Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Disciple Whom Gnostics Hid

The Disciple whom Jesus loved,
Whom we presume wrote John;
‘Twas John’s name on Revelation,
A writer of Hebrew, Greek and Latin.
Classical Greek and Latin phrases
Are found in Peter’s letters;
What scribe accompanied Peter,
Who might have written better?
There is one man named John,
One of Jerusalem,
Who knew Annas and Caiaphas
Because he worked for them.
The night of Jesus’ arrest
Therein lie ample facts;
Though we must read around
The tamperings and redactions.

So many unnamed people:
“The other Mary,” somebody’s mother?
“A certain youth,” who was this man,
“The other disciple” and “another?”
These latter two were with Jesus,
While Zebedee’s sons, they fled.
When soldiers entered Gethsemane …
They lost their sleepy heads.
“The certain youth” appears,
Wearing priestly white
Of linen like that of Jesus.
Which youth was stripped that night?
Or was one stripped at all?
In the Upper Room was a youth,
Who asked Jesus, “Who will betray?”
“One of the twelve, not you.”
Peter nudged the beloved disciple,
Who had strong ties to Jesus,
Peter ...did he have strong self doubts ...
Like so many of us?

Was there a thirteenth disciple?
Another man named John?
A certain youth, an apostle,
Whom Jesus leaned upon?
Where was the Upper Room?
Clearly, near Gethsemane.
But others place it in south Jerusalem
Which cannot rightly be.
And what of the Virgin Mary’s tomb …
Was it in Ephesus?
No, Mary was interred in Jerusalem.
Has someone lied to us?
If Mary died in Jerusalem …
Did she ever live in Galilee,
Or even visit her sister and nephews …
In the home of Zebedee?

The question that confronts us:
The Disciple whom Jesus loved ...
Was he "the other disciple,"
Is he also "another?"
"Another," "the other" whom Jesus loved
Are they one in the same ...
Who stood before the high priest
To clear Jesus' name?
While Peter, friend of John,
Who fled from Gethsemane,
Stands outside denying Jesus,
Saying, "It wasn't me!"
Would John, the son of Zebedee,
Fare better than the Rock?
Did he confront the high priest ...
While Peter heard the cock?
So, who proceeded to Golgotha,
Which man named John was following?
Not John Mark, exclaims Papias ...
Though Mark indeed was covering ...
Simon of Cyrene,
From North Africa,
As Roman soldiers seized this man,
En route to Golgotha.
Mark wrote every detail,
He, the only man named John,
At Golgotha, 'neath the horrid cross
Jesus was nailed upon.
But early Christian fathers ...
On this were led astray ...
'Twas "John the Presbyter" ...
In the first century ...
Who told Papias of Mark:
"An interpreter," a scribe, a youth ...
That he never heard or followed Jesus ...
But that is not the truth.

Ask yourself why Simon ...
Why is he here in this scene ...
Because he was John Mark's homeboy ...
Both hailing from Cyrene.
Simon was from out of town,
Minding his own business,
Not even among the throng
Hurling insults at Jesus.
And Mary at the Upper Room,
In Jerusalem for Jesus’ ascension,
Her other sons were there for her!
Yes, there are contradictions.
And the all revolve around "others,"
And at Gospel conclusions.
Four gospels and four endings ...
They add to our confusion.
Yes, there are errors, indeed —
Gaps, which make no sense.
How should a Christian answer these?
What should be their defense?
The answer lies with “others” …
“The other disciple,” “the other Mary.”
Despite efforts to hide these two …
Some fingerprints we see.

At Golgotha, they left …
The beloved disciple and Mary …
That very hour Jesus spoke to them.
Did they go to Galilee?
If so, how did "the other disciple"
Run with Peter to the empty tomb?
Did "the other disciple" remain in Jerusalem?
Perhaps, he and Mary got a room.
Or perhaps the John and Mary at Golgotha
Lived in Jerusalem
She, a refugee from Africa.
It was she whom Jesus called "woman."
And her son with Paul a pillar,
A keeper of the documents.
The only John (Mark) Paul places in Ephesus ...
Is he whose face was dark.

If these have been hidden,
And awkwardly at that ...
God's holy word is corrupted
As creation is, in fact.
Which parts therein are true?
Where lies the hidden art?
In parables and poetry,
Too deep for Gnostic hearts.
All knowledge and no art,
No symbolic representations
No metaphors, so we'll understand,
Life's strange machinations.
'Tis bigger than all of us combined ...
Unto infinity
And man's wisdom is foolishness
So he lies and deceives.

Who is "John the Presbyter"?"
Is he also "Prester John"?
And what is so divine ...
About a martyred fisherman?
Presuming John was martyred
As Jesus said he'd be;
Herod held Peter in prison
And beheaded one son of Zebedee?
When did you ever see
These two brothers apart?
Would Jesus have given his back to one ...
And to the other cousin his heart?
And keep in mind that James and John
And Salome were convinced
That Jesus was truly the son of God
Though only nephew and cousin.

There is art here, which reverberates,
And confirms history repeats --
Types, forerunners and Antitypes ...
Of which wrote Simon Peter. ...
But could Peter read and write?
Otherwise, why take John Mark,
Who wrote so beautifully 1 and 2 Peter ...
As he slaved in the dark.
A scholar, a poet, a prodigy ...
In whom Jesus confided
Brilliant, but a man of sorrows,
Hidden and derided.
The one whom Peter called "this man,"
Too impersonal for Zebedee's John;
"This man" was "the disciple whom Jesus loved" ...
Whom "Saint Paul" railed upon.

John Mark, he simply had to leave,
To do as Jesus instructed ...
To look out for his mother in Jerusalem.
Paul killed, and Paul obstructed.
Though surely God forgave him ...
For the good works which Paul did ...
The guilt which plagued Saul also Paul
Caused him to blow his lid.
And there stood three strong pillars
All running for their lives
To flee from persecutors and murderers
And the schemes that they contrive.
And as the last few helpers
Are abandoning Paul
Just Timothy is left
And a man who's getting old.
Paul writes to bring the man
When Timothy comes to Rome
Timothy was in Ephesus
So where was John Mark's home?

… to be continued

— Randall Carter Gray

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