Mark 14 Reflection by Steve L
Wow, there is so much going on here!
First, I love it how it starts off with Jesus just hanging out at “Simon the leaper’s” house, so Jesus! It’s here that the famous pouring out of perfume, worth around £40 in today’s money, happens! This moment, where an unnamed woman pours the perfume on Jesus, is both beautiful and intimate but it’s also too controversial for the disciples who couldn’t see that it was preparation for Jesus’ burial. This “waste of money” appeared to be the final straw for Judas who left point to speak to the chief priest and begin his betrayal.
Where are we making excuses like “we could have sold that and given it to the poor” instead of taking time to first acknowledge Jesus pouring out sacrificial praise which costs us.
To be honest, I think I would have been the same as the disciples and thought what she is doing!!
We then go onto the famous last supper where we see the transfer from the promises of the Old Testament, made between God and Abraham, to a new covenant. Jesus uses the Passover meal to point towards the fulfilment of his ultimate sacrifice (dying on the cross and being raised back to life) to bring forgiveness and a freedom for which the exodus story is just a foretaste.
It’s also here that we discover that the disciples are going to scatter and leave Jesus once he is arrested. While Peter thinks he is above all that, Jesus knows that he will deny him 3 times. There is also the revelation of the betrayer Judas. I know I’ve had times where I’m so full of joy and confidence in the Lord one day and then the next day I’m almost embarrassed to say I’m a believer. Where are we ashamed of the name of Jesus. When talking to non-Christians, do we name everything we did on the weekend apart from church? In a way I find comfort in the fact that the disciples weren’t perfect, like Peter in this moment. but I’m challenged by the way they lived after the resurrection.
Next, it’s the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus sweats drops of blood. He is fully God and Fully human, but here we really see the human side of his anxiety, pain and stress. The disciples are asleep, and Jesus feels alone. Many others have been crucified but he is the only one to do it in order to take on the sins and brokenness of the world, past and future. No wonder he was not at peace in that moment!
For me this story raises the questions, where are we asleep spiritually, when we should be at watch? It’s so easy to get distracted by trivial things which are not bad in themselves, but if indulged in take our eyes of Jesus.
Jesus is finally arrested and put on trial. They struggle to find genuine charges against him and they humiliated him by blindfolding him, spitting at him and hitting him. This is the moment when Jesus’ prediction of Peter denying him 3 times comes true and Peter is devastated when he realises!
Thankfully this isn’t the end of the story for Peter as we discover later. Are any of us feeling like Peter in this moment, is there any guilt or shame that we are carrying from anything which we need to hand over to Jesus, or even forgive ourselves if we know God has forgiven us?