Read Mark 14

Highlights:

Two days until Passover with Jesus as the ultimate Sacrificial Lamb (Mark 14:1). His prayer (14:36); His betrayal and arrest (14:10-11, 43-65); Peter's denial (14:66-72). Go . . . tell. . . . Go ye into all the world (16:7,15).

A banquet had been prepared for our Lord in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper (Mark 14:3). Among the invited guests were Martha who served (John 12:2) and her sister Mary. On a former occasion Mary had sat at Jesus' feet, and heard His Word (Luke 10:39). Jesus had said that Mary hath chosen that good part (10:42), for which she drew criticism from those who could not appreciate her depth of dedication. This time Mary, having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious . . . brake the box, and poured it on His head (Mark 14:3). She also anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair (John 12:3).

There was immediate reaction from the apostles, criticizing her conduct. Judas was first to criticize since he was a thief, and had the (money) bag (12:4-6). As treasurer, he didn't get the valuable gift. Judas had never recognized Jesus as Lord of his life. Consequently, he had the attitude that anything given to Jesus was a waste. Even though Jesus already knew what was in the hearts of the other disciples, He must have been disappointed when they joined Judas in complaining (Mark 14:4).

To find fault with Mary was to insinuate that the Lord approved of her so-called wasteful actions. If she were wrong in "wasting," He was wrong in permitting it. If the ointment had been sold, the money received could have provided her many luxuries of which she willingly deprived herself in order to honor her Lord. Mary set an example of self-denial that is much needed in a world where all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's (Phil. 2:21). Jesus commended her: She hath wrought a good work. . . . Wheresoever this Gospel shall be preached . . . this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her (Mark 14:6,9).

In the world's estimation, when someone gives his time, talent, or tithes for Christ and His Church, it is sheer waste. But once our eyes have been opened to the worthiness of our Lord, we will realize that nothing we do for Him or give to Him is wasted. That is the secret of pleasing God.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven . . . For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matt. 6:19-21).

Thought for Today:

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing (Rev. 5:12).

Cross References:

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.

Word Studies:

14:31 spake the more vehemently protested emphatically; 14:65 buffet Him hit Him with their fists; 15:15 scourged whipped; 15:38 twain two; 16:16 damned condemned to eternal hell.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Radio Broadcasts in honor of Linda Kennon • Government Official: Rep. Kurt Schrader (OR) • Country: Cambodia (12 million) in Southeast Asia • Major languages: Khmer and French • Confused and unsettled at this time • 88% Buddhist; 3% animism and spirit worship; 2% Muslim; .6% Roman Catholic/Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Rise early in the morning to lift up your prayers to God and hope in His Word (Ps. 119:147).

Memory Verse for the Week:

Matthew 7:3