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Mark 14

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

THURSDAY, AUGUST 9 

SCRIPTURE:  Mark 14

BY: Jeremy Witt

Today we near the climax of Mark as we head towards the cross and the resurrection.  The religious leaders are plotting to kill Jesus in verses 1-2, but are waiting for the Passover to be completed.  The Passover comes from Exodus 12 when God “passed over” homes marked by the blood of the Lamb and saved the firstborn sons of Israel.  The similarities between the Passover and eventually the Crucifixion and Resurrection should be studied in greater detail.  The day of Passover is followed by a 7 day festival called the Festival of Unleavened Bread, an event reminding the Jewish families of their quick escape from Egypt (slavery) and didn’t have time to put yeast in the bread.  Jewish families gather together for a meal that includes a lamb, wine, bitter herbs, and unleavened bread.  Notice as you read the story of the Cross and the empty tomb how these components are seen in the last days and hours of Jesus.

We see Jesus being anointed with perfume by Mary (see John 12:1-3) in verses 3-9 and a few of the disciples getting upset over it.  In John 12:4-5, it is not a few who are mentioned, but Judas Iscariot is named specifically.  It shows us a contrast between Mary’s devotion to Jesus and Judas’ betrayal as seen in verses 10-11.

Verses 12-26 show us preparations for the Passover meal or what we, Christians call the Last Supper in verses 12-26.   There is one verse in particular I want to focus on.  Notice verse 19.  Jesus has just said that one of the disciples would betray Him.  But each one asked, “Am I the one?”  In Matthew 28:22 states this in the same manner, but in Luke 22:23, we see this question stated differently, how could any of us do this?  I ask the same question.  How anyone could betray Jesus especially if they walked with Him?  I wonder how they could ask the question, “Am I the one?” if their faith was sincere.  Then I am reminded of how I have betrayed Jesus in the variety of ways that I have:  when I did not speak up, when I felt the Spirit prompt me to; when I unintentionally disobeyed Him, or worse yet, when I intentionally disobeyed Him.  Maybe the disciples were more aware of their fragile faith than I am or were more consumed with their faith relationship that they didn’t have the pride I have, and were willing to ask, “Am I the one?”  I am not sure where you are in relation to this verse, but I see for myself that I have much more to learn and discover.

Verses 32-42 remind me of Mark 13 and how Jesus said to be watchful and waiting for Him.  The disciples fell asleep because of fatigue and the lateness of the hour just as we do when in similar circumstances.  Yet despite knowing our limitations, Jesus invites us to join Him.  Will we watch and pray?  Will we be faithful and obedient?  To borrow the question from Mark 14:19, “Am I the one?”  Who will watch and pray?  Will I or will you?

Our chapter ends with the arrest, questioning, and Peter’s denial of Jesus.  If one of the 12 could deny Jesus, it is safe to assume that we can as well.  Let us learn from their mistakes as well as our own, and be faithful to Him.  When we fail, let us remember that our Savior forgives just as He did Peter (John 21:15-17)

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

Mark 13

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8

SCRIPTURE:  Mark 13

As we begin our chapter today, I want you to think about the Statue of Liberty and the White House.  These two American objects are symbols of our country.  In our chapter today, Jesus speaks about the temple, which was the symbol for the Jewish people.  Granted, the temple has the spiritual component that Lady Liberty and the White House do not.  However, imagine someone you respected, admired, and held in high regard speak of these American icons being destroyed.  We would be focused on the “how” and “when.”  In verses 1-4, the disciples are imagining what Jesus is predicting.  They want to know “when” and ask for the details.  We do the same thing.  I won’t go into the history of the temple for the sake of time and space, but history tells us that the temple was destroyed in AD 70 when Rome destroyed the temple and the city of Jerusalem.  Some of the disciples were alive when this event took place.  For other Gospel accounts, look at Matthew 24:1-25; Luke 21:5-24.

In verse 3, Jesus is at the Mount of Olives and begins to answer the disciples question of “when.”  Some scholars call this the Olivet discourse.  In Zechariah 14:1-4 the Messiah or Jesus will return here in His 2nd coming to set up His Kingdom.  We read Jesus predict the coming days (in their lifetime) as well as the last days (verses 5-23) and even His return (verse 24-31).  Note that these are not necessarily in chronological order.  Jesus warned the disciples about the future so that they could learn how to live in the present.  The same is true for us.  Jesus told about events that will happen and some of these events have already happened.  However we need to understand that people in every generation claim to know when these events will take place and make predictions.  We must remember that this will happen on God’s timetable and not man’s.  As Jesus said in verse 5, “do not be misled.”  Jesus will repeat another warning at the end of the chapter.

There are two things to note in Mark 13, the last days and the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ.  The main point of Jesus was to prepare the disciples to be watchful and prepared for His coming.  If we will faithfully follow, obey, and serve Him, we will be ready whenever that day will be. 

Jesus gives some signs to point to these two moments.  There will be “false prophets and false messiahs” who will deceive in verse 6.  There will be wars and rumors of wars, but they are just the beginning (verse 7).  Then will come earthquakes and famines (verse 8).  Christians will be persecuted and arrested, but when this happens, we are told to preach Jesus and let the Spirit speak in and through us. (verse 9-11).  Families will be divided and Christ-followers will be hated.  But persevere believer!  This sure doesn’t sound like a “healthy, wealthy, happy life” or what so many popular people are preaching today, does it? 

Verse 14 is a big one.  It refers to events in Israel’s history (see 2 Chronicles 36 and  Daniel 9:27; 11:30, 31) when enemies came into the temple and did unholy things there.  This event is also tied to the future 7 year tribulation in Revelation where the Anti-Christ will proclaim himself god.  These days will be unlike anything our world has ever seen, and let’s remember that our LORD is warning us of these days in verses 15-22.  Just for the sake of clarity, go back and reread 21 and 22 again.  This anti-Christ will be a charmer and a deceiver, so pay attention. 

Mark points us to the clouds to see these signs of the true Messiah’s return.  We won’t have to wonder if someone is the LORD Jesus as we read in verses 24-27.  Everyone will see Him and will look to the sky!  Jesus repeats to us that no one knows when this will take place again in verses 32-36.  He tells us again to be waiting, watching, and to be prepared.  See Matthew 24:36-51 and Luke 21:34-38. 

“I say to you what I say to everyone.  Watch for Him!” Mark 13:37

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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