Highlights In Today's Reading:
The events of Jesus are covered step-by-step in today's reading from the time when the Jewish authorities plan His death (14:1). Mary (sister of Martha — John 11:1-2) anoints Jesus for burial (Mark 14:8). Jesus' agony as He prays in the garden is vividly described. Next His mock trials — first before the high priest, followed by Pilate — and His crucifixion by the Roman soldiers. Peter's three denials during the trials are described (14:66-72). We see Jesus' burial by Joseph of Arimathaea and His resurrection. Notice Jesus sends a message to His disciples and (specifically) Peter (16:7). Before His ascension Jesus commissions the eleven (16:15-18). Don't miss a word of today's reading for important personal application.
A banquet had been prepared for our Lord in the home of Simon the leper (14:3). Among the invited guests were Martha who served (John 12:2) and her sister Mary. On a former occasion (Luke 10:39), Jesus 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 her since he was a thief, and had the (money) bag (12:6). As treasurer, he didn't get the valuable gift. Judas had never recognized Jesus as Lord of his life. Consequently, anything given to Jesus was a waste. Jesus' real disappointment came when the other disciples agreed with Judas and joined his complaint (Mark 14:4).
To find fault with Mary was to insinuate that the Lord was neglectful of His responsibility. If she were wrong in wasting, He was wrong in permitting it. The cost of this ointment would have provided her many luxuries of which she 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 (Philippians 2:21).
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, nothing is too good for Him — 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 (Matthew 6:19-21).
Thought for Today:
Giving is not a sacrifice when we recognize the worth of the One to whom we are giving the gift.
14:31 spake the more vehemently =b> protested emphatically; 14:65 buffet him =b> hit Him with their fists; 15:15 scourged =b> whipped; 15:38 twain =b> two; 16:16 damned =b> condemned to eternal hell.
For Mark 14:27: See Zechariah 13:7. Mark 14:62: See Psalm 110:1; Daniel 7:13. Mark 15:24: See Psalm 22:18. Mark 15:28: See Isaiah 53:12. Mark 15:29: See Psalm 22:7-8. Mark 15:34: See Psalm 22:1. Mark 16:19: See Psalm 110:1.
Pray for Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored for the week by Norma Midgett • Government Official: Rep. Patrick Murphy (PA) • Country: Kuwait (2 million) in the northeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula • Major languages: Arabic and English • Some religious freedom • 95% Muslim; 4% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Pray to be considerate to the less fortunate (Psa. 41:1).
Memory Verse for the Week: Mark 4:19