I’ve heard it too many times | 3rd space, pt. 2

I’ve heard it too many times | 3rd space, pt. 2 May 17, 2022

I’ve heard it too many times, especially in the church world. “It should just take a couple of years.” I’ve seen very similar plans recently.

In the previous article, I shared the idea of a 3rd space, referring to 1) regular places for teaching (i.e. Temple, Synagogue, etc.), 2) homes of a prominent leader, and then 3) the suggestion that outside is a 3rd space, at least as Mark recounts the emergence of the ministries of John the Baptist and Jesus.

Do people create a 3rd space or a 3rd order? CLICK HERE

Ministry in outdoor settings on such a grand scale is not seen since the Minor Prophets (The Twelve), at least not to my knowledge. Perhaps it’s time to sign up for an Intertestamental Course with my Old Testament professor from Asbury as she suggested.

i. Let me further illustrate with a recent outdoor excursion including an unexpected meeting along the way, at least on my part

ii. Ashley, Mateo’s girlfriend, really loved the times I took pics with the aperture adjustment

iii. Here’s me with the times; just 5 minutes ahead because I’m a pacesetter, refusing drinks from the ladies at the van with the cooler

They were witchy anyway. I had to pray about some of the ideas they were developing or weaving for a couple days, but nobody was really there to talk to me about that!

It sounded like either half truths, or privileged information. I’m often not sure with the offices I’ve held over time.

Let me back down from the above statements.

a) there is a difference between discerning and divining

One is led by the Holy Spirit. The other is picked up, sort of like Bluetooth or WIFI, but it is picked up nonetheless, and that is what clairvoyance or divining is like. Were they divining or discerning? Ultimately God will tell.

b) is there 1 spiritual realm for Christians and separate spiritual realms for every other faith?

I truly believe the answer is a resounding no!

I’m in another chapter in Mark. If you want a new way to interpret the whole Gospel, and it’s not quite IBS, then may I suggest grad school. There are a lot of new grants with our current administration.

Mark shares snippets of what transpires on the Mount of Transfiguration, and afterwards Jesus and the Inner Circle descend to where the rest of His entourage is (Mark ix). I certainly won’t share all of the conversation I had during these moments either.

Nonetheless, spiritual truths were displayed and taught.

About the same spiritual realm, let me ask this. Is it possible Jesus is operating at a higher level (or something like it) and is quite capable of dealing with the issue of the day?

Is He able to overcome when others can’t seem to?

Is He able to turn around and instruct as if nothing major had transpired?

The language of the Passage at the bottom of the hike remains hotly debated since the ancient manuscripts of Mark were discovered.

Perhaps we are merely searching for a formula, but asking the wrong questions of the Text.

c) are there chameleons, so to speak?

Are there people who operate almost like double-agents, but who definitely are Christians?

Let’s think about some of the miracles of Christ. Some of his works seem a little like things we would question in other ages. Here are some examples.

What about the time he spits in the dirt, makes mud, pokes it in someone’s eyes, asks the guy to wash twice, and heals him of blindness?

How about the time he tells Peter to cast a line, reel it in, open the fish’s mouth, pull out the coin, and pay the taxes?

Is it strange that the thunder calls to Him in this chapter and at His baptism?

These seem like stories from the middle ages or Tolkien’s New Zealand settings; good or bad; Disney-esque or Brothers Grimm; you choose.

If Jesus is not a chameleon of sorts or camouflaged, why in the world are the well-respected religious leaders trying to figure Him out at every turn all the way through His public ministry?

iv. Mateo & Ashley on the back door of the 8 mile hike


The ladies in the van showed me the development plans on the white map with the black lines.

There’ll be a small bridge in the near future for me to cross over to 3-11.

They’ve already got land to put a bigger parking lot on.

They pointed along the way and asked “Now do you see that little white house we’ve got?” They are going to put in real restrooms!

I’m not sure what type of people they’ll host there.

They said again and again as they described the plans with the map and in dialogue, “We’ve already got the land – white house – bridge area, etc.,” or, “We’ve already got the funding.”

Then they lowered the boom in the discussion toward the end.

“It should just take a couple of years.”

When I heard that, my heart sank, because I’ve heard it too many times, especially in the church world, and I’ve seen very similar plans recently.

v. How about something to drink?

Then to make up for my obvious disappointment, they offered me something to drink.

