April 8

Mark 14 has a lot in it.  And I hope you take the encouragement I gave Sunday to read and reread this important chapter that Mark has written.  Much of what Mark has been writing has its climax in this chapter.  His messianic claim is finally verbalized because now is the time for the fulfillment of God’s purpose and plan to take place.  No need to “hide” His identity.  The teachings about his betrayal and death are coming to fruition.  Jesus gives his disciples his last words of encouragement and warning.  The gospel message (loving extravagantly) is seen in one last example from an unnamed woman.  And Jesus speaks and embodies living sacrificially.
  There are some quotes that I loved from the commentaries I read that I just could not fit into the message that I want to to think about as you read this chapter again.  Garland remarks in connection with the disciples sleeping in the garden a good connection with us, “Followers of Jesus who do not pray and try to follow on their own power will collapse.”  I like what Kernaghan has to say about the disciples in the garden as Judas approaches, “Jesus’ followers were prepared to die for him, but they were not prepared to die with him.  On this night salvation would come to God’s people not through defeat of their enemies but through the death and resurrection of the Savior” (306)  Later when Jesus was before the high priest Lane says, “It is evident from Mark’s Gospel that Jesus had carefully avoided calling himself the Messiah [up to this point].  It was not his desire to arouse the nationalistic and political hopes which clustered around the figure of the Messiah in popular thinking. . . . [But now] to the question whether he claimed to be the promised Messiah, he replied clearly, ‘I am'” (536).  And finally from Garland again, “While Jesus was under fire inside, Peter warms himself by the fire outside.  As Jesus confesses under immense pressure and hostility that seals his fate, Peter capitulates under the gentlest of pressure and lies to save himself.” (566)  Hope you have a good week.