I used to love playing marbles! As a young child my missionary parents dragged me around from one place to another across Canada, so that with our best faces we might win new supporters and visit the old. Marbles…were my only salvation in many of those visits. Young child, as I was, forcing down a rather nasty dinner meal(Because thats what MK’s do, ‘shut up and swallow’.) that was followed with a comparatively nauseating discussion…always had me wishing I was just playing marbles.
I identify with what must be the frustration of Jesus as he holds up this beautiful visionary view of the entire universe, and his friend is like “just play marbles. . .just come down to earth. . .just get practical.” I view the Pharisees as the “just get practical” voice in Jesus’ life many times. He would cast some beautific vision of the Kingdom of God and the Pharisees would comment on what he and his disciples ate for lunch that day (or WHO they ate with).
Remember that Supertramp song:
. . .And then they sent me away To teach me how to be sensible. . .logical. . .responsible, practical. And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable. . .clinical. . .intellectual, cynical.
Oh that we could all play with marbles that way. . .
I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to hold back his power as he slowly realized he was a god. The gnostic gospel of Thomas apparently has him striking some kid dead. And later, in the approved gospels, he cursed a fig tree to wither because it had not fruit.