Highlights In Today's Reading:
Two days until Passover with Jesus as the ultimate Sacrificial Lamb (14:1). His prayer (14:36); betrayal, arrest, Peter's denial (14:10-11,43-72). Go . . . tell; Go ye into all the world (16:7,15)
When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, the Sanhedrin determined that Jesus must die (John 11:53). But His popularity made them fearful of arresting Him because so many believed Him to be the Messiah (Luke 22:2; Mark 12:37).
It was now the Saturday evening before Sunday's triumphant entry into Jerusalem (John 12:2,12). Simon, a leper who had been healed by Jesus, lived in Bethany; he had invited Jesus and the disciples to his home for supper. As they sat eating, there came a woman (Mary) having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on His (Jesus') head (Mark 14:3; John 12:1-8; Matt. 26:6-13). This ointment was valued at three hundred pence — almost a year's wages (Mark 14:5; Matt. 20:2). Judas spoke up, saying: Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? (John 12:5).
Obviously, this was a great sacrifice for Mary. Yet she poured out her very precious treasure upon the head and feet of Jesus as an expression of her devotion to Him. But to Judas, Mary's action was a great waste. But, what is "waste"?
Since Judas was the one who spoke openly against Mary's loving gift, Jesus must have been looking at him even though He also rebuked the others: Let her alone; why trouble ye her? . . . She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint My body to the burying (Mark 14:6,8).
The lost opportunity to sell the ointment and keep the money, the strong rebuke from Jesus, and the great honor He bestowed upon Mary probably embittered Judas, and he went unto the chief priests, to betray Him (14:10; Luke 22:3-4). Judas' greedy offer gave the chief priests the opportunity to arrest Jesus and to press for the death penalty much sooner than expected. They were glad, and promised to give him money (Mark 14:11). All this was foretold by the prophet: I said unto them . . . give me my price . . . So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver (Zech. 11:12).
Judas' greed was in striking contrast to Mary and others who treasure Jesus and His Kingdom: The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field (Matt. 13:44).
Thought for Today:
Glory and honour are in His presence; strength and gladness are in His place (I Chr. 16:27).
14:31 spake the more vehemently =protested emphatically; 14:65 buffet Him =hit Him with their fists; 15:15 scourged =whipped; 15:38 twain =wo; 16:16 damned =condemned to eternal hell.
For Mark 14:27: See Zech. 13:7. Mark 14:62: See Ps. 110:1; Dan. 7:13. Mark 15:24: See Ps. 22:18. Mark 15:28: See Is. 53:12. Mark 15:29: See Ps. 22:7-8. Mark 15:34: See Ps. 22:1. Mark 16:19: See Ps. 110:1.
Pray for English International Shortwave Broadcasts for the month of October sponsored by Mr. Rick Lokites • Staff: Gina Lesnefsky • Government Officials: Rep. Patrick Murphy (PA) and Rep. Kurt Schrader (OR) • Country: Guinea-Bissau (1 million) on the western coast of Africa • Major languages: Portuguese and Criolo • Religious freedom • 51% animist; 42% Muslim; 6% Roman Catholic; .7% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Rely upon the Lord at all times; He is your refuge (Ps. 62:8).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 15:19