I could feel my face turn warm as I blushed and refused politely.

Who knows if they were witchy or councilwomen, or players at a much higher level?

Then they said we have waters, or a Dr Pepper, or how about Mtn Dews?

Now my guard was fully down. Again I refused thinking of times passed when those very drinks were refreshing for Crystal and me.

And yet there I stood, disappointed because I’m the only one having these conversations, but at least I caught a picture of their van.

vi. Further thoughts

Once again, don’t look for a lot from Mark. It’s not the way he chooses to write.

I really want to discuss the 3rd space idea, but the line is really thin from this point forward between Eschatological 3rd spaces and actual 3rd spaces, like the foothills in chapter 9.

This is one of the reasons why I am hesitant to talk about the whole conversation I had as well.

a) just look at the bumper stickers on the van

There are so many hints there of people who have held strong opinions about me, those I care about in my past, or simply about certain people groups in general. I also know that for a couple of women traveling across the countryside, there are various ways to signal to others to back off. Nonetheless, I won’t share further details.

Mark and the Disciples could share further details as well. They could stand around asking why and go into that discussion.
What have we not done right?
Jesus points them forward in their practices, and does not chide them for where they are or their trajectory thus far.

b) thank you hope

Paul says that from everlasting to everlasting faith, hope, and charity will remain, or at least that’s how many scholars interpret 1 Corinthians xiii.13.

In other words, we will always have our faith in God. It’s far beyond belief. This is the stuff of creeds.

We will always have hope, because there will always be surprises for eyes to see and ears to hear (1 Corinthians ii.9).

Of course, perfect love in all its forms remains.

c) yet why did my heart sink when I heard that it will only take a couple of years?

I’m working on it. I don’t know, but thank you hope.

I have scored very strongly on strategic leadership tests. I’m sometimes counted as an idea man, someone who can cast a vision on a dime, a dreamer, etc. I’m not sure if people are mixing metaphors at times, but I have seen some of my ideas materialize right in front of me as God has given me oversight of people. Thank you hope.

Of course that is, if I’m not dealing with a tophatter, someone who represents another’s vested interests and who tries to sway my vision (usually the other person being someone in the background or someone I don’t know) with a lot of money. If that is the case, then to all of the tophatters I’ve come in contact with, and I can name a few who have scuttled the ship at times…
thank you false hope for increasing my street smarts?

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs xiii.12

d) there are hard sayings of Christ in the following chapters, on the approach to the passion

He predicts His passion, much to the dismay of the Disciples. Thank you hope.

He teaches about the difficulty of bringing one’s riches into the Kingdom of Heaven. At the time of this writing, Russian ships are blocking shipping lanes for grain and corn from Ukraine. Ukraine, the world’s greatest producer of wheat must get these riches to Africa. Some African countries rely solely on Ukraine for this sustenance. Both NATO and the UN are doing everything possible to intervene short of WWIII. God grant us hope.

He teaches about the greatest in the Kingdom, once again recasting our preconceived notions of everlasting Christian judgment. Thank you hope.

He teaches a couple times on divorce and even on the second time around. Thank you hope.

There seems to be no rule of thumb in this north camp of the Galilean countryside. Facing the woods at times, I imagine it’s difficult to continue to ward off questionable powers that be. Nonetheless, Jesus not only teaches well, He offers unspeakable hope and displays power in His ministry that fits like a well made baseball glove, as He criss-crosses the land in His mobile office. His life and ministry in action is a bright example for us, unique to Mark’s narrative. Thank you hope.

e) Mark shares times with Jesus in a 3rd space, along the way

As I look at my life, many times this is where I find myself in dialogue. It’s often an unexpected chat. It used to cause concern and quite honestly a little anxiety. Now I believe I’m adjusting a little better, knowing that along the way (outside of the visible functions of my offices) there are moments of consultation and a free exchange of wisdom.

At times I have found a 3rd space in-between denominations or fellowships as well.

When I say free exchange, I usually mean it. I’m usually the one doing the volunteering in these venues. If one can truly store up treasure in Heaven, then I’m going to be one of the wealthiest men, at least that’s how I see the other country, the other side.

I wonder why people feel like they can talk to me…
or consult with me…
and why me on my own?
It is a lonely place.

* I’m really sorry I didn’t get better pics of Ashley, but she told me Crystal did.

Browse Our Archives

Close Ad