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-LESSON 16: Mark 14a (1-26)

by Dr. D ~

To read the verses studied below, just type in each verse or verses wanted, in the Bible Search to the left —-example: Mark 14:1 —->

Mark 14 -Things You Don’t See Every Day:

14:9- Prophecy of remembrance of annointing

14:13-15 -Prophetic declaration

14:17- Prophetic word of knowledge

14:27-28 -Prophetic declaration

Vs. 1-2 The Plot To Kill Jesus

The chief priests and scribes have had enough of Jesus after several days with him teaching and disrupting business in the Temple. They now plot how and when to kill him. According to Mark, it was two days before Passover. This was the busiest time of the year in Jerusalem and in the Temple. Over 100,000 visitors came to Jerusalem during this season. A good share of the income for the Chief priests, from their Temple businesses, was made during the Passover. Now this Jesus was spoiling everything and challenging their authority in the process.

Notice that the priests and scribes are not in the least concerned about how God may react to their plan to kill Jesus. They are only concerned about how the crowds visiting in Jerusalem might react. This brings up a question. Did they really believe in God? If so, how could they have come to believe that Jesus was not from God? What about all the healings and miracles? Did they really believe that Jesus derived his power from Satan? What about those he raised from the dead? How was that possible without God’s help? Again, did they really believe in God? Nevertheless, they are more concerned about the crowds, and they seek a way to arrest Jesus secretly. Later, they find a willing accomplice in Judas Iscariot.

Vs. 3-9 The Annointing of Jesus

Jesus and his disciples had been staying in Bethany with Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. That night he was having dinner at the home of Simon the Leper, apparently known well enough by early Christians to be named. The ‘A woman’ is identified in John 12:3 as Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus. Both the alabaster jar and the ‘nard’ perfume was extremely expensive. Mary and her brother and sister were wealthy folk, but this would have been quite costly even for them.

This event was substantially different than an anointing of Jesus by a ‘sinful’ woman which is recorded in Luke 7:36-50. That event happened early in the Ministry of Jesus in the home of a Pharisee, also named Simon. However, the message and lesson taught by Jesus on that occasion is entirely different. Also in Luke, it is the Pharisee who judges Jesus, rather than the disciples being upset with the woman and the waste of financial resources as in Mark.

Vs. 4-5 “There were some…they scolded her.” In Matthew 26:8, they were identified as the disciples. Also, Judas Iscariot was singled out in John’s account (12:4-5). It should be noted that it was customary in those days to give gifts to the poor during Passover. A denarii was the usual daily wages for a laborer. If the perfume was worth 300 denarii, than it would be equal to a years wage, quite a substantial sum indeed.

Vs. 6-9 Here, Jesus tells the disciples to leave her alone, because the woman had done a beautiful thing and had anointed him for his burial beforehand. He prophesied that her actions will be remembered down through time, wherever the Gospel is preached, and so it has been. Sometimes the statement of Jesus here is quoted as an excuse for not helping the poor. However, his time on the earth was unique, the ‘one and only Begotten’ Son of God, the Co-Creator in the flesh; living, breathing, and ministering in the midst of his creation.

Vs. 10-11 Judas Plots To Betray Jesus

The Chief priests were looking for a way to do away with Jesus without creating a riot. Notice that it is Judas who comes to them, and they are glad. They finally have their opportunity. But why did Judas decide to betray Jesus? This a question that has plagued Bible students from the beginning. Mark does not really provide the answer.

What was the motivation for Judas? Was it for the money? The priests promise to give him money. Matthew 26:15 informs us that it was merely 30 pieces of silver, a pitiful sum considering. Luke 23:3 and John 13:2,27 indicate that Satan was inspiring the action. Yet we are informed by Jesus that none of it was outside the plan of God (Jn. 19:11) and Judas is to be condemned for his action. Some writers have speculated that Judas was trying to force Jesus to finally become the conquering Messiah that everyone expected. However, any motives that we may want to ascribe to Judas, are mere speculation since none of the gospels clearly resolve this issue and give us a definitive reason for the betrayal of Judas.

It is particularly shocking that the one who betrayed Jesus was one of his twelve closest associates. Judas was not only one of the leaders among the disciples of Jesus, but was actually the treasurer of the movement. It should also be noted that he was from the southern region of Judea rather than from Gallilee as the rest of the twelve. The implication is that he probably was the most educated of the Twelve, and he probably grew up with a cosmopolitan distain for those uneducated, uncultured, and unwashed folk from Gallilee. He may even had some familial ties with the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem. All speculation, but strong possibilities considering where he came from.

Judas was a leader among the disciples, he witnessed the miracles and participated in the healings, but as a Judean, he probably never felt like he was really ‘one of the guys’, at times he may have felt like an outsider. I believe that Satan may have used this insecurity as a gateway to gain influence over Judas.

