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God’s grand plan to save sinful man, God’ scheme of redemption, God’s purpose for sending the Christ is just days away now from day of question comes a day of preparation.
Mark chapter 14 covers the two days leading up to the crucifixion, it covers Wednesday and Thursday.
Today we will see 4 preparatory acts:
Leaders prepare (Mk14:1-2)
Mary prepares (Mk14:3-9)
Judas prepares (Mk14:10-11)
Disciples prepare (Mk14:12-16)
Leaders prepare to kill Jesus
This preparation was prepared in heaven before for this to happen as a part of God’s grand plan, the leaders, Chief Priests, and the scribes are just God’s instrument.
The plot is being made (Mk14:1-2)
It is not a new pot
What do you see, what do you notice, what sticks out to you?
What is the time frame of this preparation (v.1)?
This preparation is being made on Wednesday; for the Passover would start at dusk on Friday
If you go with the common view that Jesus was crucified on Friday that would make this Wednesday and the Passover starts on Friday at dusk.
Who was making this preparation (v.1)?
Leadership noted, named here is chief priests and the scribes, representing the religious and the legal part of the leadership of the Jews.
Matthew adds more details (Mt26:3-4)
What was the preparation (v.1)?
To seize Jesus, but to do it secretly
To kill Jesus
This is not the first time they plotted, schemed, or had a conspiracy to kill Jesus (Mk3:6: Mk11:18; Mk12:12)
What was the condition for the preparation (v.2)?
It was not to be during the festival (Passover and Feast of unleavened bread) (Mt26:3-4; Act2:23)
Some more interesting information:
Passover is the celebration of exodus from Egypt, Feast of unleavened bread happens for seven days after the Passover.
The Passover was a major event that all male Jews within 15 miles were required to attend, though many came from much further.
Interesting historical fact as recorded by Josephus.
in AD65 there was a census taken to prove to Nero the importance and significance of Passover to the Jews.
The census was how many lambs were sacrificed in the year prior at Passover.
256,500 Lambs x 10 per lamb = 3,000,000 people
Let me give you the Matthew passage, I think it is significant too
What is the location that this plotting takes place now (v.3)?
Court of the High Priest
What other person is added to the ensemble (v.3)?
Caiaphas the High priest at the time
The condition again, was not during the festival, feast, lest there be an uproar (v.2) for they feared the people as noted back in (Mk11:32).
I mentioned God’s grand plan, God’s scheme of redemption was already set in place and things were not really in their hands, they wanted to delay the seizing in fear of an uprising.
Gods plan was different as noted in (Act2:23)
God’s timetable was much quicker than that of the chief priests, scribes, elders and High Priest Caiphas.
We will see this more to follow, but first another preparation needed to take place
Mary Prepares
Do you have a life insurance policy, a burial insurance policy, most probably due in preparation of the inevitable.
Mary prepares not for herself but for the Lord whom she loves knowing the inevitable was coming.
What do you see, what do you notice, what sticks out to you?
Some general questions pulling from the scripture then we will look at the bigger picture
What is the location where this is taking place (v.3)
They are in a home in Bethany
In the home of Simon the Leper
It is possible that Simon is the father of Lazarus, Mary and Martha
Who was there and what did they do?
We are told of a woman who was there (see Jn11:2; Jn12:2-3 for more info)
This is not to be confused with Mary of Magelene we see in Lk7:36-50.
More to see
What more do you learn from the John passage?
We can learn from between Mark and John, it is Mary, the sister to Lazarus who did not only anoint Jesus head but His feet too.
(Alabaster Jar)
Interesting fact breaking the top of the jar, means it was never going to be sealed again, it was all going to be used then.
The scripture tells us it was very expensive, and later some of the apostles give a price for the contents of the jar at 300 denarii.
A common person earned about a denarii a day, so the cost of this perfume was just shy of a year’s wages.
Would we be willing to give up a year’s wages for someone?
Another interesting thing to consider about the consequences of her breaking the alabaster jar.
The smell would have filled the whole house, and spiritually speaking does the fragrance of the Lord fill our homes with our love for Him and our worship to Him?
There was no hiding the fact that Mary loved to be at the feet of Jesus, do we?
Next, it brings indignation (MK14:4) about a perceived waste of money.
Now something to consider and remember that doing something for the Lord is never a waste it is a blessing and pleasing to Him and to the giver too.
Sometimes it makes no literal sense only spiritual sense and maybe not now but in the future.
Next consequence for her action is it brings commendation from the Lord (Mk14:6) - no matter what others think about our worship, may it always be in a manner that is pleasing the Lord, even if it is not popular.
Finally, Mary gave her best, at the feet of Jesus her act of love was costly, her act of love was fragrant not just for her but for all where were there.
Her act of love was pleasing to the Lord and all who were there could not but notice.
I don’t think she did it to be noticed, but to show her love for the Lord.
We have looked at the love gift, but now, how was it received by the others there (vv.4-5)
It brought indignation and even degrading judgmental statement
It brought scolding didn’t it (Mk14:5; Jn12:4-6)?
The John passage brings in who is the ring leader who brought about the indignation and scolding, but there is more in the John passage we can learn from too
It was not for the poor he was concerned it was for himself!
Now it goes from indignation to praise (Mk14:6-9).
Jesus tells them to do what (v.6)?
Jesus tells them to leave here alone, what she has done is good.
Her gift was good, it was costly, it was extravagant, love sometimes, oftentimes is costly, love may not make sense but then perfect sense too.
What she did was good, it was lovely according to different versions of the bible
Why does Jesus tell them that (v.7)?
Jesus tells them, there will always be the poor, but Jesus will not always be with them.
Jesus is telling them again about his going away.
What does Jesus say about her act (v.8)?
Her act was preparing him for burial
When someone died it was common practice to bath and anoint the body, then wrap it for burial with many spices.
Jesus calls her act good and also preparatory
Again, what is Jesus telling them, just one more time?
That is is going to die and be buried.
What is the great praise given to Mary (v.9)?
Her act of love was going to be memorialized in the preaching of the gospel this would be made known.
Mary’s act of love that resulted in indignation and in praise is memorialized also in the inclusion in Matthew, Mark and John’s gospels.
But her act leads to another preparatory act to be seen yet.
Judas Prepares
From Apostle to betrayer it was all a part of God’s grand plan, to fulfill the prophesy (Zech11:12-13).
What do you see, what do you notice, what sticks out to you?
What is the purpose of Jesus going to chief priests (v.10)?
Judas intent was to betray Jesus
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