READ: Mark 14
BACKGROUND: This passage is packed with the events leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection. Beginning with the incredible outpouring of love from Mary, then the institution of the Lord’s Supper, the heartbreaking betrayal of Judas and Peter, and Jesus’ arrest and trial before the Sanhedrin.
By Verse –
3 – We know from John’s Gospel that this woman was Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. Mary’s action expressed her deep devotion to Jesus.
7 – Jesus was not expressing a lack of concern for the poor; we know the poor were close to his heart.
22 – In the account of the Lord’s Supper in Luke 22:19 and 1 Corinthians 11:24, we read Jesus’ command to continue to celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
24 – The cup represents the blood of Jesus. The promise of salvation through Jesus in the new covenant is made possible only through Jesus’ death.
36 – Jesus did not dread death itself, but the burden of taking the sins of the world on his shoulders.
53 – Jesus’ trial took place in two stages: a Jewish trial and a Roman trial. (14:53-15:15)
55 – The Sanhedrin had great authority, but they could not impose capital punishment.
READ: In my experience, the will of God is difficult to discern because it often involves making a decision that seems irresponsible. You may have to quit a job, or change majors, or make a move. And on one level it will seem irresponsible to those who cannot see the godly motivation. But pursuing a God-ordained passion, no matter how crazy it seems, is the most responsible thing you can do. (Mark Batterson in Wild Goose Chase)
Mary’s outpouring of affection for Jesus is an incredible display of the obedience and sacrifice that are required of us as we love Jesus. While onlookers could not believe the “foolish” use of her expensive perfumes, Jesus praised her for demonstrating her love for Him with unabashed zeal. To others her decision seemed irresponsible, but Mary moved forward, driven by her deep devotion toJesus.
When opportunity arose for Peter and Judas to boldly demonstrate their commitments to Jesus, they chose to deny him instead. Pressured by the fear of others and the fear of earthly consequence, they turned their backs and made decisions they would regret tremendously.
And so we must decide. How will we move forward in our pursuit of Jesus? Will we risk it all, knowing we may very well look irresponsible or just downright crazy to others? Or will be play it safe and hope Jesus wasn’t serious about his command to deny ourselves and take up our crosses and follow Him (Mark 8:34)? Let’s read and re-read this chapter and the chapters following to remind ourselves of the suffering Jesus endured on our behalf so that we could enjoy the unending reward of His salvation. May that motivate us today and always to choose obedience to our Savior without question.
Written By: Cari Widdel