by Clarence E. Macartney

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The Trials of Great Bible Characters (12 of 15)
The Trial of John Mark
Clarence E. Macartney
Mark 14:52; Acts 13:13; 2 Tim. 4:11

Three texts! The record of two failures, and one great
success and recovery. Midnight in Jerusalem. In the
Passover moonlight the shadow of the temple of Herod
falls across the city, and the shadow of the massive
walls to the north and the east fall across the gorges
above which they rise. In the city all are asleep-all
but sickness, sorrow, hate, and guilt. The Supper is
ended, the traitor has gone out. Jesus and His
disciples, to the music of one of the grand old
psalms, have come down from the upper chamber,
descended the hillside, crossed the bridge over the
Cedron, and made their way into Gethsemane. Even
there, all soon are asleep, the eight disciples near
the gate, and even the chosen three-Peter, and James,
and John. But not Jesus. No. He slept once, while the
others were awake, on that pillow in the stern of the
boat on stormy Gennesaret; but now, while the others
sleep, Jesus is awake.

There are some others, too, who are awake; the scribes
and the Pharisees and Judas Iscariot, for "hate is the
insomnia of the soul." In the ample house of well-to-
do Mary, John Mark, her son, is asleep. Suddenly he
awakens, hearing the hurried tramp of feet on the
street. At first he thinks it is only a dream. Then he
arises and, looking out of the window, hears the
murmur of voices and sees the light of torches in the
distance. Then he goes back to bed and sleeps. For the
second time he awakens, this time with a fear in his
heart that perhaps harm is meant to Jesus. Not waiting
to dress himself, but clad only in his nightdress,
Mark hurries by a shorter route to Gethsemane than
that by which the crowd with Judas and the scribes and
Pharisees are marching. From the direction which they
are taking, he knows that they are headed for
Gethsemane, where Jesus is wont to go at ni ...

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