Mark 1:6 Commentary - Mr. D's Notes on Selected New Testament Books by Stanley Derickson6 And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;
Okay, the clothes I can put up with but never the diet! John, how could you set such a disgusting example for us? This diet sounds like the diet my doctor wants me to follow - low fat, low salt and low sugar. I often comment that the doctor has me on a Styrofoam and water diet, but that is rather exaggerating it to me.
Life Application Bible states that John chose this sort of clothing to separate from the religious leaders of the day. I would challenge this line of thought and suggest that he was wearing what he could afford to wear. Many of God's servants dress a little less than the norm due to lack of money to dress as their followers would have them dress.
Taken to task once because I wore a sweater and cowboy boots instead of a suit with my nice shirt and tie, I often attempt to dress as best I can but I do not take the opinions of the religious leaders of how I dress. I wear that which I can afford and do not attempt to make myself something I am not - as many seem to do.
Locust and wild honey! Everyone knows honey is not to be eaten unless it is prepared properly and out of a plastic container! Locust is even worse. Years ago the Midwest was pleasured with a super abundance of grasshoppers. They were thick as a cloud at times in the air and as you drove down the highway you could hear the crunching under the wheels. The cars were literally covered with the dead grasshoppers. I can't imagine too many Americans wanting to eat one of those things much less have them for a steady diet.
The authorities relate that the locust blow into Israel on a fairly regular basis and that they are eaten by many. There are many ways to prepare them for eating including roasted, salted, fried in butter, and raw. Our taste in America is much different than many other peoples of the world.
While in the Navy I served as a Shore Patrolman from time to time. When in Hong Kong our area to cover was rather out of the way and in the middle of a market. I could not believe what people were actually willing to pay for to take home and eat. The hamburger at the end of the shift was much appreciated, though I wondered what might have been in it.
A. T. Robertson relates that the people of this area even today collect wild honey and sell it for a living.
I have read that there was a plant that had an edible meat on it that they think might have been what Mark had in mind, though the accounts of yearly migrations of locust make me think the footed finger food might be the more likely.One might wonder at the attire and diet of John, and one might wonder if it were not the result of his total rejection of the world system of his time, and a total reliance upon the Lord for provision. After all, the Lord promises provision of needs to the birds of the air, but that involves living in nests in trees and eating bugs and worms.
There is one story that must be shared. When teaching we were on a very limited support and many times our budget for food was quite small. We ate what we could afford and enjoyed timely gifts from the Lord. One year we were allowed to glean a potato field and those small red potatoes were so great when fried. Later in the year someone donated cases and cases of eggs to the school. For weeks we had eggs three meals a day. The question was not what do you want for dinner; it was how would you like your eggs.
All of this calls up the point of what do we really need to survive this life. Do we need the cars the appliances, the houses, the clothes and all that other stuff, or could we do with a considerable amount less? Might we consider John's lifestyle and wonder at our own and even maybe reconsider our own a little while?
Camel's hair and skins: What can be said of this? Not too much. He wore camel skins and skins around his waist. Kind of like a caveman. Hope I did not just make the same mistake GEICO made :-)
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Mr. D's Notes on Selected New Testament Books by Stanley Derickson
Rev. Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. Copyright 2006
Used by Permission.