Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Abandoned

Below is the daily Bible reading I am doing for the West Side Church. Please feel free to follow along.

Today’s passage (Mark 14) was fairly long. In my estimate they could have added another chapter to the book of Mark, however, the organizers may not have wanted an uneven amount; who knows. Actually it is all one chapter because there is one main theme.

The story begins by a woman pouring a years worth of wages of perfume over Jesus. Those eating dinner rebuke this woman, Jesus praises her. Following this Judas enters his agreement to betray Jesus. Jesus is then eating the “Last Supper” with his disciples. During this meal he institutes the very thing we celebrate each Sunday morning with each other. Jesus then shares how two of his disciples will react; one will disown the other betray. Following dinner they make the trek to Gethsemane. Here Jesus’ soul is overwhelmed and he needs to spend time in prayer. He knows his final hours are upon him, and asks his disciples to keep watch. At this they begin to fall asleep. Physical need has overcome their spiritual need. Finally after hours of prayer Judas shows up with his mob to arrest Jesus. At that everyone deserted Christ and left him in his chains with the Sanhedrin. After his arrest he appears before the Sanhedrin. It is during this scene we see Peters own betrayal of Jesus. It is here that Peter denies knowing Jesus three times before the rooster crows.

Did you get the theme of this chapter? It opens with Jesus being honored in a magnificent way and his disciples not getting it. Throughout the chapter Jesus disciples rejected or betrayed Jesus for physical needs … Judas for money, those at Gethsemane for sleep, Peter for pride or even possibly to save his life and reputation. If the men Jesus spent three years with could not stand up to Jesus at a challenging time, what chance do we have? I think we might have an even better chance, because we have the help of the Holy Spirit. So my question for you today, when your faith is rocked or your God questioned, do you rely on the Spirit to pull you through or do you succumbed to the things of the flesh and deny your creator?
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