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Topic: The Metal of a Man

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The Metal of a Man


Whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the Gospel's the same shall save it. Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when he comes in the Glory of His Father with the Holy Angels. Verily, I say unto you, that there are some that stand here who shall not taste of death ere they have seen the Kingdom of God come with Power...

In keeping with the theme of my recent post on Peter (The Rock) I wanted to point out some things concerning his nephew John Mark (who, some scholars believe, is the Young Man of Mk 14:51). Many Theologians make disparaging remarks concerning him, 2,000 yrs after the fact, who were not there, and who don't know the reasons for Mark's departure from the Missionary field (Acts 15:36).

First, let us look at the metal of this young man. Many are quick to point out that he fled away from the scene of the arrest (as did all the disciples after Y'shua made it clear to them that he did not want them to fight for him at that time - Mt 26:52-54). But what they do not ponder (Lev 26:21b) is that after the other disciples fled, John Mark still "followed him" (Mk 14:51), which , when the soldiers saw and then tried to arrest him, only then caused him to flee. This makes me wonder if there are any other events in the Lord's life where John Mark might have followed at a distance, out of curiosity - see final comment on this at bottom of post.

However, that is not the end of the story of that night for John Mark.

We know from John (18:15-16) that only he and Peter were brave enough to enter the Den of Vipers itself, in order to find out what would happen to Y'shua. But, there is one other "fit man" who didn't have the prestige of John to enter the High Priest's house, and didn't arrive soon enough, as Peter, to be ushered in by John ("My uncle would have told me to go home anyways"), so what's a young man to do but climb up on to the roof of the High Priest's house, under cover of darkness, so that he could eavesdrop on the proceedings. And, if you will compare the accounts (Mt 26:69, Lk 22:55,62, John 18:15-16, Mk 14:66) you will see that the other three Gospels describe Peter's position as "at the door without" and "in the midst of the hall" and "without in the palace" and that when he left he "went out" and "out into the porch" all of which are descriptive of the Temple mount area itself, with the Priest's quarters, as a flat open expanse in which the ministry occurred.

However, John Mark, while caught up in remembering the events of that night specifies that Peter was "beneath in the palace" and the only way he could have made that statement was if he was above on the roof of the palace. And that is why he records the false witnesses brought against Y'shua (14:55-59) which is only repeated, in an abbreviated form, in Matthew's Gospel, which leads to the conclusion that Matthew received this account (at the time he began compiling his Gospel) from John Mark. John, of course, wrote his own account being outside the room itself and would have missed some of the events that transpired. Peter was outside and probably only received bits and pieces of the hearing. Luke, assuredly, received his account from Paul (see Saul of Tarsus at URL below) who was, at this time, confronting Peter by the fire, and Matthew, of course, was not there. Thus, only John Mark overheard the presentation of the witnesses and passed that information on to Matthew.

This, now, brings me to the point of this post.

It, apparently, has never dawned on any of these Couch Potato Critics that, in the process of ministering to Paul and Barnabas (possibly a thankless job from his perspective - "Let him who would be greatest, be servant to all"), and hearing the New converts asking questions about Y'shua's life and ministry (and especially about his Diety which Paul was still struggling with at this time), and hearing Paul and Barnabas reply, time and time again, to the same questions (and, more likely, the questions they could not answer concerning our Lord because they weren't there for the most important events), caused John Mark to realize that they would need a written record of the Life of Y'shua that they could take with them on the road and let the fledgling Churches transcribe their own copy from this "Gospel" so that they would have a record of his life and sayings after the Missionaries had moved on. And that is assuredly the motivation for John Mark leaving Barnabas and Saul and returning back to Jerusalem (Acts 13:13) to write this Gospel.

He would need to go back to the other Apostles to fill in the details of our Lord's life that he had missed (the upper room discourse *, the meeting of the 11 with the resurrected Saviour etc), and to motivate them with the need to write all of this down because, early on, he saw the needs of the Gentile Churches in this regard. That is why he designed his Gospel in a concise form (as opposed to all others) for ease in transcription of copies on the road and I believe that the manuscript evidence bears this out (i.e. I believe that it is recognized that Mark's Gospel is the oldest and with a fragment of Matthew's being dated circa 40AD places Mark's before that).

He records that the voice from heaven at the baptism (1:11) was directed to Y'shua himself, and Matthew does not, but Luke does. Matthew himself probably compared notes with John and Peter and the other Apostles at Jerusalem when he compiled his account, and Paul, assuredly, must have received the account from John Mark while they were on the road (and thus recorded in Luke's Gospel). This, then, tells us that at some point in time John Mark personally asked Y'shua about that event and that he told him that His Abba had spoken directly to him.

Only John Mark (1:15) makes specific reference to "the time is fulfilled" an obvious reference to Daniel's 70 weeks. Only he records (2:26) the name of the Priest, in faith, for Y'shua emphasized the actions of Abiathar; even though his father Ahimelech was the priest at the time (see The Son of Man); it was assuredly the former, as our Lord indicates and subsequent history shows, who helped out David when he needed it. John Mark, in simple faith records our Lord's words, trusting that he knew what he was talking about ("and my words"), where as the other writers either didn't think the name important, or left the name out because they might have thought that Y'shua had make a technical mistake. John Mark, at the healing of the man with the withered hand (3:5) makes note of Y'shua's emotions (anger and grief) showing his nearness physically and personally with the Lord, as Luke's account (6:11) that of Paul's to these same Pharisees. Only he records the names that the Lord gave the Son's of Zebedee - the Son's of Thunder (3:17), and the parable of the Corn (4:26).

If all of this was given to John Mark by Peter then they probably would have been in Matthew's Gospel as well. That they didn't leads me to believe that John Mark himself wrote down these things that he remembered from the Lord's life. The proof of this is that Matthew records Peter walking on water (14:28), but John Mark omits it from his account (6:50).

He gives us the healing of the Blind man in stages (18:23), and again, feeling the emotions of the Saviour (18:38), caused him to remember not only that Y'shua said he would be ashamed of those who are ashamed of him, but that he called them an "adulterous and sinful generation.

Only John Mark (9:14-16) tells us that Y'shua confronted the scribes about what they were questioning the disciples on and gives us a personal insight into the Metal of our Saviour in the process as well as the anguish of the father in that same event (9:24). He reminds us of the man casting out demons in Y'shua's name, but who wasn't one of the twelve (9:38) showing that John Mark emphasized with the man over those coveted positions. He, only, records the name of the blind man healed outside of Jericho (10:46) showing, again, that he was more personable, perhaps, then the other disciples.

At least twice (8:33, 11:11) he alone records that Y'shua "looked" round him; at the disciples before he rebuked Peter (to show that they were all thinking what Peter was) and upon the money changers. John Mark realized the power in the gaze of a man who is, not only sure of his position, but who is also sure of who he is as a man (Ps 11:4, Prov 20:8 etc - an interesting topical study), and the power that the eyes can have over people. This is actually more significant, for it was John Mark who tells us that he looked upon these money changers the night before, and then began to cast them out the next day. They had all night to remember the first time that he had done this (John 2:15), and repent; and by doing this, the atmosphere for the following day's events was already set. He only records that God's house is one of prayer "to all nations" (11:17) and that we need to forgive others so as not to hinder our prayers (11:25). And it is John Mark (15:39) who tells us of the respect of the Centurion - a professional soldier - for the "Son of God." This, actually, sums up this individual called John Mark as even his name proclaims, for in the Hebrew Root Words, Mark means Polished, Sharpened or otherwise (mentally) prepared, as A Sword for Battle. Taken with his first name, which means a gift, than this is A Weapon Prepared and given as a Gift, obviously to be put to use, and not placed on a shelf on the side unnoticed or unappreciated by the majority.

However, of special notice, is John Mark's account of the Scribe (12:28, Lawyer of Matt 22:35), which is more detailed (for a specific reason) then Matthew's, and which is not recorded by the other two.

This Lawyer came on the scene at the end of the discussion of the resurrection. He perceived that Y'shua had answered the question well, then asked his own question, concerning the Greatest Commandment. This lawyer asked this question for a specific reason and that was to address the real issue of Y'shua's life and ministry (which this person had a problem with), and that was His claim to be God's Son. Y'shua answered the question, as it could only be answered, "to Love Y'hova with all you heart" but he is already one step ahead of this lawyer, for he also states the Second Great Commandment, and that was to love your neighbor. This went right over this zealous lawyer's head (at the time), and thinking now that he had Y'shua where he wanted him, he answered "discreetly" (12:24) that Y'shua had answered with the truth "for there is one God and no other but Him" insinuating that Y'shua could not, therefore, be the Son of God, for that would make two Gods (forgetting that the word "one" that is used in that passage means united). Then, agreeing with Y'shua's second premise he said that this was more then sacrifice.

This lawyer was Saul of Tarsus (Rom 13:8, Gal 5:14).

Y'shua then complimented the lawyer on his understanding, telling him he wasn't far from the Kingdom but then "answered" (12:35) his "question" about his Deity, with the now famous passage of who David's Lord is. This silenced this Champion of the Lawyers and nobody bothered trying to "trap him" in his words after that.

