Mark 14. Forum Discussion

Jesus endures hardships leading up to His crucifixion

The woman with the alabaster vial is a great example of the struggle many of us face at different times in our lives: to serve God or to serve money. God understands the attraction to money and how it can lure us with its appeal. Money allows us to get “stuff” and to go places. But that can not be the focus of our lives. God insists that He comes first.

As the Bible says:

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” – Mathew 6:24.

Many who witnessed this woman pouring the vial over Jesus’ head were upset because the perfume was so expensive. Jesus’ response was, “Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me. She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”

Later in the chapter, while eating the Passover, Jesus predicts Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s denial. Mark does a great job of illustrating how much Jesus went through even BEFORE He was crucified. To know that one of His own disciples would turn him over to be killed had to be painful for Jesus. Peter’s denial that he even knew Jesus only added to that pain. And as Jesus begins to realize the hour of His crucifixion is approaching, He brings Peter, James, and John, three of His closest friends, to keep watch while He prays to His father – and they all fall asleep! Jesus responds:

“Could you not keep watch for one hour? Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” – Mark 14:37-38.

For the remainder of today’s lesson, we will look at the following scripture:

And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.” – Mark 14:36.

Jesus seems to be saying, “Father, You are capable of all things. You make the rules! Isn’t there any way for me not to have to go through the agony of being nailed to the cross? Do I really have to endure this?"  Jesus was both man and God, but at that moment, He was feeling all the human emotions that one would be feeling given the historical circumstances of that time.

Reading on in the Gospel of Mark, we see that Jesus did what Jesus always does.

  1. He submits to the will of His Father.
  2. He serves others selflessly. That is one of the most important themes of the Bible, to serve others selflessly. When we make a commitment to serve others selflessly, we are following the perfect example of Jesus, and our entire lives will change. This represents a fundamental change, a transformation in the way that we live our lives. This is exactly what God wants. Romans 12:2 says:

“Do not be conformed to this world,  but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

This chapter really demonstrates Jesus’ love for all of us. In the end, after all these disappointments and betrayals, Jesus still pleads with His father:

“Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” – Luke 23:34.

Perhaps we can practice forgiveness more in our own lives? If Jesus pleaded for forgiveness for those that betrayed and disappointed Him, surely, we could forgive those that have trespassed against us – for likely much more lesser offenses. This chapter helps us appreciate how much Jesus loves us and loves His father. After all that He went through, He still died for us. Despite the pain that was in front of Him, He followed His Father’s commands until the end.

We will end today’s study with the following scripture from the book of Hebrews. The Hebrew writer encourages us to also obey God’s commandments until the end:

“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:1-2.

Thank you for joining us today. Please join us again tomorrow as we look at Mark 15, and the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. May God’s blessings be upon you until then. Amen

Comments

Virtual Bible Study

Do you have any thoughts or comments that you would like to share regarding today's lesson?

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Michael
Virtual Bible Study

I think of the hymnal, "Why Did my Savior Come to Earth?"

"Because He loved me so."

I will try to remember Jesus' love for me the next time somebody wants my forgiveness and extend them that same kind of love and compassion.

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Mustang

The more we focus on Jesus, and not ourselves, the more pleasing we are to God.

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