Mark 14 Faithfulness

YouTuber John Stapleton continues with the Gospel of Mark 14 – Faithfulness.

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BIG IDEA

Faithfulness– Jesus is faithful even when we are not.

Jesus had just celebrated the Passover celebration with his disciples and now they are in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus had already predicted the pending failures of the disciples, especially Peter. They will all desert him, Judas will betray him, and Peter will disown him 3 times!

1). Mark 14:43-50 / Judas Betrays Jesus

The second half of Mark 14 is another sandwich. Jesus’ brave declaration of being the Messiah is surrounding by 2 accounts of cowardice. The first is when Judas betrays Jesus. Nobody ever would have suspected that Judas would betray Jesus. Nobody ever would have thought that they would run away from Jesus during his darkest hour. But, “They all left him and fled” (14:50).  

Peter has a little courage that was motivated by his curiosity, so he “followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome” (Matthew 26:58 NIV).

2). Mark 14:53-65 / Jesus Stands His Ground

In stark contrast to the cowardly disciples, is Jesus. The plots of the Pharisees have finally succeeded. This is an illegal trial in the middle of the night on trumped charges. They are breaking the law (Exodus 20:16). Looking copiously for excuses to execute Jesus. They get false witnesses to testify against him but they only contradict themselves.

  • Mark 14:57 | “Made with hands” denotes something unholy, like a carved idol. They finally asked him the million-dollar question (Mark 14:61).

This answer (Mark 14:62) is Jesus’ way of showing from Scripture that he is the Chosen One, God become human, the Judge of the Universe.

Why do we need other witnesses (Mark 14:63)? The priest noted that Jesus had given them all they needed as testimony to take to Rome. Ironically, Jesus had provided the testimony the Jews could not supply themselves, and this testimony would send him to the cross. Jesus’ reply—that he was their judge and would come with authority—identified him as the final deliverer, the Messiah, King of the Jews. (NLT Cornerstone Commentary)

This answer infuriates his accusers which solidifies Jesus’ fate. If there was ever a time for Jesus to recant his claims to save his life, its now. But he keeps saying what he always said that will lead to his death. They then disrespect him in a number of grievous ways.

  • Mark 14:65 | “Some began to spit on him… to cover his face and to strike him.” Spit is not only disgusting, but it is ceremonially unclean. They also misapplied Scripture (Deuteronomy 18:22).

3). Mark 14:66-72 / Peter Disowns Jesus

While Jesus is assaulted, Peter is confronted 3 times about his allegiance to Jesus. Peter keeps denying that he is one of his disciples, each time for emphatically vulgar than the previous.

Deny (Gr. Arneomai) = to repudiate; disown

  • Matthew 10:33
  • Acts 3:14 (NLT) “You rejected this holy, righteous one and instead demanded the release of a murderer.”
  • Hebrews 11:24 (refusal)

It was shameful for a teacher to be disowned by their own disciples.

Now look at Mark 14:72. No one can know the future in great detail unless they are God.
Sin should break our hearts. It should make us feel sick inside.

CONCLUSION

The faithfulness of Jesus shines the brightest during his follower’s weakest, most shameful moments. He is the Son of the Blessed, come to deal with our sins.

May 10 Q&A

1). What are the different ranks and characteristics of angels in the Bible?

I could write a book attempting to exhaust the answers to this question, but I’ll try to be concise.

Characteristics of Angels

  • Angels are created supernatural beings (Ps 148:1-5).
  • Witnessed the creation of the world (Job 38:4-7).
  • They are countless (Hebrews 12:22).
  • They are persons (intellect, emotion, & will) (Ezekiel 28:12; Matthew 28:5; Luke 15:7).
  • They are within time. Not knowing the future (1 Cor 2:8).
  • They can only be in one place at one time (Luke 11:24).
  • They are powerful (Rev 7:1; 2 Ki 19:35).
  • There are good and bad angels (2 Peter 2:4).
  • There is no hope of salvation for an angel (Matthew 25:41).

Roles of Angels

  • They are called the “holy ones” (they are in close proximity to God, therefore being “holy”). They are referred to as heavens (Job 15:15), “stars” (Job 38:7), and “gods” (Ps 82:1; 97:9).
  • Ministers / Messengers (Ps 103:21).
  • Watcher (Daniel 4:13, 17) Angels are watching God (Luke 15:10; 1 Cor 4:9).
  • Hosts, mighty ones, God’s navy seals (Ps 24:10; 103:20). Cherubim guard the throne of God (Ez 1:5-8).
  • Elders, wise counselor angels (Rev 4:10).

Functions of Angels

  • Contribute to the divine counsel (Psalm 82:1; Job 1:6; 2 Chron 18:18-21; Is 37:5-7).
  • God appoints them to carry out his decrees. Millions of angels attend Jesus because millions of things are going on (Dan 7:9-10).
  • Assist in governing the world (Deut 32:8).
  • Territorial spirits (Daniel 10:12-13, 20).
  • Deliver divine decrees and explain divine activity (Daniel 10:14).
  • They execute divine judgment (Gen 19:12-13).
  • They give glory and praise to God (Hebrews 1:6).

Jews were very tempted to worship angels because when you study them, it a new world will open up to you and it is very fascinating! But remember, Jesus is greater than the angels (Hebrews 1:6-7).

2). Why does the Bible not contain all 12 disciples gospels?

This question assumes that every disciple wrote a gospel when only some of them did. In addition, we have “gospels” that are really fake. For example, the Gospel of Thomas was not written by Thomas. It was written years after the evangelist’s death. Also, when you read through his gospel, you’ll find some sayings of Jesus which seam identical to the ones in our Bible, and then you have crazy statements from Christ like suggesting that women need to be men before entering the kingdom of God. Ridiculous! The Gospel of Judas is not even authentic. He died before he could write anything and its not like he’s keeping a journal on him at all times. Have you tried to read his supposed “gospel”? The manuscript is so fragmented that it is basically nonsense.

So why do we have the gospels we have? We have them because they were either written by eye-witnesses or they contain the account of what the eyewitness saw. Matthew and John were eyewitnesses. Mark and Luke weren’t, but Mark interviewed Peter and Luke interviewed several eyewitnesses (Luke 1:1-4).

3). Is it possible that Second Thessalonians is the biblical disagreement with the values of socialism?

When you apply 2 Thessalonians 3 to the problems of modern-day society, you could argue that way. Of course, I always want to point you to the original context this was written in. Christians were quitting their jobs and giving in to idleness under the pretense of “waiting for Jesus to come back.” And Paul’s response is a stern one. He essentially tells them to get back to work. After all, when Jesus comes back, wouldn’t he want to find us doing good things?

As for today, the principle is still strong. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians basically says you are either giving or taking. He tells idle people to get a job so they contribute (Ephesians 4:28). Jesus himself said its more blessed to give than receive (Acts 20:35).

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