In the Gospel of Mark, when Jesus commands his disciples to keep watch, the biblical writer is drawing upon a broader system of terminology in Scripture that stresses vigilance at all hours–even at midnight, when most are people are sleeping–through the study of Scripture:
When I remember you on my bed, I meditate on you in the night watches, for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. But those who seek my life to destroy it, will go into the depths of the earth. They will be delivered over to the power of the sword; they will be a prey for foxes. (Psalm 63:6-10)
The imagery in Psalm 63, and by extension, in Mark 14, plays on the idea of keeping watch as a defense against danger, but the manner of defense is not that of a soldier standing guard at midnight, but of a studious disciple meditating upon the Lord’s instruction at all times, so as to remain steadfast in the moment of truth.
And he said to Peter: “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour?” (14:37)
Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Mark 14:32-42.
Episode 200 Mark 14:32-42; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “Mesmerize” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com (http://incompetech.com/)) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/