It is only someone who was close to both of these men, that could have possibly followed this deep theological undercurrent. John Mark knew Y'shua, perhaps, better then the other disciples, in some respects, and he worked with Paul for several years, so he was able to record this very delicate account in such a superb way, showing his own discreetness and position in the Kingdom; so much so that this conversation "between the lines" has been concealed for, basically, the entire Church age (at least I have never heard it explained in this light), much like the story of John Mark itself.

The Lord, even then, tried to warn Saul about the real situation of most of the people that he was rubbing shoulders with, and their traditions that had blinded him to the truth about the Deity of Messiah (which he realized immediately after his conversion when he started proclaiming that Y'shua was the Son of God - Acts 9:20), and which, ultimately, led him to agree to the stoning of Stephen, thus breaking the Second Great Commandment that Y'shua had emphasized to him, undoubtedly, for that very reason.

This account may possibly have contributed to some of the friction between these two, at the very time that John Mark wanted to start writing his Gospel. That Paul recognized his mistake is seen in Paul's commendation of John Mark (2 Tim 4:11) on being profitable to the ministry. This, in turn, reminded Paul to ask Timothy to bring the books but, "especially the parchments" very possibly referring to a copy of the Gospel of Mark. And in so doing he would have passed the scepter to John Mark as he had, in turn, taken it from Peter the second time that he confronted him (Gal 2:11 - Acts 15:35); it was not until after this second confrontation that, through Paul, the Holy Spirit was poured out (Acts 19:6) in Ephesus, as had been accomplished in the past through Peter (Acts 2, 4:31, 8:17, 10:44), and only after this, did Paul himself start performing miracles (Acts 19:11) on the same order that Peter had (Acts 5:15); thus when Paul acknowledged his mistake concerning John Mark, the Scepter of Authority, through this submission, would have transferred to John Mark.

Thus compare Mt 26:58, Mk 14:54, Lk 22:54 - a word for word description by an eyewitness, which shows a common source for this account. The only connection between the Apostles in Jerusalem and the Missionaries in the field (Luke), that we know of for sure, was John Mark who was an eyewitness of many of these things. This indicates to me that he is the source for Luke 22:39-46, which he forgot to place in his Abridged Life of Christ. Notice in vs 39 Y'shua "came out" (contrast with John 18:1) and thus, the person who supplied this info was waiting outside the upper room for Y'shua to finish his Passover Meal with the 12. Also, note this, in Hebrews, which I have shown was assuredly written by Barnabas, it mentions (5:7) that Y'shua offered up prayers and supplications "with strong crying and tears" to him that was able to save him from death. This is a direct reference to this time in the garden when he sweat great drops of blood, and asked Abba, if possible, to take this cup (death) away from him.

Now none of the Gospels mention the Lord's tears at this time, but it must have come from an eyewitness. And what eyewitness do we know, that went to Cyprus with this same Barnabas (Acts 15:39). Thus, during that time, John Mark told Barnabas that when Y'shua had "prayed more earnestly" that it was to the point of tears. And note this (if true) that this means that, even though "their eyes were heavy" that only John Mark watched one hour with the Lord during this greatest trial in our Saviour's life. And, along with this, for aught we know, much of the information in the opening chapters of Acts were supplied by this young man to Luke.

Paul (and all the Apostles) then realized what John Mark recognized early on; that souls are saved by the spoken word, but that Churches are built by the Written Word.

Thus notice how the Gospel writers start their accounts. Matthew says, "This is the Generation of Jesus Christ," John says, "In the Beginning was the Word," Luke, who came on the scene later specifically says that "Many had taken in hand" to write these things down and delivered them "unto us," but Mark emphatically says, "The Beginning of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God" while speaking by the Spirit. Mark's Gospel was the first one written, then Matthew's then John's and finally Luke's.

And, if all of this is the case, it further shows us what John Mark was like, for he was so sure of the correctness of his decision, that he stood up to Paul, and would not back down from God's calling on his life. I believe he made the right decision and the Church has continually reaped what he first planted and watered, for the last 2,000 years ("The First shall be Last and the Last shall be First").

So, we should, perhaps, be more careful in our comments on The Heroes of our Faith, lest we be found slandering the Saints of the Lord Y'shua bar Y'hava...

