“And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.” Mark 14:3 NKJV
The lady with spikenard was all in – once that box was open that oil was going everywhere and there was NO turning back.
Are you all in? I do not know what it looks like for you to be all in – I don’t even know what it looks like in my own life. I am sure I will look back and it will all make sense but right now, I live bay faith – and I am all in!
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.
If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading is the Book of Mark chapter 14 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).
The Plot to Kill Jesus
14 After two days it was the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by [a]trickery and put Him to death. 2 But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar of the people.”
The Anointing at Bethany
3 And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly [b]oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. 4 But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? 5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized[c] her sharply.
6 But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. 7 For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. 8 She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. 9 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them. 11 And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. So he sought how he might conveniently betray Him.
Jesus Celebrates the Passover with His Disciples
12 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they [d]killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?”
13 And He sent out two of His disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him. 14 Wherever he goes in, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?” ’ 15 Then he will show you a large upper room, furnished and prepared; there make ready for us.”
16 So His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found it just as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover.
17 In the evening He came with the twelve. 18 Now as they sat and ate, Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eats with Me will betray Me.”
19 And they began to be sorrowful, and to say to Him one by one, “Is it I?” [e]And another said, “Is it I?”
20 He answered and said to them, “It is one of the twelve, who dips with Me in the dish. 21 The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born.”
Jesus Institutes the Lord’s Supper
22 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, “Take, [f]eat; this is My body.”
23 Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 And He said to them, “This is My blood of the [g]new covenant, which is shed for many. 25 Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
26 And when they had sung [h]a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
27 Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble [i]because of Me this night, for it is written:
‘I will strike the Shepherd,
And the sheep will be scattered.’
28 “But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”
29 Peter said to Him, “Even if all are made to [j]stumble, yet I will not be.”
30 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.”
31 But he spoke more vehemently, “If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!”
And they all said likewise.
The Prayer in the Garden
32 Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. 34 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.”
35 He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. 36 And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”
37 Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
39 Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words. 40 And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him.
41 Then He came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”
Betrayal and Arrest in Gethsemane
43 And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44 Now His betrayer had given them a signal, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him and lead Him away safely.”
45 As soon as he had come, immediately he went up to Him and said to Him, “Rabbi, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.
46 Then they laid their hands on Him and took Him. 47 And one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
48 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? 49 I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize Me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.”
50 Then they all forsook Him and fled.
A Young Man Flees Naked
51 Now a certain young man followed Him, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body. And the young men laid hold of him, 52 and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked.
Jesus Faces the Sanhedrin
53 And they led Jesus away to the high priest; and with him were assembled all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes. 54 But Peter followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he sat with the servants and warmed himself at the fire.
55 Now the chief priests and all the council sought testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none. 56 For many bore false witness against Him, but their testimonies [k]did not agree.
57 Then some rose up and bore false witness against Him, saying, 58 “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.’ ” 59 But not even then did their testimony agree.
60 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, saying, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” 61 But He kept silent and answered nothing.
Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”
62 Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
63 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? 64 You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?”
And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.
65 Then some began to spit on Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him, and to say to Him, “Prophesy!” And the officers [l]struck Him with the palms of their hands.
Peter Denies Jesus, and Weeps
66 Now as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came. 67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with Jesus of Nazareth.”
68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you are saying.” And he went out on the porch, and a rooster crowed.
69 And the servant girl saw him again, and began to say to those who stood by, “This is one of them.” 70 But he denied it again.
And a little later those who stood by said to Peter again, “Surely you are one of them; for you are a Galilean, [m]and your [n]speech shows it.”
71 Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know this Man of whom you speak!”
72 A second time the rooster crowed. Then Peter called to mind the word that Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And when he thought about it, he wept.
- Mark 14:1 deception
- Mark 14:3 Perfume of pure nard
- Mark 14:5 scolded
- Mark 14:12 sacrificed
- Mark 14:19 NU omits the rest of v. 19.
