Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus Mark 14:41-50

GOSPEL MEDITATION #231

Mark 14:41-50

Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

  1. Find a quiet place without distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer.
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. In Gethsemane, late at night, so Friday, the Sabbath.
  8. Peter, James, and John still with Jesus when Judas arrives with what was probably the temple guard, a detachment of Roman soldiers assigned to the Temple and under the authority of the high priest.
  9. Present with the soldiers are members of the family of the high priest, scribes (mostly belonging to the party of the Pharisees), and elders (tribal leaders of whatever religious party), thus the leaders of the Sanhedrin.
  10. Judas had given the contingent a sign — a kiss. A kiss would not have been unusual but customary when meeting a leader. (Such is still done today and widely.) Judas, what a bum!
  11. “Why the need for a sign?” is a legitimate question. An answer may be that Jesus did not look different from other men, not different from Peter, James, John, or any of the other disciples. An ordinary looking man. (The image on the Shroud of Turin, which I think is Jesus, is that of an ordinary looking middle eastern man.)
  12. After the kiss, Jesus is seized, to prevent escape. It was likely rough handling.
  13. Someone, and John (18:10) tells us it was Peter, draws a sword and cuts the ear off the slave of the high priest. Was the devil busy here as such an aggressive, murderous attempt, might have resulted in the slaughter of the four right then and there — thus no cross?
  14. Luke (22:51) informs us that Jesus heals the ear injury.
  15. Jesus’ question in verse 48 may be variously understood. Is it an accusation, sarcasm, a seeking actual information, a rebuke to the religious leaders, or something else?
  16. Perhaps it is that Jesus lets them know He is not a victim, surprised like a criminal would be. No, He is ready and He is in control.
  17. Scripture will be fulfilled. Now the disciples flee.

 

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane, Mark 14:32-42

GOSPEL MEDITATION # 230

Mark 14:32-42

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane

  1. Find a quiet place without distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer.
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. Late Thursday evening, following the Passover meal, Jesus crosses the Kidron Valley and winds His way up the slopes of The Mount of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane, or the Garden of the olive press.
  8. Leaving 8 of the disciples, Jesus brings Peter, James, and John a little further on and asks that they wait while He prays. And Jesus does not hide the fact that He is very disturbed.
  9. Perhaps due to too much of the dinner in them and the lateness of the hour, the 3 cannot stay awake.
  10. The disciples had likely never seen their Master so troubled and may not have known how to comfort Him.
  11. Jesus’ prayer is not like anything He had ever prayed before. How the 3 knew what He was praying is a mystery. Some say one of them, maybe John, overheard. But however it was, we can only guess.
  12. Jesus is truly grieved, which the language in all the Gospels makes abundantly clear. Here is a man in pain.
  13. Perhaps never before have we seen a reminder of the compete humanness of Jesus, the Word become flesh.
  14. His prayer begins with, “Abba, Father.” “Abba” from the Aramaic and means something close to “Daddy.” “Father,” and is pater in the Greek. (Some commentators suggest pater is added for Mark’s Greek reader. Neither Matthew nor Luke have Abba.)
  15. Jesus prays the same prayer each time, essentially that if it be possible may the hour pass and the cup removed from Him.
  16. The “if” as to the hour passing is a first class condition meaning that Jesus knew the Father could do that—let it pass. But He knew that was not the Father’s will as the whole of salvation would collapse.
  17. Taking our sin upon Himself, that separation from the Father, was the crux of the agony in the garden. This is very far beyond our comprehension. We can only read of it and catch a glimpse only of what full fellowship with the Triune God will be like.

 

Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial & Peter Denies Jesus – Mark 14:26-31, 66-72

GOSPEL MEDITATION # 229

Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial & Peter Denies Jesus

Mark 14:26-31, 66-72

  1. Find a quiet place without distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer.
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. The hymn sung, perhaps from Psalm chapters 115 to 118, the Hallel Pslams. Like to have recorded that one.
  8. Thursday evening, Jesus would be in the tomb in a. 20 hours.
  9. The last ‘full disclosure’ from Jesus to His disciples.
  10. “All” would fall away! How does Jesus know this?
  11. Peter underestimates his friends and overestimates himself.
  12. The “rooster” – a real critter or a watch in the night, it will come twice before Peter denies Jesus three times. Very shocking.
  13. Peter strongly rejects Jesus’ statement and insists that he is above it all. The others have little course but to assert the same.
  14. Peter apparently was known to Caiaphas, the high priest, (see John 18:15-18), and once inside the grounds of the high priest is recognized by a maid who accuses Peter of being a companion of Jesus. Here is the first denial. Peter blatantly lies.
  15. In verse 68, the words, “and the rooster crowed” are not in the best manuscripts and should be ignored.
  16. The same servant girl once again, but this time more vigorously points Peter out as being one of Jesus’ followers. Peter, for the second time, lies about knowing Jesus.
  17. “Bystanders” are certain Peter was a part of Jesus’ party and are assured of this by Peter’s being a Galilean. Now to more than a servant girl, but before a group of people, Peter places a curse upon himself if he is not telling the truth and swears, maybe upon the temple or the altar, or some other sacred place, that he does not know Jesus. This, the third and final denial.
  18. At that moment the rooster crowed a second time, just as Jesus had stated would be the case.
  19. Peter now can only fall on his face and cry.

 

The Institution of the Lord’s Supper, Mark 14:22-25

GOSPEL MEDITATION #228

Mark 4:22-25

The Institution of the Lord’s Supper

(see: Ex. 24:3-8; Jeremiah 31: 31-34; Matthew 26:26-29; John 6:30-35; 1 Cor. 11:17-26; Rev. 19:6-9)

  1. Find a quiet place without distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer.
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. In the Upper Room, in Jerusalem, Thursday night, the

beginning of Passover, Jesus is alone with the Twelve.

  1. Jesus leads the memorial supper, and at some unknown

point in the meal, Jesus takes the unleavened loaf, gives

thanks to God, breaks off a piece for Himself, and hands it out for each to do the same.

  1. He then says the bread is His body. He is likely pointing ahead to His own body being broken on the cross.
  2. The same with the cup (likely the 3rd cup in the Passover

Seder), He gave thanks for it, as was the custom, passed it around, and said it was His “blood of the covenant.”

  1. Perhaps looking back to Exodus 24 and Jeremiah 31:31-34, Jesus explains the startling truth that His blood spilling or shedding would usher in a new covenant, not Law keeping or the old covenant, but a new and unilateral covenant or agreement.
  2. Jesus clearly states that His blood is poured out for many and thus, not all. Matthew’s account has “poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Mt. 26:28)
  3. Jesus will not drink of the cup again until the kingdom

has come. We look forward to this supper. (Rev. 19:6-9)

The Passover with the Disciples, Mark 14:12-21

GOSPEL MEDITATION # 227

Mark 14:12-21

The Passover with the Disciples

(Also see Exodus 12:1-14, 43-51 & Leviticus 23:4-8)

  1. Find a quiet place without distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer.
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. Jesus was an observant Jew all His life & ministry.
  8. On Thursday of the last week, will less than a day away from His crucifixion, Jesus celebrates Passover with His disciples.
  9. Jesus has obviously arranged the place for the Passover dinner, maybe in Mary’s home in Jerusalem, the mother of John Mark.
  10. Likely Jesus needed to be careful about the whereabouts of the Passover to prevent an attempt of capture by the authorities.
  11. It was a large “upper room” or a roof top room partially enclosed that wealthy people’s home might have with outside staircase.
  12. In John’s Gospel, 13:1-11, Jesus’ washes the disciples feet first.
  13. When it was dark, after 6pm, Jesus arrives at the large home in Jerusalem, and probably carefully.
  14. In the midst of the meal, about the time of the third cup, Jesus announces that someone at the table will betray Him.
  15. Psalm 41:9 might explain why Jesus knew what was about to happen: “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.”
  16. The wording of the Psalm of David perhaps reflects the wording of Genesis 3:15 where God says to the serpent: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
  17. Each of the disciples responds, “Not I?” But it is to be one of the Twelve, and all this appointed for the Messiah.
  18. Indeed “woe” to that one to whom it had been appointed.


The Plot to Kill Jesus, Jesus Anointed at Bethany, & Judas to Betray Jesus, Mark 14:1-11

GOSPEL MEDITATION #226

The Plot to Kill Jesus, Jesus Anointed at Bethany, &

Judas to Betray Jesus Mark 14:1-11

(Also see Matthew 6:1-16 and John 12:1-8)

  1. Find a quiet place without distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer.
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. Tuesday, Passover and Unleavened Bread, beginning, and the plot to kill Jesus had reached a ‘fever pitch’. Prudently, those who feared Jesus knew better than to act in the open.
  8. Mark back-tracts four days previous. 6 days before Passover (see John 12:1) to a celebratory dinner in Bethany at the home of Simon the Leper/Lazarus.
  9. A woman appears, Mary the sister of Lazarus (see John 12;3), and pours a flask of expensive perfume (nard) over Jesus’ head (body in verse 8).
  10. Some of the apostles (Judas leading the charge, see John 12:4), complained that the costly oil should have been sold and the money given to the poor.
  11. Jesus orders quiet and wonderfully honors what Mary had done. The poor, not be ignored, but something of greater value just occurred. Mary had anointed Jesus’ body for burial, thus Jesus, again, points to His coming death.
  12. Then verse 9, one of the most important in the Bible, Jesus explains that what just took place will be spoken of until the end of the age as a testimony to the anointing.
  13. Here Jesus assumes the publication of the event to the whole world. And of course, His words fulfilled here and now.
  14. For reasons not entirely understood, Judas now goes to the religious rulers (maybe not for the first time) and is ready to betray Jesus. He was warmly received, so much so, money is offered as a reward.