Concerning the Upper Room Discourse that night, I have just completed some research on the Lord's Supper, contained in the post at the URL above concerning the Passover Meal, and I have found that this was assuredly a Peace Offering Meal that preceded the Passover Meal. During this meal a Servant would bring in a basin so they could wash their hands and at that same time a servant (probably the same one) would sweep the floor. I believe that it was at this time that Y'shua, instead of washing his hands, washed the disciples feet. In doing so, in a way, he would have been saying to the servant who swept the floor that, not only did he wash their feet because they needed it, but so that they would not dirty the floor that the servant just cleaned. Again, this brings out his own admonition that he that would be greatest should be servant to all. Now, some scholars state that the Last Supper occurred at the home of the father of John Mark (so Edersheim) and it is my contention that the servant who brought in the water basin and who subsequently swept the floor was none other than our man John Mark.

So, if you compare the Gospel accounts, you will see that there is some information in Luke that is not recorded in Matthew's Gospel, even though Matthew was at the very table that night. Luke records that the discussion actually arose at that very meal about who would be greatest among them and Y'shua actually responded that they should consider themselves as "the youngest" if they wanted to be great, and as a "servant" to the greatest who actually ate at the meal while the servant served.

Y'shua was actually using John Mark as an example to the disciples while he was right there in front of them sweeping the floor and waiting on them hand and foot.

Here we actually have two parts of the conversation that Mark overheard. Like Matthew, Mark records the conversation with Judas which he probably heard when he brought in the water basin and started sweeping the floor, for this occurred just after the Blessing of the Bread at the Main Meal and before the Blessing of the third Glass of Wine. Then, this second bit of conversation that John Mark overheard was when he was actually sweeping the floor.

What the implications of all this is, assuming this to be true, is that John Mark is the greatest Apostle.

In reference to my comment in the second paragraph at the start of this post, I get the impression that John Mark actually followed Y'shua and the disciples from a distance when they went up to the Mount of Transfiguration which Peters has stated was a prefiguration of the Return and re-establishment of the Theocratic Kingdom on earth. He points out that, with Y'shua as the King, the Glorified Saints were represented by Moses and Elijah and the mortal Saints by the three Apostles but I don't recall if he made an additional observation and that is that the Heavenly Army would also have been represented with, assuredly, Angels unseen surrounding the Mount and, if so, that the Earthly Army would also have been represented in some way.

It also may not be coincidence that the Apostle Peter then links the Transfiguration with the Rapture (when the restraints will be removed) when the Day Star will arise in the Churches heart when he says, "We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Y'shua Messiah, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father Honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; where unto you do well that you take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the Day Star arise in your hearts."

This was actually the turning point in his ministry for the leaders of the nation had made it clear that they would not accept him as their Messiah and he began to openly teach his disciples about his approaching death subsequently resulting in the postponement of the Kingdom for the last 2,000 years with its resultant Restraining Ministry of the Holy Spirit. In other words, up to this time, the Kingdom was Nigh, but after this point in time, it was no longer near them and hasn't been since that time.

Almost as if Time has been standing still for 2,000 years.

And so it is that the Babylonian Tree and its Branches were to be 'cut off' (almost implied in Peters desire to build Tabernacles at that time for they built them out of tree branches) and the restraining band placed around the Stump and this was assuredly a result of the pouring out of the Spirit recorded in the Book of Axe. The point that we are interested in is that the restraining band was made of Iron (Roman) and Brass (Grecian) which is referring to the Gentiles in some way and thus it is that the Spirit was first poured out on the Gentiles under the authority of the Roman Centurion. This was hardly coincidence and thus it is when one reads the History of the Church by Eusibius that on many occasions there were exploits of one kind or another that were performed in the Roman Army by the Christian Soldiers.

This restraint by the Church of the Babylonian System can actually be seen in the events that immediately preceded the Transfiguration for, after the denial by the leaders of the nation, Y'shua asked his followers who they thought he was resulting in the Confession of Peter that earned him his nickname to which Y'shua added this very process of Binding and Loosing which was then, subsequently, also given to the Church, and believers (Matt 18:18), in general.

One other point of notice, before I bring all this together,is that this event occurred during the Night which is a predominant typology of the end times upon the breaking of the Bands ("In that Night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken and the other shall be left").

What is significant, for the purposes of this Editorial Note, is that Y'shua stated that some of the people who were standing in the crowd before his ascent of the Mountain, would not die, but would see the Kingdom itself established in power.

Thus, the Beloved Apostle John and the Greatest Apostle John Mark could very well be the fulfillment of that prediction where John would symbolize the Earthly Saints and John Mark would embody the Earthly Army.

And, so it is that it was on that very Mountain, in the Shadows of Time where he was watching, that I met with John Mark the first time, in the spirit, and which actually resulted in this very post.

I know a Soldier when I see one...


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