- Mark 14:22 NU omits eat
- Mark 14:24 NU omits new
- Mark 14:26 Or hymns
- Mark 14:27 NU omits because of Me this night
- Mark 14:29 fall away
- Mark 14:56 were not consistent
- Mark 14:65 NU received Him with slaps
- Mark 14:70 NU omits the rest of v. 70.
- Mark 14:70 accent
MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:
Isaiah 41:10- “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
Today was another long and packed reading – a lot happening. I will not discuss this chapter verse by verse – but there are a few points I would like to discuss.
It is Passover Week, which began with Passover, Easter, and Ramadan happening the same day. You would think it would cause a spirit of goodwill and peace on the temple mound – instead there were acts of terror. I am not way ahead with writing as usual, but this time I was slowly processing before I said anything. God help Jerusalem.
This over shadows my thoughts. I read an article about the Jewish people insisting they rebuild the temple. These things need be; and how fitting that the impetus for it is Easter (Resurrection Sunday). Yesterday’s thoughts on the temple linger into today’s reading… but I do not want to get ahead of myself.
Let us start with our heavy minds, and thoughts of the times and season – compounded by our own problems. And let us take this burden for the lost and making disciples and such and let us lay it all down at the feet of Jesus. Not even at the cross – Jesus is not there, He is alive.
I have said one of the most dangerous prayers (according to theologians) I prayed to give my all, good and bad, most precious and less valuable (and everything in between) to God.
We start today’s reading with the woman in Bethany – she brought her alabaster box filled with spikenard. Women would a container of perfume like this in middle eastern culture at that time. Many were given it from their parents and some also had to work to afford it. It was a huge sacrifice for the whole family. Then when the lady was to be married, she would bathe and then be anointed with the costly perfumes. It is therefore suggested that this woman, did not only sacrifice a year’s salary worth of expensive oil – but she surrendered her marriage preparation, her ability to be a proper bride. And she anointed the bridegroom (as Jesus is our bridegroom).
Jesus literally says it is His anointing for His death. Therefore it is. We can talk about the bounty of symbolism here – but we must not ever forget that Jesus said He was anointed for His death. This tender and compassionate women either had deep understanding in the spirit – or was obedient (in a willing and eager way) to the Spirit’s prompting. Maybe it was her great Love for the Man, who was healing and delivering people and loving them, just compelled her to give her all. He was giving so much to them, it stands to reason that she was caught up with the emotions and just said – I surrender all!
Much like I did, caught up with a hunger that I couldn’t fill and zeal for Jesus – I ran headlong in without thought or care. He loves me, I can trust him, so I just gave it all and poured out my heart. And God took it all and I am learning and growing from this. I have been honest about my lack, and how God has NOT stopped providing. But, the blessings are low this month and I am in need to $2000 in the next 10 days. So what do I do? I go back to that alabaster box of mine. Is there any oil left in it? Is there something I have not poured out? Yesterday I tried to worship – and was hit by distractions and yet, I continued to try to worship. I was struck with condemnation over past sins I have repented of and cannot do anything more about. So I reminded myself and the devil that I am washed in the blood and I have poured out my all on Jesus! Lord, please give me more oil, to pour out to you with!
I have met a few Judas’s while I pour out my all to Jesus. He says I am unwise to continue to work at a business God gave me and is not profitable at the moment – I should go work for someone else (get a job). I’ll tell you: take note when God tells you to do something. You’ll know it is God as it will be handed to you in the midst of a battle and be confirmed with at least 2 witnesses. Then do that. Keep doing it no matter what. Even if it is not profitable, because God provides and the work of your hands does NOT provide. If Jesus wants me to go work for someone else, He will drop it in my lap.
So then an opportunity dropped in my lap to do a simple website build. It’s a headache, but I am able to do it. So I offered a low price range in order to bless them, while I am being blessed. The person was insulted that I would charge my worth and not just do it for her for nothing. I thought God was providing a ‘job’ but the enemy was just distracting me. God provides. And I had a Judas tell me to take that project at a much lower price – because it was at least money. But the time would pull me away from the things God already told me to do – and to keep doing until he tells me otherwise.
