As we read Scripture, we don’t always think about all the people involved. Last week, (Gone Astray – Part 1) we left Mark making excuses to his wife and meeting, yet again, with a former lover. After their romantic evening, he was about to leave for home.
“Our time together should be worth something, don’t you think?” Apheima hinted.
Puzzled, Mark frowned. “Worth something?”
“Well, you wouldn’t want your wife to know about these little get-togethers, now would you? Three denarii should take care of things.”
“Why, you little slut…”
“Uh, uh, let’s be careful. Your precious elders at the Temple would be very disappointed in you.”
Mark’s temper flared, but he could see that he had been trapped. He juggled some coins from his money pouch and threw them on the floor as he stormed out.
How dark the night felt as he shuffled his way home—dark as the sin that hung on his shoulders. But more than shame, he felt anger. How dare her trick me in such a way. She will regret this. His mind raced as he tried to think of forms of retaliation, but his thoughts were merely a jumble of revenge with no clear action.
The days wore on. Mark made it a point not to see Apheima again. The money may have taken care of the threats but not his bitterness.
Two weeks later, as Mark came near the Temple, several Pharisees were discussing the preacher from Galilee who had gained quite a following with the people. The leaders had questioned him on numerous occasions, but every time the religious leaders set up a verbal trap, this Jesus caught them instead, making them appear weak and incompetent.
The next day, Mark observed the teachings of this intruder to the city.
Do not think I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them… You have heard it said, “Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgement.” But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgement… You have heard that it was said, “Do not commit adultery.” But I tell you anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:17, 21-22, 27- 28
The intent of Jesus’ teaching went right over Mark’s head. Instead, the wheels began spinning in his mind until he had concocted a perfect plan.
Hmm, what is the plan? Stayed tuned next week for the plot to thicken!
~ Joyce ~