Spiritual streakers

wood 2I never quite understood the whole streaking phenom from a few decades ago.  Chalk it up to cultural weirdness, although I’m sure the psychologists would have a few other differential diagnoses.  Or maybe it was just a fashion statement…?

Personally, I have three fashionista rules: cleanliness, comfort, and COVERAGE.  Really keen on that last one.

Anyway, here’s another one of those little obscure passages that leaves me scratching my noggin trying to figure out why God put it in the Bible.  This is right after Peter, James, and John kept falling asleep in the garden while Jesus was sweating blood praying about His imminent crucifixion.  Judas has now singled Jesus out, the guards have seized Him, and the rabble is following along:

“Then all his disciples deserted him and ran away. One young man following behind was clothed only in a long linen shirt. When the mob tried to grab him, he slipped out of his shirt and ran away naked.”

Was he a disciple wannabe? Maybe he had heard that Jesus was in the area, and jumped out of bed to see what they were doing, had thought about being a follower but just hadn’t worked up the courage. He was on the fence—not fully committed like the disciples (who had just fled, BTW), and like his clothes, didn’t have his spiritual armor on because he didn’t have any yet.  Thus he found himself in a somewhat compromising situation.

Half-hearted followers are easy targets.  Hanging on the fringes of God’s spiritual activity, they are curiosity/thrill-seekers or just haven’t made the decision to follow Jesus that results in “no turning back, no turning back.”  The susceptibility to also flirt with the mob allows for a spiritual gravitational pull that can easily strip them of what thin covering they may have and leaves them running spiritually naked—confused, battered, bereft—if they get away at all.

By contrast, disciples are commanded to “cloth yourselves with Christ”, and “the robe of righteousness” and “the full armor of God”, so that “having done all, stand.”

Flirting on the fringes of decision is not a good place to hang out.  The current pull of our society is strong; life calls for decisions, sometimes hard ones.  And the first and most important one, the one decision that will determine my response to everything else, is:

What am I  r-e-a-l-l-y  going to do with Jesus?

Because being a naked soldier is not a safe thing.

Mark 14:50-52  Tyndale House Publishers Inc (2008-06-01). The One Year Bible NLT (One Year Bible: Nlt Book 2) (Kindle Locations 8391-8393). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

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Author: dawnlizjones

Tends toward TMI, so here's the short list: guitar and banjo (both of which have been much neglected as of late), bicycling (ibid), dogs, very black tea, and contemplating and commenting on deep philosophical thoughts about which I have had no academic or professional training. Oh, also reading, writing, but I shy away from arithmetic.

8 thoughts on “Spiritual streakers”

  1. This detail is one of the few statements in Mark’s Gospel that is not found in Matthew’s or Luke’s. This has led some scholars to suggest that John Mark is the young man who lost his clothes that night–putting an autobiographical touch to a book that was mostly condensed from the preaching of Simon Peter. An early tradition that the Passover dinner and Lord’s Supper took place in the house of John Mark’s family seems to collaborate this thought, alth0ugh no one but the Lord really knows for sure.
    Anyhow, you build a good lesson around this event. Thanks for writing it. J.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Isaiah said, “No one calls for justice;
    no one pleads a case with integrity.
    They rely on empty arguments, they utter lies;
    they conceive trouble and give birth to evil.
    They hatch the eggs of vipers
    and spin a spider’s web.
    Whoever eats their eggs will die,
    and when one is broken, an adder is hatched.
    Their cobwebs are useless for clothing;
    they cannot cover themselves with what they make.”

    That sounds sort of like the half-naked, halfhearted followers you described.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dawn, there are some things in the bible we will just have to wait and ask Jesus about face-to-face! I have no idea why a man in a night shirt was there. You have some great ideas about him, he may have just wanted to see what was happening with the Lord and His disciples. He may wanted to have joined them…I don’t know.

    What’s more, why he is mentioned in the bible is beyond me. Like I said, we will just have to wait to understand the “whys” of some things in scripture. BTW, I never streaked myself, unless I got brave and ran from the shower to grab a towel or something I forgot! I really don’t understand confirmed nudists either…(no offense to them intended)…Lol!

    Steve

    Liked by 1 person

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