Yeah I battle fear and doubt and distraction and every other attack from the enemy. But I keep doing, it is the last drops of oil from my alabaster box. I do it as unto the Lord.
Next in the reading – Judas is an idiot! And nothing about his betrayal makes any sense to me… it was for a small amount of money and many say it was greed. It is not logical.
Communion. I love to take communion at home in worship. I do not recommend it, because once you do and get used to it, then when you are at church and you take it, it just isn’t as intimate and powerful.
I have one of those computerized decal makers and I make a sticker of these words and I put them inside my cabinet door. So in the morning, I stand there, I recite the Lord’s Prayer and then I read the sticker and I take communion. So if you do decide to take communion at home, despite my warning… Let me recommend you write out these same verses I made into a sticker and read them while you partake. The verses are:
“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And He said to them, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.” Verses 22-24
I used to have 1 Corinthians 11: 23-29 written out. But it did not fit as a sticker decal inside my kitchen cabinet.
So let’s set the scene leading into the garden, that fateful night. 12 full bellied men (Judas left to run an errand) singing hymns, sharing a good time. And around them, many who also followed, eating and drinking and being merry.
But Jesus keeps talking about death and body and blood – all very poetic with the blood of the lamb at Passover. They must have thought Jesus was teaching them to have respect and somber reflection in the mist of their celebration – it was a serious thing the Lord did in Egypt and many first born, who were not covered by the blood died. But as a whole – the group did not seem to understand what was about to happen.
So Jesus tries to get them to understand one more time. Even predicting Pete’s betrayal. And reminds them to meet Him in Galilee after he raises from the dead. Obviously they weren’t listening, because He has to redirect them after he came back in order to get them to Galilee!
Side note: BOTH Peter and Judas betrayed Jesus that night. Why was Peter forgiven and Judas wasn’t? Because Peter repented and Judas killed himself. Did Judas commit an unforgiveable sin – I mean someone had to, it was a fulfilment of prophecy – so was it unforgiveable? Really, the whole Judas story here is so illogical.
Anyway – back to the garden. Jesus left the larger group and took his core group into the garden for prayer. Jesus asked them to WATCH and PRAY, while he goes into the garden further to pray. Watch and Pray – we heard that yesterday. In other versions of the gospels it is said a few times through the Passion Week. Are we to watch and pray all of Passion Week? Sure – but we should watch and pray daily.
Yesterday we were watching for signs of the time. Then watching so we aren’t deceived and watching so we do not fall into temptation. What are they watching for today? Did they understand what was about to happen?
Peter, James and John had a better understanding. Verse 33 says Jesus became troubled and deeply stressed. Verse 34 He was exceedingly sorrowful even to death. Jesus went to pray and came back to them sleeping.
I heard a preacher say that Peter, James and John were sleeping because they were overcome with grief. Yeah, grief can make you sleepy. But I still see no evidence that they truly understood what was happening. They were surprise and scattered by the event, and since they were forewarned, they should have known to have peace.
God has warned us that following Him will be hard, yet we are always surprised when the tests, trials and attacks come.
“If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” 1 Corinthians 3:15 NKJV
In many passages, God warns us we will have to go through the fire to be saved. And we are surprised when the furnace is ignited.
It is not unreasonable to empathize with the disciples’ willful ignorance. We do the same thing.
So with bellies full of meat and wine and fruit and hearts full of fellowship and celebration and worship… It is easy to fall asleep. They saw Jesus’s distress and knew something was serious. So they get quiet and tried to pray… but sleep overtook them. I don’t know why they did not stand up and pace while praying. Or poke each other to stay awake. And I am not sure it is written as a lesson as much as a narrative, one we all can relate to.
I can tell you the time (I must have been 8 to 10 years old) our dog was hit by a car. I was determined to stay awake and pray all night… and if I could, I knew God would heal the dog. I had nothing to go by, except childlike faith. I fell asleep. The dog passed. Above I say that Peter, James and John may not have understood the urgency of praying that night – But I understood the urgency of my prayer night, and I still fell asleep. See, it is a relatable narrative. Because we relate, we seek out a lesson. The only lesson is to live a lifestyle of “Watch and Pray”.