Vs. 12-16 The Provision of The Upper Room

Vs. 12-13 The disciples ask Jesus about preparations for the Passover meal. This story is similar to the story of the donkey. Jesus prophetically sends two of his disciples to find the provider of the upper room.

Vs. 14-16 Notice the phrase: ‘The Teacher says’. Jesus must have been well known to the owner. Many Bible scholars believe that this ‘upper room’ became a gathering place for the disciples after the resurrection, and was the same place they were gathered in on ‘Day of Pentecost’ in Acts, and later when they were praying for Peter in Acts 12. This very well could have been the home of John Mark , the writer of this gospel, and his mother Mary (See: Acts 12:12). Finally, notice that everything was just as Jesus prophetically said it would be.

Vs. 17-21 ‘The Prophecy of Betrayal’ at The Last Supper

Vs. 17-19 The Passover meal was in progress when Jesus proclaimed that one of his closest twelve, who were right there eating with him, would actually end up betraying him. Each one reacted to the question, whether they might be the one (“is it I?”), only Judas and Jesus really knew the truth. The rest of the disciples must have been thinking that the betrayal would be in the distant future, since none of them were involved in a plot at the time. All were saddened by the prospect.

Vs. 20 The custom of eating Passover together was reserved for ones family or closest friends. The symbol of ‘dipping bread’ in a common bowl was a demonstration of the closest possible friendship and allegiance. That one of them (the closest of friends and companions) would actually betray Jesus was unthinkable in their culture, and a despicable act of the highest order. They would have questioned the possibility-surely it can’t be one of us. Jesus drives the horror home when he says: “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the dish with me.”

Vs. 21a Jesus continues with the phrase in verse 21 : “For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, “ Jesus is probably referring to Isaiah 53, the ‘suffering servant’ passage:

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.”

Vs. 21b “But woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had not been born.”

One wonders what Judas was thinking when he heard this proclamation of Jesus. According to Jesus, Judas is culpable for his act of betrayal. The sacrifice of Jesus is the fulfillment of the plan of salvation, designed and ordained by The Father. The betrayal and death of Jesus was truly inspired by the devil. Yet, Judas remains responsible for his own actions.

Many have speculated and many have wondered, if it was possible for Judas to repent and be restored again like Peter was. Yet the query is left moot, since Judas did not repent but killed himself. Therefore, the full condemnation was deservedly his.

Vs. 22-26 The Lord’s Supper

Vs. 22 The guys were still eating and probably talking and enjoying themselves. Then Jesus took some bread, gave thanks, and broke it, giving some to each one of them. He said: “Take; this is my body.” The whole tone of the supper changed in a moment. I’m sure that all of a sudden you could have heard a pin drop.

The last time Jesus talked like this (John 6:51-58), most of his disciples turned their backs on him and left. The Twelve stayed with it, but I am sure the idea of eating the body and drinking the blood of Jesus was unsettling and confusing for sure. But I’m sure they sensed that something new and important was happening that night. Lot’s of times in the last several years, the disciples would just listen to Jesus without daring to ask for a clear explanation. It would still be a number of months before the Twelve would truly understand the events of that evening, and before the sacrifice of Jesus would become obvious and central to the faith.

Vs. 23-24 Next, Jesus took a cup and gave thanks over it and served it to them, saying:This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.” Though the twelve may not have totally understood what Jesus was saying and doing here, the symbols of blood and sacrifice could not have been missed or more poignant during the Passover. The Passover was a celebration of the ‘older’ covenant between God and Israel. Here Jesus is instituting a ‘new’ covenant based upon his own sacrifice.

Vs. 25 The whole tone of the meal changed with this first ‘communion’. The disciples had grown up eating and celebrating the Passover, but this was different. Jesus continues: “Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” The twelve probably wondered what this statement really meant. But soon events would overtake them all, and this would prove to be the last time Jesus would sit down and eat with all of them in this life. The next meal will be the Messianic banquet-the wedding supper of the Lamb (Rev.19:9).

Vs. 26 Notice that they culminate the meal with a hymn. It was a Passover tradition to sing the Hallel Psalms (Ps 115-118), usually singing the second half at the end of the meal. Then Jesus and his disciples leave and go to the Mount of Olives to spend the night.

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2 Responses to -LESSON 16: Mark 14a (1-26)

  1. BIBLE Study » Blog Archive » GOSPEL OF MARK

    […] LESSON 16: Mark 14a    LESSON 17: Mark 14b          LESSON 18: Mark 15 […]

  2. Chris

    Thank you so much for posting these Bible studies. Though I’ve been going to church all my life, I am discovering that I am a very new Christian. I’m leading out in a Bible study now, and the thoughts and verses here come in handy.

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