The Plot to Kill Jesus14It was two days before the Passover and the festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus* by stealth and kill him; 2for they said, ‘Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.’
The Anointing at Bethany3 While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper,* as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. 4But some were there who said to one another in anger, ‘Why was the ointment wasted in this way? 5For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii,* and the money given to the poor.’ And they scolded her. 6But Jesus said, ‘Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. 7For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. 8She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. 9Truly I tell you, wherever the good news* is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.’
Why did they want to arrest and kill Jesus?
Anointing oil was used for healing, for burial of the dead, and for crowning a King.
When have you seen or experienced extravagance, generosity, and/or real physical care?
What does the woman's action teach about the body?
What does Jesus mean by: "You will always have the poor with you...?"
MARK 14, continued
Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. 11When they heard it, they were greatly pleased, and promised to give him money. So he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.
The Passover with the Disciples12 On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, his disciples said to him, ‘Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?’ 13So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, 14and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, “The Teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?” 15He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.’ 16So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.
17 When it was evening, he came with the twelve. 18And when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.’ 19They began to be distressed and to say to him one after another, ‘Surely, not I?’ 20He said to them, ‘It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread* into the bowl* with me. 21For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.’
In your own life, what would betrayal look like? How have you experienced betrayal? To whom are you most loyal? What does loyalty require?
What does it mean that Jesus' betrayer is one of the twelve, sitting at table with him?
What does it mean that the others at table question their own loyalty by asking, "Surely not I?"
MARK 14, continued
While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, ‘Take; this is my body.’ 23Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. 24He said to them, ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.’
To whom have you given your life? Your body? Your blood? Your tears? Your sweat? Your allegiance? Your entire being?
Who has given the same to you?
Why does Jesus give them a physical expression of his gift, in the form of a simple meal? Why Bread and wine?