“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Verse 38.
Sometimes we are a bigger enemy to our walk with the Lord, than the devil is.
Speaking of sabotaging your walk with the Lord – this is when Judas comes back with a mob and a kiss. Here is my speculation on Judas. He bought a man’s life for a small amount of money. I do not think he understood. I think he thought they wanted Jesus just for questioning; and Judas was like, I can make a couple bucks and Jesus will answer their questions with riddles and we can all go home happy. I think when the chief priests and scribes brought a mob with them, Judas began to understand it was more sinister. I think when they grabbed Jesus and the chaos broke out, he must have stepped back in full realization of what he did and what was happening. They were going to kill Jesus and it was his fault. Really – I cannot make sense of it any other way. We have all bought a lie from the devil at some point or another – Just look at Eve. The lies are designed to play on our weaknesses. But Judas was one of the crew, and when Jesus said (at dinner) someone will betray me – they all asked if it was themselves, no one suspected Judas or any of the others, so it must have been themselves.
In verse 44, Judas asks them to lead Jesus away “Safely”. Like I said, I think Judas was not as guilty as we think. He did not intend for Jesus to die. He did not intend for things to go as they did – this is why he is overcome and kills himself. I do think he could have repented. I do think he could have apologized. But HE didn’t think he could live with himself after what his actions caused.
I cannot emphasize enough how we must be good repenters. We must be willing to repeatedly repent if need be. We must be willing to live with ourselves, and let God change us and therefore the situation around us. When I returned to Christ – I did not want to live with myself. I came in hopes that he would change the world around me. He changed me and removed me from that life. This is how we overcome, we repent and then tell others!
In the chaos – we know the story and just read it above. But Mark’s account tells a detail no one else saw. I highly doubt it was Peter’s account and Peter saw it – because Peter was kinda busy cutting off ears, and fleeing to a place where he could follow.
We have a boy mentioned, the boy was not wearing full adult clothing. He had on his tunic, but not the over tunic. This is appropriate for boys and not appropriate for men. This gives me pause and reminds me there were women and children who followed Jesus – and this was a holiday, was Jesus’s mother with him? She was in town! The guards and mob grabbed the boy by his tunic– he wiggled from his clothes and ran home naked! How would Mark know this detail, unless he was the boy.
So, Jesus is caught, tied, and questioned. The chief priests and all the council sought testimony – and could not find anything solid. You’d think they would have had their case built against him already. But they didn’t and could not find fault. They asked Jesus to answer their charges, but no testimony bore a charge as all contradicted or were unfounded. So Jesus kept silent.
“Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”
Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” Verses 61b-62
So without asking for proof that He is the Christ – they judged him a blasphemer and condemned Him to death. Chaos and mob mentality really ruled that night. I cannot imagine how the priest lived with remembering the events of that night after they retreated away from the chaos.
“Then some began to spit on Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him, and to say to Him, “Prophesy!” And the officers struck Him with the palms of their hands.” verse 65.
Where is that scribe who understood the love commandment? Where is the Torah with thou shall not kill? Where is reasoning and level headedness?
Then, Peter betrays the Lord. We conclude with Peter weeping in a humble repentant spirit.
And in my mind – I personally am drawn back to the alabaster box. Peter, pours out himself that night. He recommits himself. He is determined – but doesn’t know what that means or what that will look like. How do I know that is what Peter did? Have you ever wept, repenting, knowing that you must decide are you in this or aren’t you. This isn’t the hippy feel good life of a cute childish Jesus freak. This is life or death – are you in? This is ride or die – are you in?
Peter is watching Jesus being beat and recalling Jesus say He was going to die. This just got real. First fear held him back and he denied Jesus – but when he repented he MUST have fixed his mind. He must have gotten stubborn. He must have had to choose, am I in this even if it means beatings and death? Jesus died for us – are we willing to do the same if it is required of us.
Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!