 

The Lesson of the Fig Tree & No One Knows that Day or Hour Mark 13:28-37

GOSPEL MEDITATION #225

Mark 13:28-37

The Lesson of the Fig tree &

No One Knows that Day or Hour

  1. Find a quiet place without distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. Seems obvious, trees and plants, and fig trees for sure, show their leaves, which indicate the coming of summer.
  8. Jesus makes it clear that when His followers see the things He has spoken of, the desecration of the Temple, the extreme tribulation, then the end of the Temple is about to occur. (refer back to the original question)
  9. For us it is not so clear what we are to look for. Combining other passages, especially Revelation, we can expect difficult times when it appears that the forces of evil are overcoming even Christ’s Church.
  10. In any case, we are to be on our guard remaining awake.
  11. The meaning is that Christians are not to relax the great commands and sink into the easy life. The work He has given us to do, to be evangelical, that is, proclaimers of the basic Gospel, must go on until the very last day.
  12. “Generation” a mystery, but here I suggest the era of the Church, and meaning including our own time, will remain until the end.
  13. No one knows when the very end will come, that 2nd Advent and Day of Judgment, but that it will come is certain. That Day is not our concern: what we are to go about our work to be faithful witnesses of the saving grace of Jesus.
  14. The “Master of the house” will arrive in due time.

 

The Coming of the Son of Man, Mark 13:24-27

GOSPEL MEDITATION # 224

Mark 13:24-27

The Coming of the Son of Man

(Also see Acts 1:6-11, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:1-11, and

2 Thessalonians 1:5-12)

  1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or chant the Jesus Prayer.
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. “But in those days” – not following the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, but the trouble/tribulation preceding Jesus’ return – the Second Coming.
  8. Verses 24 and 25 contain traditional apocalyptic language or metaphors that reference a coming outpouring of God’s wrath in judgment. (Is.13:9-11, 34:1-4, & Joel 2:28-33)
  9. Son of Man, Jesus’ favorite term for Himself, which likely comes from Daniel’s prophesy, and is a synonym for Messiah.
  10. “Then they” – the they must be all alive at that present time.
  11. The seeing does not depend on any human technology capturing Jesus’ return and at once enabling all the planet to observe it as once thought. The arrival in the clouds with the host of heaven and a loud trumpet call will be plain to all.
  12. In Acts 1:6-11 two angels confirmed the return of Jesus at the time of the ascension.
  13. The great promise is that the elect will be gathered. The time of tribulation will be shortened (look back at verse 20).
  14. The remainder of verse 27, with a dramatic flourish, are phrases that assure followers of Jesus that none of the elect or chosen will be left behind.
  15. The purpose of God, initiated in the creation of Adam and Eve in the garden will at last be realized.

The Abomination of Desolation Mark 13:14-23

GOSPEL MEDITATION # 223

Mark 13:14-23

The Abomination of Desolation

See also Matthew 14:15-28 and Luke 21:20-24

  1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture.
  6. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. Jesus continues to answer the questions posed by His disciples as to when the temple will be destroyed and what are signs pointing to that event.
  8. Integral to Jesus’ explanation and the need to be on guard.
  9. The “abomination of desolation” – Jesus adopts the language and imagery from Daniel 9:27, 11:31, and 12:11. The abomination would be anything worshipped other than Yahweh in the temple. This occurred in the early 2nd century BC by Antiochus IV and sparked the Maccabean revolt. The Feast of Hanukkah is related to this event.
  10. Jesus is now speaking of the Romans who would, in AD 70, destroy the temple. It would not then come as a surprise to those Christians then, a generation away.
  11. Jesus clearly speaks of the destruction of the temple and of Jerusalem as a truly horrific event, employing a common literary device, that of hyperbole.
  12. Amidst the devastation however, God is present to save and defend the elect, those whom He has chosen.
  13. Efforts to deceive arise at the same time, feed by the miraculous false Messiahs and prophets who would likely be preaching false comfort.
  14. Once again, Jesus warns, “be on guard.”

 

 

Signs of the Close of the Age (part 2)

GOSPEL MEDITATION # 222

Mark 13:9-13

Signs of the Close of the Age (part 2)

  1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture.
  6. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. Jesus did not specifically answer the question the disciples asked in regard to when the temple would be destroyed rather He warned them not to be lead astray.
  8. In this passage He says, “Be on your guard” echoing the earlier warning. This theme runs through the entire chapter. It is a warning all Christians of all eras must keep in mind.
  9. ‘Full disclosure’ is what Jesus did. He did not promise His disciples then, or at any time, that things would simply be wonderful, glorious, and happy. Just the opposite. The King of glory would be crucified in two short days so it would follow that His followers would face great difficulty. And so it has been for those truly born again of the Holy Spirit.
  10. Shockingly even close family members will seek to put to death their relatives who believe in Jesus.
  11. “Hated by all” is not something anyone would want, but in fact, would do all they could to avoid such a horrific scenario.
  12. Why the murderous hate and fear? No one has a clear answer, but many of us have personally experienced this, and on both sides of it. Guilt? Fear of death and hell? Fear of a judgment before a holy and righteous God?
  13. Lastly, seeing the look of dismay on His disciples faces, Jesus gives them a word of encouragement and promise.