The Not-So-Secret Garden

Mark is one of my most favorite books of the Bible. This is the book that describes Jesus in action, he’s a healer and a miracle worker. Even though Mark is the primary resource for Jesus’ ministry, that isn’t the reason I love it so much. It’s partly due to the secrets.

The biggest theme is the Messianic secret, Jesus’ admonishing his disciples not to tell anyone who he was. Jesus not only silenced those that he healed of demon possession against revealing who he was, but he also spoke in parables to conceal his messages. Beyond that, the disciples seemed totally air-headed in understanding the implication of Jesus’ miracles. After walking  on water, calming a storm, and feeding five thousand people, Jesus says to them in 8:21, “Do you not yet understand?”  Then Jesus heals a man who was born blind (8:22-26), and as soon as he does that, Peter recognizes that he is the Christ (8:29).  So, Mark shows us that they had to have their ‘spiritual’ eyes opened.  To understand and believe in Jesus, we have to have our spiritual eyes opened.

Throughout the last half of Mark, Jesus predicted his imminent death. He not only knew that he was going to die, but he also knew that it was necessary. In 8:31, Jesus says, “the Son of Man must suffer many things” and be killed. This doesn’t sound like it was optional. But, in the Garden, Jesus asks, “Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me” (14:36). Thankfully, for us, he also added, “Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

I have finally come to the reason this book is my favorite. So often, I’ve thought about Jesus’ laying down of his life. And, trust me, I realize the gravity of this gesture. But, one day, my spiritual eyes were opened. Even though he knew it was necessary for him to die, Jesus still asked for another way out. I can’t believe there is any Scripture that more powerfully demonstrates the humanity of our Saviour.

Maybe I’m weird, but this makes me feel so much closer to Jesus. He was like me, except without all the sin. He knows exactly what I’m talking about when I beg him for mercy in so many areas of my life. He knows exactly what it means to struggle with God’s will for our lives. He’s familiar with the difficult, the painful, the overwhelming and the impossible! He gets us like no one else ever can.

This book is where it’s at. This is where to go when you need confidence to ask for his help. You don’t have to be guilty or ashamed. He already knows right where you are, and he can help us say, “Yet I want your will to be done, not mine” (14:36).

What parts of the Lord’s Word have revealed life lessons for you? Please share them with me.

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