Fri, 19 January 2018
(2Sm.1:1-4,11-12,19,23-27; Ps.80:2-7; Mk.3:20-21)
“They mourned and wept and fasted until evening
for Saul and his son Jonathan.”
For David’s leading his men in mourning for Saul, it might have been said of him what was said of Jesus: “He is out of His mind.” But even to the end David proves himself sincere in his respect for God’s anointed, even slaying the man who claims to have dispatched the king upon Saul’s request (after he had dealt himself a mortal wound). David is not anxious to claim the throne for himself, as so many around him suppose he should be. Like Christ, he does not grasp at what is his, but continually humbles himself before his Lord and God, and waits and accepts the will of the Father.
And so David weeps and fasts for the man who forever sought his life. And so he is given “tears to drink in ample measure.” And so he cries with the Israelites, “fed with the bread of tears” at the death of their king. Jonathan, David truly loved. He was indeed better to him than any brother or any lover. For him his tears are understandable. Jonathan repeatedly saved David’s life, to the point of provoking the wrath of his father against himself. But there is no explanation for his love of Saul, other than the Lord loved him and had blessed him. And so, David’s love is as the love of God. His tears fall from on high.
And what shall we say of our gospel today? Jesus and His disciples are so pressed upon by the crowds of people, they made it “impossible for them to get any food whatever.” We should remember this situation when we consider the Lord’s family coming to “take charge of Him.” We should understand their concern for His health when we interpret their statement that “He is out of His mind.” They mean not that He is insane, but that He needs someone to look after His temporal needs, lest He tax Himself overmuch.
But the Lord’s strength, like David’s love, also comes from on high – it is not earthly. And His work is His food, and the Father will take care. His mourning and weeping and fasting and dying for us is blessed by His Father, and will bear fruit unto His kingship in heaven. If He did not live by the standards of heaven, there would be no hope for our salvation, for why should He die for sinners such as us, other than it is the Father’s love?
O LORD, your love for us goes beyond reason,
beyond the death we deserve for our sin.
YHWH, your Son must be out of His mind for loving us as intensely as He does. Why should He so forget Himself for those who have betrayed Him, those who have sought His life? We ask this day: Why did David mourn over Saul, and why does Jesus die on the Cross?
He spends Himself for our sakes, obedient to your will in all things, sacrificing Himself for those you would save. And He cares not that those for whom He prays, those whom He heals by a word from His mouth, shall turn upon Him on the day you have assigned. He desires only what you desire, dear God: that your wayward children shall not perish.
As for a brother He gives Himself; members of your family He would make us. With us He has been fed with the bread of tears, and from these He comes to rescue our souls. O LORD, let us not drown in the surrounding sadness! Let us rise from our fall with Him.