“A tragedy is when the hero comes face to face with his true identity.” — Aristotle as explained by Mike Rowe
Jesus is the antithesis of Aristotle’s hero. He didn’t have a fatal flaw that would lead to his downfall (in most Greek tragedies it is hubris). He walked this earth humbly, acting as a servant to all. He was without pride. He lived a flawless life.
Neither did he have a fall from greatness. He didn’t go from living in a palace with riches to a poor homeless state. But in a way he did, however, it was a choice to “empty” himself by coming to Earth (Philippians 2.7). He left the heavenly realm, seated at the right hand of the Father, and put on human flesh as a baby. Satan fell from heaven; Jesus stepped down. So he misses that category as well.
But the third characteristic, “face to face with his true identity”, describes perfectly the final situation where the Three Musketeers are together. The story takes place textually in Mark 14 and geographically in the Garden of Gethsemene. The disciples are with Jesus as they enter the garden. Then he gives the twelve an order to remain there while he goes to pray. (32). He takes Peter, James, and John deeper into the garden with him. (33). They could tell that Jesus was under stress. As a side note, Mark was a traveling companion of Peter in the book of Acts. Most would argue that Mark’s book is really a collection of Peter’s sermons. That would make some sense as to how Mark knew some of these things. As it is pertinent here, Peter recounts the duress that Jesus is under on their little hike.
Going on a little farther, he turns to the Three and says: “stay here and keep watch?” Jesus knew that soon a mob would be coming to arrest him. The word translated “keep watch” is the same way a guy watches over his household. So it has physicality to it, however, later on Jesus would explain the reason he wanted them awake: to pray for strength against temptation. (38) Three times Jesus goes away to pray and all three times he returns to find them sleeping.
“Simon…”, he walks them up by saying Peters name. Two times in Mark is a proper noun spoken by Jesus and both of them are used of Peter. The first is just after Peter confesses Christ. Jesus says he must suffer and die. Peter rebukes him and Jesus says, “Get behind me Satan…”. The second is here. This too is not a good situation. Peter is being called out.
Jesus knew that this wasn’t the end for these three. They would combine to write 8 books of the New Testament, preach on two continents, and die as either martyrs or in exile. This was prep time for the future. Jesus knew the more you bleed in training the less you bleed in battle.
Secondly, Jesus knew what lay beforehand him. He prayed the cup would be passed from him. For the rest of the book, his death was always down the road aways. Now it was imminent. It lay directly a head of him.
This study shows that the three saw the Power of God in Jesus in Mark 5. It also showed the Presence of God in Jeusu in Mark 9. This final grouping of the three shows the perseverance of Jesus in the plan of God. The three get an in depth look at the petitioning Jesus for God to find another way, but also the willingness of Jesus to trust and follow.
Jesus had always known that he was sent to save the world. On this night that reality was driven home harder because of the nearness of the event. The Three Musketeers, much like D’Artagnan in the Dumas’ novel, saw and got more than they bargained for that night.