Mark Bible Study

Mark: Lesson 20

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

Mark 14:1-26

It was now two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest him by stealth and kill him, for they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar from the people.”

And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial.And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”

10 Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them.11 And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money. And he sought an opportunity to betray him.

12 And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 13 And he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him,14 and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15 And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.” 16 And the disciples set out and went to the city and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.

17 And when it was evening, he came with the twelve. 18 And as they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” 19 They began to be sorrowful and to say to him one after another, “Is it I?” 20 He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the dish with me. 21 For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”

22 And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24 And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.25 Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Questions to Consider

1. Briefly review lesson 16 (link above) for the timing of chapter 14. During what time period or “era” of Jesus’ life did the events of chapter 14 take place?

2. Examine verses 1-2. What was the Passover? The Feast of Unleavened Bread? Many aspects of the Passover are types or foreshadowings of the events of Mark 14-16. Is that simply a coincidence? Click the above hyperlink (Exodus 12). How do each of the items below point ahead to Christ and His crucifixion?

♦The male lamb without blemish (3-5, see also)
♦”The whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight” (6, see also)
♦The blood of the lamb (7, Mark 14:24, see also)
♦The doorposts and lintel covered with blood (7, see also)
♦The death of the firstborn for the deliverance of God’s people from slavery (12, see also)
♦God eliminating judgment for those “under the blood” (13,23, see also)

3. Read verses 3-9. Lepers were, according to Levitical law, unclean, and had to live alone, outside the city. How is it that Simon had a home in the city with invited guests? How could Jesus have entered the house of a leper, without breaking the law, and remained clean Himself?

4. What did the woman’s outward actions (3) demonstrate about her heart attitude toward Jesus? What did the objectors’ outward words and actions (4-5) demonstrate about their heart attitude toward Jesus? Was Jesus being self-centered or uncaring about the poor? (6-7) Why was the woman’s anointing of Jesus the right and godly thing to do?

5. Compare and contrast the woman’s honoring of Jesus (3-9) with Judas’ betrayal of Jesus (10-11, 18-21). How did each of them demonstrate the truth of Luke 6:45? What did Jesus say about each of them?

6. What do verses 12-16 and 17-21 teach us about Christ’s deity and omniscience? What does the two disciples’ unquestioning obedience (16), and the disciples’ unquestioning belief (19) tell us about their faith and trust in Christ? Consider your own obedience to Christ and whether or not you believe His Word. What does this tell you, and others, about your faith and trust in Christ? Why do you think Jesus told the disciples that He was about to be betrayed and who would do it? What does Jesus’ statement in verse 21 mean?

7. What was Jesus trying to convey to the disciples in verses 22-26? What was the significance of Jesus giving the bread (22) and the wine (23) to the disciples? Roman Catholic doctrine teaches that when Jesus said “this is My body” and “this is My blood” He meant it literally, and that when Mass is celebrated today, the bread and wine are supernaturally transformed into the literal flesh and blood of Jesus. This is a false teaching called transubstantiation. Were the disciples literally eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking His blood in this passage? How does this (as well as Scripture) demonstrate that Jesus was speaking metaphorically? Can you think of other instances in which Jesus spoke about Himself metaphorically that we do not take literally? If someone were to ask you if you “take the Bible literally,” how would you answer?

8. What was the significance of Jesus saying “this is my blood of the covenant“? (24) Which covenants would the disciples have been familiar with which were sealed with blood? What was this new covenant Jesus was referring to?


Reflect on the past 24 hours of your life. List three things you said or did and what these outward words and actions demonstrate about your heart attitude toward Jesus.

Suggested Memory Verse

Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Mark 14:38

Church, New Testament, Sunday School

The Last Supper~The Lord’s Supper ~ Sunday School Lesson ~ 11-16-14

Last Supper

These are my notes from my ladies’ Sunday School class this morning. I’ll be posting the notes from my class here each week. Click here for last week’s lesson.

Through the Bible in 2014 ~ Week 46 ~ Nov. 9-15
Matthew 26-28, Mark 14-16, Luke 22-24, John 13-21
The Last Supper ~ The Lord’s Supper

Last week we took a look at the last act of Jesus’ public ministry, the woes to the Pharisees. Today, we’re studying the last act of His private ministry to His disciples–the Last Supper, and with it, the institution of the Lord’s Supper for the church.

Mark 14:12-16
It was time for the annual celebration of Passover. As you will recall, the Passover pointed to Christ and was fulfilled in Christ. As the Passover celebrated God’s people being released from the bondage of slavery to Egypt, the Lord’s Supper celebrates Jesus releasing the Christian from bondage to the slavery of sin. As the Passover lamb was slaughtered and the blood applied to the wooden doorposts so death would not come to that house, Jesus, the Lamb of God, was slaughtered and bled on a wooden cross, so that if His blood is applied over the doors of our hearts, we will not suffer eternal death.

That’s why, as Christians, we now observe the Lord’s Supper instead of the Passover. For us, the Passover has been fulfilled in Christ. But for the disciples, on that night, it had not yet been fulfilled. So they began by celebrating the last Passover and ended by observing the first Lord’s Supper. It was a bridge between the old covenant and the new.

Peter and John (they’re mentioned by name in Luke 22:8) went into town, found the man whose house they were to use, and began to prepare the Passover meal. From the notes on verse 12 in my MacArthur Study Bible*:

After the lamb was slaughtered and some of its blood sprinkled on the altar, the lamb was taken home, roasted whole, and eaten in the evening meal with unleavened bread, bitter herbs, charoseth (a paste made of crushed apples, dates, pomegranates, and nuts, into which they dipped bread), and wine.

Luke 22:14-20
The end of the Passover (14-18)
This passage begins with the last Passover. Jesus will not partake of the Passover again until Heaven, after His death, burial, and resurrection have fulfilled it. Here, Jesus brings the old (Law) covenant and Passover to a close. For the last time, the first of the four cups of Passover, the cup of thanksgiving, is passed around. It is an appropriate time for the disciples to look back and give thanks to God for His good Law, and His love, kindness, care, and patience with His covenant people. It is also a time to look forward and give thanks -although the disciples don’t yet understand it- for the sacrifice Christ is about to make to atone, not only for their sin, but for the sin of all those who will come to trust in Him.

A New Meal (19-20)
With the breaking and blessing of the bread, a new ordinance is born for the church, the Lord’s Supper. The bread represents Christ’s body. (It does not actually or materially become Christ’s literal flesh, and the wine does not become His literal blood, as the false teaching of transubstantiation posits. Christ’s words are a metaphor, the same as when He said, “I am the door,” or “I am the bread that comes down from Heaven.”) He breaks it, as his physical body will soon be broken. He breaks it for his disciples, as his physical body will be broken for all future disciples. He gives the broken bread to His disciples -they did not take it themselves or earn it- as Christ gives life to Christians without any work on our part to earn or merit it.

In verse 20, Jesus likewise gave His disciples what had been the third cup of Passover, the cup of blessing. And what a blessing it was! Christ’s blood, shed for the remission of our sins. It represented the new covenant of grace– trusting in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as payment for our sin for right standing with God, rather than looking ahead to Messiah with the keeping of ceremonial Law.

1 Corinthians 11:23-34
Flash forward a couple of decades from the upper room to the church at Corinth. This church had allowed sin to corrupt their observance of the Lord’s Supper so much that Paul said (20) could no longer rightfully be considered “the Lord’s” supper. In verses 23-34, he sets about to instruct them on the proper way to come to the Lord’s table. Because this is an instruction to the church, we also draw upon this passage to learn how we should conduct the Lord’s Supper today.

A few implicit things to understand
First Corinthians is a letter to the church at Corinth. The church consisted of baptized Believers. Paul was not instructing lost people on receiving the Lord’s Supper. Lost people partaking in the Lord’s Supper would not have made any sense (then or now) because it was the celebration of the new covenant between God and His new covenant people, Christians. Lost people are not part of that new covenant. Their participation in the Lord’s Supper is sort of like an unmarried man and woman hooking up and having sex versus a man and woman getting married and then celebrating and consumating their marriage covenant by having sex.

The Lord’s Supper is not a lucky charm or magic wand that takes care of spiritual problems. Partaking of the bread and wine (or juice) will not save anyone who is unsaved. It is also not some sort of spiritual “booster shot” that imparts righteousness, grace, forgiveness, or holiness to the person who partakes, nor does it somehow supernaturally protect a person from demons or life’s negative circumstances. Neither does it prove that a person who claims to be a Christian is actually saved. It is simply an outward celebration of salvation by those who have already been saved.

Because the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, it is to be celebrated by the gathered body of the church (not at home {unless the church is meeting in a home} or somewhere else by individuals, families, groups of friends, etc.) and presided over by the pastor and elders or deacons of the church. Since it is not salvific and does not impart any kind of spiritual “good luck” there is no need to partake of it outside the meeting of the church body. It is a church celebration.

23-26– Paul sums up the gospels’ accounts of the institution of the Lord’s Supper by Jesus, relating that it commemorates Christ’s death for His people, and reminding us that it is a celebration of the new covenant of God with Believers through Jesus. He also says that when we, as a body of Believers, celebrate the Lord’s Supper, it is a picture of the gospel to the lost, so that they might come to know Christ as Savior.

27-32– We are not to underestimate the seriousness and solemnity of the Lord’s Supper. Once again, I think the notes on these verses in my study Bible* say it better than I could:

“In an unworthy manner” means ritualistically, indifferently, with an unrepentant heart, a spirit of bitterness, or any other ungodly attitude.

To come to the Lord’s Table clinging to one’s sin does not only dishonor the ceremony, but it also dishonors His body and blood, treating lightly the gracious sacrifice of Christ for us. It is necessary to set all sin before the Lord, then partake, so as not to mock the sacrifice for sin by holding on to it…

When believers do not properly judge the holiness of the celebration of Communion, they treat with indifference the Lord Himself- His life, suffering, and death…The offense was so serious that God put the worst offenders to death, an extreme but effective form of church purification. (Keep in mind, these are Believers, not lost people, we’re talking about, here.)

Believers are kept from being consigned to hell, not only by divine decree, but by divine intervention. The Lord chastens to drive His people back to righteous behavior and even sends death to some in the church to remove them before they could fall away.

The Lord’s Supper is a big deal. We are not to be flippant about it. Christians are to approach His table in reverence, awe, and gratitude for the extreme sacrifice God made through Christ to rescue us from hell. While it is not for unbelievers to participate in, it is a beautiful picture of the gospel to them, and a reminder to us -as individuals and the body of Christ- of just how much our sin and reconciliation to God cost Jesus. As often as we do it, let’s do it in remembrance of Him.


If you’d like to read more about the Lord’s Supper and the ins and outs of observing it in the church today, check out Joe Thorn’s excellent series of articles (they are brief and easy to understand), The Lord’s Supper:

For Sinners
Open or Closed?
Fencing the Table
A Means of Grace
Only in the Assembly
Sip It, Don’t Dip It
How Often?
Wine or Welch’s?

*Quotes taken from The MacArthur Study Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois, 2010.

Gospel, Old Testament, Salvation, Sunday School, Types and Shadows

Joe & Moe: Delivery Boys (Part 2) ~ Sunday School Lesson ~ 2-9-14

 sunday school

These are my notes from my ladies’ Sunday School class this morning. I’ll be posting the notes from my class here each week. Click here for last week’s lesson.

Through the Bible in 2014 ~ Week 6 ~ Feb. 2-8
Exodus 10-29
Joe & Moe: Delivery Boys (Part 2)

Moses: Deliverance from Bondage  Last week we took a look at how Joseph was a type (symbol) of Christ: deliverance through forgiveness of sin. Just as Joseph was able to deliver his family from the famine to a new, abundant life through forgiving their sin, so Christ delivers us from the “famine” of the old life of sin by forgiving us of that sin and giving us a new and abundant life.

