Day 19 of Lent: Spit

Mark 14:65.   Guilty.  Blasphemy.  Jesus when asked if he is the Messiah answered, “I AM.”  And here is the confrontation that is the core issue that elicits faith or ridicule.  “Some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying, ‘Prophesy!’ And the guards received him with blows.”  Unimaginable.  Some spat on him.  Jesus had used spit to create eyes for the blind man but these unbelievers use spit to ridicule.

         Spit, what are some of the idioms of spit.  We say, “Spit it out,” when we are encouraging someone to say something that is hard for them to divulge.  We say, “He is the spitting image of his father,” as if the child spewed forth into life looking just like the parent.  “Spit and polish” implies a thorough cleaning and shining as with soldiers.  Tevya in fiddler on the roof used the idiom, “if you spit into the wind, it will hit you in the face,” meaning to be doing something futile.  “I spit on your grave,” is a statement of total distain.  Some spit on Jesus and yelled at him to prophesy.  They ridiculed that man who had been healing them.  How fickle we are, even today.

         A popular song a couple years back that resulted in a movie was “I Can Only Imagine.”  The writer sees his alcoholic father transformed by belief in Jesus, the I AM.  Son and father are reunited as the father is dying of cancer.  The son then writes the song imagining his father’s response when meeting Jesus in death.  “Will I fall on my knees?  Will I yell hallelujah?  Will I be able to talk at all?  I can only imagine.”  How do we respond to Jesus’ claim to be God?

         Our society is so polarized now that we have become a bit numb to the humiliation and dehumanization we do to people we disagree with.  Our demonstrations, turned riots and looting, turned to murder are a national scandal. It is so easy to dehumanize those we disagree with.  The Lenten story presents the ugliness of this process of hate and calls us to look into our hearts as we interact and respond to those with whom we do not agree.  This brief scene presents two options.  Jesus does not retaliate.  Some spit.  May we have the courage to follow the Jesus example.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: