Listen and grow from the current and past sermons preached at Eternal City Church in Pittsburgh PA.
The Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread find their ultimate fulfillment in the person and work of Jesus. In this remarkable episode in the life of Christ, we see Jesus' clear understanding of himself as the Passover lamb for the forgiveness of the sins of the world (John 1:29). May we be found clinging to this lamb as our only hope of redemption.
Mark 14:1-31 (ESV)
Plot to Kill Jesus and His Anointed (1-11)
The Feast of Unleavened Bread occurred annually to celebrate the exodus from Egypt and lasted 7 days until the culmination with the Passover
Note that in preparation for one of the holiest weeks of the year in Judaism, the Jewish leaders are plotting a murder. Also note, the religious leaders continue to show their fear of man rather than a fear of God
The town of Bethany was about 2 miles from Jerusalem, and most believe the house belonged to the father of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus (see John 12:1-8 for more details). The fact that he is hosting guests would suggest that Simon the leper was no longer a leper but was healed by Jesus
Mark uses a generic “some” for those opposed to her actions most likely to focus the story on the content of their objection and the reality that Jesus is worthy of being honored in this way
By breaking the flask, the woman shows the totality of the gift that not even the flask could be reused
The perfume was worth over a year’s worth of pay
Jesus’ response regarding the poor is not meant to treat the poor as unimportant but to highlight the superiority of Jesus to all things – Consider John 12:4-6 for Judas’ real motivation
Last Supper and Jesus’ Prediction (12-31)
Similarly to 11:2-6, the instructions Jesus provide seem to show that Jesus prearranged for the upper room to be used for their Passover feast. This is strongly implied through the title “Teacher” indicating the man knew who Jesus was, the availability of a large room during the busiest night of the year in Jerusalem, and Jesus’ words, “Where is my room?”
The Passover meal prepared would have included a roasted lamb, unleavened bread, bowl of salt water, bitter herbs, fruit puree, and enough wine for each person to have 4 glasses
Mark structures this chapter through the prediction and fulfillment of Jesus as follows:
Prediction of Judas’ Betrayal (vs 18-21); Fulfillment of Judas’ Betrayal (vs 43-49)
Prediction of Disciples’ Desertion (vs 22-25); Fulfillment of Disciples’ Desertion (vs 50-52)
Prediction of Peter’s Denial (vs 29-31); Fulfillment of Peter’s Denial (vs 66-72)
Vs 21 reminds us of the divine necessity for Jesus’ betrayal and death (“as it is written”) but the human responsibility involved as well (“but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed”)
“Deny in v31 is a synonym for “being ashamed” in 8:38 in the context of being a disciple
What idols do you have in your life that compete with Jesus for our value and attention?
Discussion the different parts of the Lord’s Supper (bread and wine) and their significance
How does the Lord’s Supper highlight the grace and patience of Jesus? Consider 1 Tim 1:15-16
Predictive prophesy is subject to a wide variety of interpretations. The elders at Eternal City hold interpretations of prophecy about future events with an open hand. We choose to let the gospel's weightiness to outweigh secondary and tertiary issues. In this message, Peter Rew explains the various traditions of interpretation surrounding the millennium and his future-oriented reading of Mark 13:24-35. You will be blessed as you listen in!
There are three dominant theological positions for the timing of the Second Coming of Jesus:
Premillennialism: Following a time of great tribulation, Jesus returns and establishes a physical kingdom on the earth for a period of time (usually believed to be 1,000 years). The final judgment will occur after the 1,000-year kingdom followed by the new heaven and new earth
Postmillennialism: Through the spread of the gospel and growth of the church, Christianity will prosper during a “golden age” of the millennium. After this undetermined amount of time, Jesus physically returns for the final judgment followed by the new heaven and new earth
Amillennialism: The millennium is not literal but has already begun and is identical to the current church age. Though spiritual in nature, Jesus will physically return for the final judgment followed by the new heaven and new earth
The Coming of the Son of Man (24-27)
“But” is a connecting word that typically involves some level of contrast between what came before and what will come after
“In those days” is used with regularity as pertaining to eschatological (end times) events see Joel 3:1 and Jeremiah 3:16
There is debate about whether the cosmic activity of vs 24-25 should be understood metaphorically or literally. Regardless of this, it is clear that the activity is associated with a physical, literal event (either the destruction of Jerusalem or the future return of Jesus)
The Fig Tree (28-31)
“These things” and “all these things” refer back to v 4 and indicate that the events from vs 5-23 need to happen before Jesus returns. These things happened with the destruction of Jerusalem (AD 70)
The plain meaning of “this generation” is that it refers to the generation Jesus is speaking to
No One Knows but the Father (32-37)
Jesus’ lack of knowledge does not show a lack of deity. Rather, this aligns to Phil 2:5-11 where Jesus “empties” Himself of certain divine attributes when He became a man
What has been your experience with eschatology?
What are the similarities and differences between the three views of the 2nd coming of Jesus? Why is it appropriate to not consider this a primary theological position?
Discuss the faithfulness of God that can be seen in verse 27
How does Mark 13 connect to the cross? Specifically, compare 13:32-37 and 14:34-41
What are the areas of your life where you notice you are falling asleep?
How can we collectively care for one another to keep each other awake until Jesus returns?
This 13th chapter of Mark is one of the most interesting and hardest to interpret chapters in the entire gospel. The language is prophetic and cryptic at times however it clearly describes Jesus coming in judgement on Jerusalem and the current expression of Judaism that opposed Jesus and the apostles claims and message. Bellow you will find more depth into the text and questions for further study:
Mark 13:1-23 (ESV)
There are two dominant theological positions that impact how to handle this entire chapter:
1. Preterism: Either all of a majority of Jesus’ prophecy occurs by AD 70 when Rome sieges Jerusalem and destroys the temple
2. Futurism: Jesus’ prophecy is not yet fulfilled but will be fulfilled in the future during a time of tribulation followed by a physical, literal millennial kingdom.
Reminder: Mark is written most like around AD 65
Jesus Predicts the Temple Destruction (1-4)
Josephus, a 1st century Jewish historian, described the temple as “the most glorious building he had seen,” and stated that some stones were over 40 ft long, 15 ft wide, and 10 ft tall, weighing 600 tons
The disciples use of the plural “these things” indicates they understood the temple destruction as part of a larger series of events
Jesus Describes the Temple Destruction (5-23)
This section forms a chiastic structure as follows:
People claim to speak for Jesus (5-6)
Reports of war and natural disasters (7-8)
Believers are persecuted (9-13)
Fighting and tribulation in Jerusalem (14-20)
People claim to be Christ (21-23)
In this chiastic framework, Jesus is emphasizing that Christians during this time will need to be watching because persecution is coming.
The word “see” in v 5, “be on your guard” in v 9, and “be on your guard” in v 23 are the same Greek word meaning “watch.” It is a plural imperative so “You watch” is the literal translation.
Notice the phrase in v 7 “this must take place” demonstrating that even in the midst of wars and destruction God’s active supervision of the world is still going according to His plan.
In v 7 again, “the end is not yet,” discuss if this is referring to AD 70 or future end times. What fits the context the best? Does the timing of Mark’s writing impact your perspective?
In v 14, the “abomination of desolation” is taken from Daniel 9:27. The ESV correctly translates the phrase “standing where he ought not” as standing is a masculine singular verb. This seems to indicate that this activity refers to a person not a thing.
Do you believe these events refer to AD 70 or a future end times? Why?
How does knowing God is sovereign orient our perspective when we see problems in the world?
What is encouraging for you from this passage of scripture?
In these verses, Jesus encounters a scribe who has a very serious and pointed question for him. Interestingly, Jesus answers this scribe from Deuteronomy and in a way that affirms the scribe's nearness to the Kingdom of God. Jesus then begins to ask the questions; his wisdom, insight, and authority are on full display. He then warns the people of the scribes and puts on display their hypocrisy in a case study of a widow giving all she had to live on to the temple treasury.
Jesus is often in the midst of many controversies; it seems to follow him around wherever he goes. In these 27 verses, Jesus is confronted with three separate questions designed to get him in trouble (and possibly destroyed). Listen in and be amazed as Jesus not only eludes but astounds his questioners and those observing with his answers.
Jesus acts in a way that may seem "uncharacteristic" of the gracious and loving savior we are accustomed to in this text. Far from sinning or even a shadow of doing something wrong, Jesus fulfills prophesy but making a whip and driving out money changers and those selling animals in the temple declaring "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations." What modern implications and applications can be drawn from this second half of chapter 11 of the book of Mark? Listen and find out.