Mark 14 -- 16
When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, the Sanhedrin determined that He must die (John 11:53). But His popularity made them fearful to arrest Him, because He was surrounded by so many who believed Him to be the Messiah (Luke 22:2; Mark 12:37).
Simon, a leper who had been healed by Jesus, lived in Bethany. Just a few days before He would be crucified, Simon invited Jesus and the disciples to his home for supper. As they sat eating, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious (costly); and she broke the box, and poured it on His head (Mark 14:3; see also John 12:1-8; Matthew 26:6-13). This ointment of spikenard was valued at three hundred pence -- almost a year's wages for a common laborer (Mark 14:5; Matthew 20:2). This was a great sacrifice for Mary. Yet, in loving devotion she poured out her very precious treasure upon the head and feet of Jesus as an expression of her worship of Him. Some disciples were indignant, saying: To what purpose is this waste? (26:8). John records that Judas spoke up, saying: Why was not this ointment (perfume) sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag (money bag), and took what was put in it for himself (John 12:5-6).
Judas considered Mary's action was a great waste. But, what is "waste?" Waste means, among other things, paying more than what something is worth. If an article can be purchased for one dollar, why pay five? It would be a waste of money.
To Judas, anything that was poured out upon Jesus was waste since Judas never thought of Jesus as Lord of his life. If the ointment had been sold for three hundred pence, Judas would have been the one to benefit because he was a thief; thus he coveted the money that the perfume was worth. And that is the attitude of the Christ-rejecting world toward any service or sacrifice given to Jesus. Since Judas was the one who spoke openly against Mary's loving gift, Jesus spoke directly to him: Let her alone; why do you trouble her? . . . She has done what she could . . . to anoint My Body for burial (Mark 14:6,8).
The lost opportunity to sell the ointment and pocket the money, coupled with the strong rebuke from Jesus and the great honor He bestowed upon Mary, embittered Judas, and he went to the chief priests, to betray Him (14:10; also Luke 22:3-4). Judas' real reason for being one of the 12 apostles became clear when he said to the chief priests: What will you give me, and I will deliver Him to you? (Matthew 26:15). When they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money (Mark 14: 11). Judas' motive was: "What can I get out of it for myself?" Just as Judas made the fatal choice of betraying Jesus to the authorities, so every person must make the personal choice for self or the Lord. All this was foretold by the prophet: I said to them . . . give me my price. . . . So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12).
For Mark 14:27: See Zech. 13:7. Mark 14:62: See Psa. 110:1; Dan. 7:13. Mark 15:24: See Psa. 22:18. Mark 15:28: See Isa. 53:12. Mark 15:29: See Psa. 22:7-8. Mark 15:34: See Psa. 22:1. Mark 16:19: See Psa. 110:1.
BPM Staff: Benjamin Wallace · Pray for Jan Dahlin, coordinator for Swedish translation and radio ministry · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in memory of Rev. George D. Jack · Country: Finland (5 million) in northern Europe · Major languages: Finnish and Swedish · Religious freedom · 91% Protestant; 1% Eastern Orthodox; 1% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up (James 4:10).
Memory Verse for the Week: