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.
- Physical Preparation
- 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.)
- 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.)
- Is a harsh rebuke appropriate?
- Read Mark 14:6-8. Why does Jesus say this is appropriate?
(Because it is preparing Him for his burial.)
- 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.
- 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.)
- How do you react to Jesus’ death? Does it awaken in
you a desire for self-sacrifice?
- 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
- 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?
- I often hear people say that a church or
religious service “does not meet my needs.” Is
this legitimate, or is this “Judas-think?”
- How do you react if you are spiritually rebuked?
- Last Supper
- 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).)
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- Read Mark 14:21. Where does trying to outsmart God get us?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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.
- Cup 1 – Bring: I will bring you out from the
yoke of Egypt.
- Cup 2 – Deliver: I will deliver you from being
- Cup 3 – Redeem: I will redeem you and execute
judgment on the Egyptians.
- Cup 4 – Take: I will take you as my people and
be your God.
- Which cup would represent what Jesus said in Mark
14:24? (It would be the third cup.)
- 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
- 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.”)
- Read Mark 14:30-31. Do you think that Peter meant what he
said? Was he willing to die for Jesus?
- Read Mark 14:32-41. How many times did Peter fail Jesus by
not watching and praying? ( Mark 14:41 – three times.)
- 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.)
- What if we are willing to die for Jesus, but unable
to watch and pray for Him each day?
- Is it possible to have great determination for
the important faith challenges of life, but have
spiritual failure in our daily routine?
- Read Mark 14:42-47. Who cut off the ear of the servant of
the high priest? ( John 18:10 reveals this was Peter.)
- Was Peter willing to die for Jesus? (Yes! An armed
mob came and he was ready to fight.)
- Which would have been more important to Jesus:
praying and watching in Gethsemane, or being willing
to fight the mob?
- 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?
- Can you find any lessons in this for your life?
- 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.)
- 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
- Next week: Tried and Crucified.