The Way - Day 105 (Mark 14)

Daily Reading:
Mark 14
Don't forget to journal in your Foundations Book!
Daily Reading Audio Commentary:
Today's Question or Action Step:
Repetition is a rabbinical method of teaching to emphasize a point.  What point is Mark trying to make in verses 32-42?  There could be two, identify them both.  How does this motivate you or cause concern for your spiritual walks?
Weekly Memory Verse(s):
OPTION 1: Psalm 34:8
OPTION 2: Proverbs 15:1-2
OPTION 3: Matthew 5:43-44
Further Study Resources:
Study Guide for Mark 14 (Enduring Word - David Guzik)
Pastor Tom's Journal on Today's Reading:
Mark 14:1-11
In the final three chapters of Mark he documents Jesus' final days on earth before He was crucified on the cross. Mark 14 begins by bringing the readers to the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Passover celebrated Israel's deliverance from the death of the firstborn when they were under Egyptian bondage (Exodus 12-13). Following this plague God had sent upon the Egyptians, the Israelites were released by Pharaoh and every generation of Israel celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread as a remembrance of their escape. Both of these feasts were recognized every year thereafter and people would return to Jerusalem to be a part of reflecting on God's goodness to the nation of Israel. Jesus and many of His followers had returned to Jerusalem to commemorate these feasts, but Mark says that the chief priests and scribes were still plotting how they could kill Jesus (14:1). They decided to wait until after the feast to pursue Jesus because there were large crowds gathered in Jerusalem and the religious leaders feared a riot (14:2).

In Mark 14:3-9 he reflects back to an incident which took place the previous Saturday. He writes that Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper (14:3). As He is sitting at a table a woman named Mary (John 12:3), who is the sister of Martha and Lazarus, breaks a flask of expensive oil pouring out its contents onto the head of Jesus. This action was a sign of her love and commitment to the Lord. Some of the disciples (John reveals Judas as the culprit) became angry that she had wasted this costly oil on Jesus because it could have been sold and the money given to the poor (14:4-5). But Jesus speaks up and says, "Let her alone...She has done a good work for me...She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial (14:6-8). Although Mary probably was not aware of the symbolism her anointing carried, her act of worship came to represent the soon death and burial of Jesus Christ.
Following on an act of worship, Mark records an act of deceit. "Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them. And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. So he sought how he might conveniently betray Him" (14:10-11). In essence, Judas was looking for a time when Jesus was away from the crowds so he could betray Him into the hands of the so-called religious people of Jesus' day.

There is a very identifiable contrast between Mary and Judas. One loved Jesus with all her heart, but the other was only close with Him for what he could this case, money. Judas claimed to be a follower, but his actions demonstrated something different. How about you? Are your actions worship or betrayal?

Mark 14:12-25
The disciples and Jesus were in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, which was an eight day event. In preparation for the Passover, Jesus commanded two of the disciples to go and prepare the place where they would celebrate the Passover (14:12-15). The two disciples found the place which was located in the upper room of a guest house and later in the evening Jesus and the rest of the disciples joined them (14:16-17). As they were eating, Jesus said "Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eats with Me will betray Me" (14:18). All the disciples became "sorrowful" and began to inquire who this person would be (14:19). Jesus answers, "It is one of the twelve, who dips with Me in the dish" (14:20). Judas was probably sitting close to Jesus dipping his bread in the same dish. Jesus goes on to warn this person who would soon betray Him, "Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born" (14:21). Following this stern warning, Jesus takes the bread, blesses and breaks it saying, "Take, eat; this is my body" (14:22). Then Jesus takes the cup, gives it to them, and they each drink from it (14:23). Jesus proclaims, "This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many" (14:24). In this moment, Jesus transformed the meaning of the Passover Feast. In the time of Moses and the Israelites, the innocent lamb was slain in each home so that the firstborn would be saved from death. Jesus was now claiming that He was the innocent lamb of God which would be slain for mankind's deliverance from sin. His death would bring us life. In this moment, Jesus was declaring this the final Passover meal and that He would not drink with them again until the beginning of the millennial kingdom. Until this time, they were now to celebrate the Lord's Supper (or Communion) as a remembrance of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross which brought all those who would believe forgiveness of sin and eternal life (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). Today take some time to thank God for providing His Son, Jesus Christ, as the Deliverer from our sin.
Dear God, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, to offer forgiveness to all those who will believe in Him. Remind me often of His sacrifice.

