Here's a great example of how the teachings of The Urantia Book help all seekers to understand and make better sense of the Scripture narratives of the Master's life. This article tells the story of a young man who Urantia Book readers know as John Mark: A lesson from the disciple of Jesus who ran away naked by Terrance Klein. Up until the arrival of The Urantia Book this young man's identity has been a mystery...and that's not all. We'll blog about John Mark below, but first, a snip from the article:
"But who is the unnamed, young follower of Jesus? He is seized in what we would call his underwear, and he gladly leaves it behind, running away naked, in great fear of his life. It is such a personal detail. The sort of thing that only an eyewitness—more than an eye-witness—the principal actor himself, one still suffering from the shame of it, would remember. Is that why Matthew and Luke excise the passage? Is it too personal, more like an individual confession that does nothing to move their own stories forward?
"This might mean that the author of Mark's Gospel, at least of this scene, is the young man who was there that night and who must remember, in all the years that follow, the personal shame of knowing that he himself abandoned his Lord in the decisive moment. He was found wanting. His naked, young body was not the only thing laid bare that night. So was the depth of his discipleship."
Click to read the article
Mark 14:50 tells the story of this dramatic event in the Bible; but it is only three sentences long. No wonder people have pondered over this for all these centuries...what a dramatic story, and one that begs for more details!
In The Urantia Book, we get the whole story. It is contained in the section of Paper 183 called The Master's Arrest, which you can read in its entirety HERE.
The pertinent details follow here:
183:3.9 When Jesus had been bound, the captain, fearing that the followers of the Master might attempt to rescue him, gave orders that they be seized; but the soldiers were not quick enough since, having overheard the captain's orders to arrest them, Jesus' followers fled in haste back into the ravine. All this time John Mark had remained secluded in the near-by shed. When the guards started back to Jerusalem with Jesus, John Mark attempted to steal out of the shed in order to catch up with the fleeing apostles and disciples; but just as he emerged, one of the last of the returning soldiers who had pursued the fleeing disciples was passing near and, seeing this young man in his linen coat, gave chase, almost overtaking him. In fact, the soldier got near enough to John to lay hold upon his coat, but the young man freed himself from the garment, escaping naked while the soldier held the empty coat. John Mark made his way in all haste to David Zebedee on the upper trail. When he had told David what had happened, they both hastened back to the tents of the sleeping apostles and informed all eight of the Master's betrayal and arrest.
183:3.10 At about the time the eight apostles were being awakened, those who had fled up the ravine were returning, and they all gathered together near the olive press to debate what should be done. In the meantime, Simon Peter and John Zebedee, who had hidden among the olive trees, had already gone on after the mob of soldiers, guards, and servants, who were now leading Jesus back to Jerusalem as they would have led a desperate criminal. John followed close behind the mob, but Peter followed afar off. After John Mark's escape from the clutch of the soldier, he provided himself with a cloak which he found in the tent of Simon Peter and John Zebedee. He suspected the guards were going to take Jesus to the home of Annas, the high priest emeritus; so he skirted around through the olive orchards and was there ahead of the mob, hiding near the entrance to the gate of the high priest's palace.
Who was John Mark?
Not only was John Mark the young man whose cloak was snatched, leaving him to run away naked...John Mark was also the author of the Gospel of Mark. The Urantia Book tells us that this gospel "was the written basis of all subsequent Gospel narratives which sought to portray the life and teachings of Jesus."
John Mark was present during much of Jesus public ministry, being first introduced to us in the story of the loaves and fishes when he was about 16 years-old. He accompanied the Master and the apostles throughout the remainder of their work.
We have compiled a collection of entries from The Life and Teachings of Jesus that include John Mark. It is a great introduction to this most interesting young man and his family, who played quite a large part in Jesus later ministry.
Please click to read our study on John Mark
And for another story about John Mark and Jesus from that long-ago Holy Week, please see "One Day Alone With God."
As is so often the case, the teachings of The Urantia Book in Part IV: The Life and Teachings of Jesus serve to assist any truthseeker - any follower of Jesus - to make full sense of the Biblical accounts of the Master's life. In countless cases, the Bible stories are fleshed out with detail, color, and context. The Bible truly comes alive when read in companionship with The Urantia Book.
And the story of John Mark is only one such instance...how many will you find?