten up – all in the last twelve hours. In other words, before this story even begins, he has encountered more trauma and provocation than we ever will.

Jesus – arrested
Jesus – quiet
Jesus – accused
Jesus – humiliated
Jesus – condemned
Jesus – scourged
Jesus – mocked
Jesus- crowned
Jesus – taunted
Jesus – stripped
Jesus – nailed
Jesus – hung
Jesus – derided
Jesus – suffered
Jesus – suffered
Jesus – suffered

Jesus – died

Jesus, thank you, thank you, thank you. No words….


2 thoughts on “Watch and pray

  1. Thank you Iris. A very different picture of Jesus being in Heaven with all His glory before He came down to earth to die as a criminal.Even though we know that Jesus dies for humanity it only is real to a person when we understand that He died for me. When it becomes personal. Sometimes in church there are no words and the tears can just begin to flow. Here I see in my Saviour self control at its upmost.

    On another note. My understanding of a church blog is for community. Reaching out to one another as brothers and sisters under the Lordship of Christ. To encourage and learn from one another how best to live a life that honours Christ in everything we do. But I get no sense of community from our church blog because of the lack from others willing to share. The spirit in which Geoff started this blog is dying. It was always about community. It would be good if our church community could connect on a deeper level. This is not a criticism just an observation made in love. 1 Cor 12:12 tells us that we become members of one another not an institution and the blog is another way of expressing that reality. It should be like a home, a safe place where we can share our stories of and from life where we can learn from others and share our experiences.
    Community = relationships.

  2. Thank you again for your insightful comments Connie. I have said to you before that I always, always, appreciate reading your thoughtful responses. I know how disappointing it is for you when you don’t see much from others. Just another thought, I know by the stats I have read on FDR website, the words written by FAC bloggers are blessing people, not just in our own small community, but around the world. Be encouraged that what you are prompted to write is being read by a wider audience. God’s word is going out and I know that it will not return void. Praise God for that!

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