The first passage in Mark chapter 14 is speaking about rendering to Jesus the special gift He has given us. It also displays how the religious leaders had moved from simply wanting to trap Jesus with His words to wanting Him outright dead. Mark reveals the dramatic account with Mary pouring out a large amount of expensive perfume upon the feet of Jesus. Then Judas reveals his heart in estimating that this lavish expression of love and devotion is worth a year’s wage for an average man. Mary was compelled to show Jesus and act of love and immense generosity, demonstrating her devotion to Him and how much He meant to her.
We have seen all along the course of the study of the Gospel of Mark that the disciples often got worked up and agitated with the people. Once again, here we see their indignation over Mary’s generosity. She’s given too much to Jesus. They protest her foolishness.
But how does Jesus respond to Mary’s actions?
Jesus Comforts Mary
Jesus rebukes His disciples, telling them to leave her alone! He testifies that she has performed a good deed. Here is a side of Jesus that is being both gentle and firm at the same time. How I wish when brothers and sisters moan against me that Jesus would tell them to leave me alone!. This deed of Mary was forever broadcast, too, by being including in the work of Mark. Nearly the whole world and every generation since the gathering of the canon has heard of this remarkable event and remembers her. Out of God’s goodness, whenever we honor Him, He will honor us.
Read Mark 14:12-31.
Jesus Fulfills the Passover
We can see in this passage that Jesus isn’t doing away with the Passover, He is celebrating it. He doesn’t command the Jews to stop being Jewish. Rather, He is fulfilling and revealing at every turn that He is the fulfillment of the Law. From that moment on, the Passover would be celebrated in a new way, as communion.
What startling announcement does Jesus make as they begin to partake of communion and what it the significance of Him saying that right then?
There is a traitor in the midst. But Jesus is not worried. He shows them He is in total control. By exposing the dirty deed of the traitor, Jesus is perhaps giving one last chance for the betrayer to repent. Jesus knows that in order to conquer our sins, they must be exposed.
The Disciples of Jesus were Insecure
Look at the response of the disciples. They were unsuspecting of Judas and insecure in their own positions, each one asking Jesus if it was them. And soon each one would know the dark hour of the soul as they would suffer in the agony of Christ’s death. To understand the extent of turmoil, Jesus didn’t just die an easy death before them, His death was brutal.
Looking at the actions of Judas, which were foreknown to his Creator even before he was ever born. But Judas was solely responsible for his actions. The all-knowingness of God doesn’t nullify personal responsibility for one’s decisions. So, God’s Sovereignty causes Him to be free and meaningful. It also causes our actions to be free and meaningful. Everything we do.
Before moving on, notice verse 26. I think it’s amazing that Mark shares with us here that after breaking bread they sang a hymn. There is significance in this!
Jesus’ Predictions in Mark 14
Jesus predicts both His death and resurrection in chapter 14. He also predicts restoration. What will be anew in the kingdom of Heaven at this time? Our celebration and fellowship with Him in His presence!
If they hadn’t been shocked to hear there was a traitor amongst them, in verse 27 Jesus foretells His disciples they will all desert Him as prophesied in Zechariah 13:7. Not one would remain faithful. Then, in verse 28 He lets them know they will all be reunited in Galilee. In other words, His love is so far-reaching that He won’t forsake them. Yet they each one insist they won’t forsake Him.
I find it unbelievable that they would doubt His word. Have you ever done something so wrong or sinful that surprised you? Something you never thought was possible for you to do? And have you ever seen the Lord graciously step in to reunite you to Himself?
Why do you think Peter, and us as well, fail to carry out our allegiance to the Lord sometimes?
-We overestimate our abilities, even though we mean well.
-We underestimate the abilities of the enemy coming against us.
-We must rely on God to see us through.
So don’t be self-reliant! Always stay connected to Jesus, allowing the flow of the Holy Spirit between you and Him to keep fluid!
Read Mark 14:32-52.
The Humanity of Jesus
I find this a revealing passage into the humanity of Jesus. I also see how the flesh can hold us from the good God has in store for us. What four things do we learn from this passage?
1-Jesus reveals that His soul is deeply distressed to the point of death. He understands humanity and all our hurts and weaknesses. He is able to empathize and have mercy. See verses 33 and 34.
2-Jesus felt a need to share His burden with His loved ones, and He wanted their supporting presence.
3-His disciples were incapable of physically or spiritually supporting Him. See verses 40 and 41.
4-He responds to His human desires through prayer, also He encourages His disciples to pray. It is legitimate for people to pray about things they want and need, including alternate routes as long as we ask for God’s will to be done in the matter. Look at verse 36.
Now read Mark 52-65.
Jesus Charged with Blasphemy
Here we look into the prosecution of Jesus. His trial was full of injustice. And it’s grievous to read, being righteous. The prosecutors were forcing and twisting evidence so they might condemn Him to a Roman death, which was the most gruesome and cruel and humiliating way to die in the Roman Empire.
When asked if He is the Christ, how does Jesus reply and what is the significance?
He says, “I am,” knowing full well that the Jews will charge Him with blasphemy. But Jesus must speak the truth. It was the hour of truth, the truth that brought Him to Jerusalem. The high priest doesn’t even dare to evaluate the claim. He wants Jesus dead. He wants the Roman authorities to believe Jesus is a threat to peace and that He is a rival king.
Read Mark 14:66-72.
Peter Denies Jesus
This chapter ends by covering the fulfillment of Jesus’ prediction against Peter. He denies Jesus, abandoning Him not once, but three times. There is significance in this.
Why do you think Mark mentions Peter’s denial alone, when Jesus predicted all of them would forsake Him?
Here’s more validation that Mark wrote under the influence of Peter. And Mark gives a more detailed account of this denial than the other three gospels. This was also due to the influence of Peter, no doubt. We know Peter was impetuous. But Mark includes that Peter was the first disciple called by Jesus back in chapter 1, and that he was the first one to recognize that Jesus was the Messiah in Caesarea Philippi. Here we see he is the first one to deny Jesus.
The story of Peter’s discipleship doesn’t end here, though. We know that Jesus called him the Rock back in Caesarea Philippi. And that Peter was the rock that Jesus was going to build his church upon. You and I are living testament that this indeed did happen. Have you taken a long fall recently? Did it alienate you from your Maker? Run to His throne and fall at His feet, wiping them with your costly and precious tears. Admit your shortcomings. Bring them into the light, then faster then you can blink, they will fade away in the light of Him!
Written by Jori Sams
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…