Wednesday Morning: 29 May 2019 – Mark 14:43-65 ~ on betrayal, arrest, desertion, and false witnesses

Wednesday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for Grace – Wednesday)

O Lord, our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, you have brought us safely to the beginning of this day: Defend us by your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin nor run into any danger; and that guided by your Spirit, we may do what is righteous in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Mark 14:43-65 (NLT)

Jesus Is Betrayed and Arrested

And immediately, even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders. The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss. Then you can take him away under guard.” As soon as they arrived, Judas walked up to Jesus. “Rabbi!” he exclaimed, and gave him the kiss.

Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him. But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest’s slave, slashing off his ear.

Jesus asked them, “Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there among you teaching every day. But these things are happening to fulfill what the Scriptures say about me.”

Then all his disciples deserted him and ran away. One young man following behind was clothed only in a long linen shirt. When the mob tried to grab him, he slipped out of his shirt and ran away naked.

Jesus before the Council

They took Jesus to the high priest’s home where the leading priests, the elders, and the teachers of religious law had gathered. Meanwhile, Peter followed him at a distance and went right into the high priest’s courtyard. There he sat with the guards, warming himself by the fire.

Inside, the leading priests and the entire high council were trying to find evidence against Jesus, so they could put him to death. But they couldn’t find any. Many false witnesses spoke against him, but they contradicted each other. Finally, some men stood up and gave this false testimony: “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this Temple made with human hands, and in three days I will build another, made without human hands.’” But even then they didn’t get their stories straight!

Then the high priest stood up before the others and asked Jesus, “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?” But Jesus was silent and made no reply. Then the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”

Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror and said, “Why do we need other witnesses? You have all heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?”

“Guilty!” they all cried. “He deserves to die!”

Then some of them began to spit at him, and they blindfolded him and beat him with their fists. “Prophesy to us,” they jeered. And the guards slapped him as they took him away.
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Morning Reflection:

Jesus asked them, “Am I some dangerous revolutionary,
that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me?
Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there among you teaching every day.
But these things are happening to fulfill what the Scriptures say about me.”
– Mark 14:48-49

Jesus had prophesied his betrayal and arrest; but the tragic events are still shocking as they unfold.

+ Betrayal – by Judas, one of the Twelve (those closest to him), and triggering Jesus’ passion with a kiss of greeting of all things.

+ Arrest – in the middle of the night, by armed police and soldiers (their equivalent of a SWAT team.) Why? There was nothing to fear from Jesus.

+ Scriptures fulfilled – including Isaiah 53:3, 7-9, 12 and Zechariah 13:7 (follow links)

+ Desertion – the immediate response of the disciples was to run away. Their instinct for self-preservation overcame their loyalty to Jesus. The young man in the story was so eager to abandon Jesus that he was willing to run through the crowd naked.

+ False Witnesses – everything takes place in the dark of night; the grand jury investigation, the predetermined outcome, the liars arrayed against him. The single truth in the whole affair was Jesus’ open admission of his messiahship.

Then the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”

Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.” – Mark 14:61-62

+ Humiliation – the religious leaders vent their anger by physically attacking Jesus – spitting in his face as a way of repudiating him and insulting him. But think of that for a moment – can you imagine spitting into the face of the Son of God?

Question for consideration:

  • Can you think of a time when your instinct for self-preservation overcame your loyalty to Jesus? Perhaps you were concerned for your physical safety, or wanted to avoid a confrontation with a family member, or were afraid of losing a friendship, or damaging your reputation, or disrupting an event? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer: 

The Persecuted Church: Prayer for the families and loved ones of those being persecuted:

Heavenly Father: Comfort the families that are affected by the persecution of their loves ones. Open up safe channels and opportunities for them to support and/or visit those who are imprisoned, or otherwise detained. Empower them by your Spirit to remain faithful to you and to their loved ones, even as they wait patiently for deliverance and release. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

My prayer:

Lord Jesus: The instinct for self-preservation is a powerful force operating within me; driving me to “go along to get along” – to run away instead of standing up for what I believe. Forgive me my failures, and fortify me with your Word and Spirit, that I might do the work you have given me to do, to love and serve you as your faithful witness – no matter the cost. For your name’s sake I ask it. Amen.
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“From The Depths Of Woe” – Indelible Grace

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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