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Lesson 11: Betrayed and Arrested *

Introduction: When we left Jesus and the disciples last week, Jesus was preparing them for His death ( Mark 12:1-11) and for a time of arrest and trials ( Mark 13:9-11). The beginning of trouble for them is now at hand. Let's plunge into our study and learn more about the last few hours of Jesus' life here on earth.

  1. Physical Preparation

    1. Read Mark 14:3-5. The Bible gives us an enduring way to determine the value of this perfume gift. It cost more than a year's wages. What is the average yearly wage where you live? (U.S. Department of Labor Statistics say the average wage of U.S. workers in 2002 was $36,000.)

      1. What do you think about the "stewardship" of spending this amount on perfume? (The purchase price of the average new car in the U.S. in 2003 was $28,000, according to Motor Trend. You could buy a new car and pay for the gas for several years, or you could buy a bottle of perfume.)

      2. Is a harsh rebuke appropriate?

    2. Read Mark 14:6-8. Why does Jesus say this is appropriate? (Because it is preparing Him for his burial.)

    3. Read John 12:1-3. John does two things. He identifies the woman as Mary, the brother of Lazarus, and he fixes the date of the dinner as six days before Passover.

      1. Read Mark 14:1. Mark starts out by saying it is two days before Passover, and then he has a "flashback" story that goes back four days. Why? (Mark wants us to focus on how Jesus' closest friends treated Him as He approached death.)

      2. How do you react to Jesus' death? Does it awaken in you a desire for self-sacrifice?

  2. Betrayal

    1. Read Mark 14:10-11. John 12:4 reveals that the person who objected to the waste of money in the perfume gift was Judas. What connection, if any, do you see between this gift, Jesus' rebuke and Judas' decision to betray Jesus for money?

      1. Matthew 26:15 tells us that Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty silver coins. The NIV Study Bible reveals this was about four months wages. For Mary, the last few days of Jesus' life were about sacrificial giving. For Judas, the last few hours of Jesus' life were about personal profit. How do you think most Christians approach their relationship with Jesus?

        1. I often hear people say that a church or religious service "does not meet my needs." Is this legitimate, or is this "Judas-think?"

        2. How do you react if you are spiritually rebuked?

  3. Last Supper

    1. Jesus sends Peter and John to Jerusalem to make preparation for the Passover meal. Read Mark 14:17-20. When did they eat this meal? ("When evening came." That means after dark on Thursday (Nisan 15, according to the Bible Knowledge Commentary).)

      1. What day was Jesus crucified? (Jewish reckoning of time was that a day ran from sunset to sunset. Mark 15:34-45 tells us that Jesus died about 3:00pm on Friday (Nisan 15). Thus, Jesus was crucified on Passover - the celebration of the blood of the lamb saving the first-born son and freedom from slavery in Egypt!)

        1. The death of the first-born Egyptian sons during Passover convinced Pharaoh to free the Jews. Contemplate this symbolism of the sacrifice of God's Son to free us from sin.

      2. Mark 14:19 (compare Matthew 26:25) reports that even Judas declared that he would not betray Jesus ("Surely not I"). Was he just lying? Or, do you think he had some rationale for his statement? (Remember when we studied Mark 11 and Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem as a king? Perhaps Judas thought that he would, by his actions, force Jesus to re-establish the kingdom of David. Maybe he thought it was not a betrayal, but rather the application of superior intelligence.)

    2. Read Mark 14:21. Where does trying to outsmart God get us?

    3. Read Mark 14:22-24. The Bible Knowledge Commentary tells us that it was customary for the "head of the house" to explain the meaning of the Passover meal - reciting Israel's deliverance from Egypt. Jesus gives a new explanation. What is it?

    4. Read Mark 14:25. Matthew 26:29 makes it clear that Jesus will not drink "this fruit of the vine" until He drinks it with the disciples in heaven. Why did Jesus make this promise? Why not also refrain from eating bread?

      1. Read Exodus 6:6-7. I read a number of Bible commentaries and other descriptions of the Passover which suggest that during Jesus' time it was customary to drink four cups of red wine. These cups would be passed around in sequence and each would have a special significance. Although the description of the significance of the cups vary, some say that for each cup one of the four statements of redemption contained in these verses was recited.

        1. Cup 1 - Bring: I will bring you out from the yoke of Egypt.

        2. Cup 2 - Deliver: I will deliver you from being slaves.

        3. Cup 3 - Redeem: I will redeem you and execute judgment on the Egyptians.

        4. Cup 4 - Take: I will take you as my people and be your God.

      2. Which cup would represent what Jesus said in Mark 14:24? (It would be the third cup.)

      3. If the fourth cup remained to be drunk, why would Jesus say He was not drinking it until they were together to drink it in heaven? (The forth cup celebrated God taking them away from Egypt to a place where He would be their God. With this background, this is a beautiful statement which makes perfect sense. The last cup would be drunk together after they were safely in heaven, rescued from this sinful world!)

  4. Failure

    1. Read Mark 14:26-29. Jesus said two things. Which one got Peter's attention? (The good part is that Jesus says He will meet them at a pre-arranged place. But, Peter focuses on the part about the "sheep scattering.")

      1. Why?

    2. Read Mark 14:30-31. Do you think that Peter meant what he said? Was he willing to die for Jesus?

    3. Read Mark 14:32-41. How many times did Peter fail Jesus by not watching and praying? ( Mark 14:41 - three times.)

      1. Was this disowning Jesus? In what way had these disciples failed Jesus? (In the last part of Mark 14 Peter explicitly denies Jesus three times. But, I think the failure to watch and pray was also a type of denial of Jesus.)

      2. What if we are willing to die for Jesus, but unable to watch and pray for Him each day?

        1. Is it possible to have great determination for the important faith challenges of life, but have spiritual failure in our daily routine?

    4. Read Mark 14:42-47. Who cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest? ( John 18:10 reveals this was Peter.)

      1. Was Peter willing to die for Jesus? (Yes! An armed mob came and he was ready to fight.)

      2. Which would have been more important to Jesus: praying and watching in Gethsemane, or being willing to fight the mob?

      3. Which was more important, being willing to fight the mob or being willing to give up a year's income to anoint Jesus with perfume?

        1. Can you find any lessons in this for your life?

    5. Read Mark 14:48-50. Why did Peter and the rest flee? (Jesus was not going to fight. They were willing to fight, but afraid to sacrifice.)

    6. Friend, this week we see that Jesus and Mary have an attitude of sacrifice. Judas has a "my profit" attitude and the disciples are willing to fight, but fear to sacrifice. How about you? What is your attitude about serving Jesus?

  5. Next week: Tried and Crucified.
* Copr. 2005, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2021 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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