Mark 14:26-42
Jesus had just revealed that one of His disciples would betray Him (Mark 14:17-21) and now things turn more sorrowful as Jesus also prophesies that all of His disciples will abandon Him (14:27). Peter is quick to speak up and declares, "Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be" (14:29). I believe Peter really thought he could withstand any opposition, but Jesus knew otherwise and Jesus said to Peter, "Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times" (14:30). Becoming more adamant about his loyalty to Jesus, Peter declared "If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!" All of the disciples agreed with Peter and confessed their wholehearted commitment to Christ (14:31). Little did they know that in just a few shorts hours, Jesus words would become true.

The disciples and Jesus arrive at the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus enters in to pray. Jesus takes Peter, James, and John with Him inside the garden where "He began to be troubled and deeply distressed" (14:33). Jesus walks a little further into the garden, falls down, and "prayed that if were possible, the hour might pass from Him." Jesus goes on to pray, "Abba [means daddy], Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will" (14:36). Jesus knew that His death was required to satisfy the wrath of God upon sin. But, He also felt the tremendous weight of all of man's sin upon Himself and was asking God if there was any other way to forgive sin. Although this mission was a heavy one to bear, Jesus prayed that God's will would be accomplished even if that meant He had to die.

After feeling this burden, Jesus finds Peter, James, and John sleeping so He calls out and warns them to stay alert (14:37). The disciples did not understand what was about to happen and were not aware of the spiritual attack which was getting ready to take place. Instead of sleeping, they should have been praying for strength. Jesus goes away again to pray but when He returns the disciples are asleep (14:39-40). A third time Jesus goes to pray and returns to find them asleep (14:41). This time Jesus says, "Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand" (14:41-42). This event should be a warning to every believer who feels strong enough to withstand the spiritual battles which take place around us each day. Like the disciples, we feel as if we would do anything for the sake of Christ; however, most of us are too weak without even knowing it. We need God's power upon our lives in order to stand up against the forces of evil and prayer is the weapon which provides the strength to endure these times of temptation and trial. May God help all of us to seek His strength through prayer so we can accomplish His will for daily life.

Mark 14:43-72
As Jesus was speaking to Peter, James, and John in the Garden of Gethsemane, Judas appears with "a great multitude with swords and clubs...from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders" (14:43). Judas proceeded to kiss Jesus singling Him out as the one and they immediately took Him captive (14:44-48). It was at this time that Mark also records that all of Jesus' disciples abandoned Him as He had said in 14:27. The mob leads Jesus away to the home of the high priest and Peter follows at a distance (14:53-54). The council begins to question Jesus looking for some reason to put Him to death, but they found none (14:55-60). The high priest finally asked Jesus directly, "Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" Jesus responded by saying, "I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven" (14:61-62). The high priest became upset and accused Jesus of blasphemy because He claimed to be the promised Messiah. All those who were listening agreed that He should be put to death and they began spitting on Him and beating Him (14:64-65). Mark switches back to Peter, who is watching all this take place from afar, where people begin to question his association with Jesus. Three times someone accused him of being one of Jesus' followers, but each time he denied it more vehemently (14:66-71). On his third denial, the rooster crowed and Peter remembered Jesus words to Him in Mark 14:30. When Peter thought about this, the Bible says that he wept (14:72). I know all those who follow Christ can identify with Peter in this circumstance. I truly believed Peter loved Jesus with all his heart, but overestimated how far he would go for the sake of Christ. Many of us feel committed to do the work of God in our daily lives, but when serving Him results in persecution there is some hesitation on our part. We should be honest with ourselves and guard against overconfidence in our own spiritual strength. Jesus told His disciples that the key to spiritual strength was through prayer and I believe we must throw our dependence on God each day by confessing our need for Him.

Dear God, I need Your strength today as trials and persecutions may come my way. Help me to withstand each with Your power and that my confidence would be in You, not myself.