God’s Word of Prayer
Mark 14:1-31: Two days before Passover, and while in Bethany, Jesus is anointed with costly perfume by an unnamed woman, and Jesus says that she is preparing his body for burial. Jesus observes the Passover meal with his disciples and announces that one of them will betray him.
The Plot against Jesus
(Matthew 26.1-5; Luke 22.1,2; John 11.45-53)
1 It was now two days before the Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the teachers of the Law were looking for a way to arrest Jesus secretly and put him to death. 2“We must not do it during the festival,” they said, “or the people might riot.”
Jesus Is Anointed at Bethany
(Matthew 26.6-13; John 12.1-8)
3 Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon, a man who had suffered from a dreaded skin disease. While Jesus was eating, a woman came in with an alabaster jar full of a very expensive perfume made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on Jesus’ head. 4Some of the people there became angry and said to one another, “What was the use of wasting the perfume? 5It could have been sold for more than three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor!” And they criticized her harshly.
6But Jesus said, “Leave her alone! Why are you bothering her? She has done a fine and beautiful thing for me. 7 You will always have poor people with you, and any time you want to, you can help them. But you will not always have me. 8She did what she could; she poured perfume on my body to prepare it ahead of time for burial. 9Now, I assure you that wherever the gospel is preached all over the world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
(Matthew 26.14-16; Luke 22.3-6)
10Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went off to the chief priests in order to betray Jesus to them. 11They were pleased to hear what he had to say, and promised to give him money. So Judas started looking for a good chance to hand Jesus over to them.
Jesus Eats the Passover Meal with His Disciples
(Matthew 26.17-25; Luke 22.7-14,21-23; John 13.21-30)
12On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the day the lambs for the Passover meal were killed, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and get the Passover meal ready for you?”
13Then Jesus sent two of them with these instructions: “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him 14to the house he enters, and say to the owner of the house: ‘The Teacher says, Where is the room where my disciples and I will eat the Passover meal?’ 15Then he will show you a large upstairs room, fixed up and furnished, where you will get everything ready for us.”
16The disciples left, went to the city, and found everything just as Jesus had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.
17When it was evening, Jesus came with the twelve disciples. 18 While they were at the table eating, Jesus said, “I tell you that one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.”
19The disciples were upset and began to ask him, one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, do you?”
20Jesus answered, “It will be one of you twelve, one who dips his bread in the dish with me. 21The Son of Man will die as the Scriptures say he will; but how terrible for that man who will betray the Son of Man! It would have been better for that man if he had never been born!”
The Lord’s Supper
(Matthew 26.26-30; Luke 22.14-20; 1 Corinthians 11.23-25)
22While they were eating, Jesus took a piece of bread, gave a prayer of thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples. “Take it,” he said, “this is my body.”
23Then he took a cup, gave thanks to God, and handed it to them; and they all drank from it. 24 Jesus said, “This is my blood which is poured out for many, my blood which seals God’s covenant. 25I tell you, I will never again drink this wine until the day I drink the new wine in the Kingdom of God.”
26Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
(Matthew 26.31-35; Luke 22.31-34; John 13.36-38)
27 Jesus said to them, “All of you will run away and leave me, for the scripture says, ‘God will kill the shepherd, and the sheep will all be scattered.’ 28 But after I am raised to life, I will go to Galilee ahead of you.”
29Peter answered, “I will never leave you, even though all the rest do!”
30Jesus said to Peter, “I tell you that before the rooster crows two times tonight, you will say three times that you do not know me.”
31Peter answered even more strongly, “I will never say that, even if I have to die with you!”
And all the other disciples said the same thing.
Today’s Key Verse: Mark 14:24
Jesus said, “This is my blood which is poured out for many, my blood which seals God’s covenant.”
What did Jesus say about the woman who anointed him with perfume? Why did Jesus say that her act prepared his body for burial (verse 8)? How did those present react to what the woman did? Why? Reread verses 22-24. In ancient Israel, the bond between God and Israel was ratified with the blood of a sacrificial animal (see Exodus 24:8). What is your understanding of Jesus’s words and his reference to “God’s covenant”? What promise did Peter make (verse 29)? What did Jesus tell him (verse 30)?
Lord Jesus, with your own holy and precious blood you have sealed God’s covenant with us. I thank and praise you for your sacrificial love and for teaching me about the kingdom of God. Amen.
Mark 14:32-72: Jesus is arrested and put on trial.