Today, we’re taking a look at another “delivery boy,” Moses, and examining how the events in his life demonstrate Christ’s delivering us from the bondage of sin, just as Moses delivered the Israelites from their bondage to slavery.

As Moses delivered Israel from the bondage of slavery, so Christ delivers us from the bondage of sin. Deliverance/redemption from bondage is not easy or lighthearted. It is a battle for the freedom of another person, and that freedom must be purchased with blood and struggle.

Exodus 11-12
Bondage: Before God sets us free.

11:7– God sets His people apart for His glory and His purposes. (Deuteronomy 7:6-8, Romans 8:29-30, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
This “setting apart” is called “consecration.” It wasn’t because there was anything special about Israel itself, but because God was keeping His covenant promise and working out His plan. God made a distinction between Israel and Egypt, and called them out of Egypt, and separated them from Egypt. So, God makes a distinction between unbelievers and those who will be saved, calls us out of the world’s system and ways, and separates us from the world in our identity and being.

11:9-10– Satan doesn’t willingly give up his slaves. (2 Timothy 2:24-26, 1 Corinthians 2:14) 
Look at everything that happened to Pharaoh, and yet he still, at this point, wouldn’t let go of the Israelites. In the same way, Satan holds people in bondage as slaves to himself, to sin. As a slave cannot resist his master, a slave to sin cannot resist his master- sin. Satan will not give his slaves up to Christ without a fight.

2 Timothy 2:24-26: The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

This is why we can’t expect lost people to act like Christians or tell them to clean themselves up. They can’t. They’re slaves. Only Christ can raise them from the “living death” of sin and set them free.

12:1– When God institutes a new covenant, He makes all things new.
God changed everything about Israel’s life, right down to their calendar. This was a completely fresh start: a new time, a new place (the Promised Land), and a new celebration (Passover) for a new covenant and way of life.

When Christ delivers us, we also get a new time (our new life starts at the moment of conversion, and we receive a fresh new future), a new place (Heaven instead of hell) and a new celebration (baptism and the Lord’s Supper) to mark the new covenant and way of life. Those celebrations were a reminder for Israel of how the Lord delivered them from bondage and slavery, and a reminder to us of how God delivers us from the bondage and slavery of sin.

The Key to the Shackles: How God sets us free: The Passover Lamb
Christ in the Passover:

12:5– A lamb without blemish (1 Corinthians 5:7, 1 Peter 1:18-19, James 2:10)
Jesus was to be the sacrifice for our sin. All sacrifices offered to God had to be perfect, pointing to Jesus’ sinlessness. Had he ever sinned, even once, He would not have been an acceptable sacrifice for our sin.

1 Corinthians 5:7b: Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 

1 Peter 1:18-19: you were ransomed …with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 

12:6– The lamb sacrificed at twilight (Luke 23:44-46)
The Passover lamb was sacrificed as the sun was setting. When Jesus died there was darkness over the whole land. Additionally, at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion the lamb was customarily slaughtered at 3 p.m., the same time Jesus died.

12:7,13– Blood on the doorposts and lintel (John 10:7, Romans 5:9,8:1)
Picture a vertical beam perpendicularly meeting a horizontal beam. Now picture the blood of a spotless lamb running down those beams. What comes to mind? The cross.

Jesus said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, He will be saved…” How do we enter in to and through Christ? We pass under and through the blood He shed on the cross. Anyone who has passed through the blood and is in Christ is not under the judgment of God.

Romans 5:9 “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” 

12:8– Eating the flesh (John 6:53-55)
John 6:53-55: So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.

12:10, 46– Do not leave the remains until morning. Do not break any of the lamb’s bones. (John 19:31-36)
John 19:31-33,36: Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.”

11:5, 12:12-13, 29-31– Death of the firstborn son of the king. (Colossians 1:15,18; Romans 5:10)
Just as the firstborn son of the king had to die in order for Israel to be set free from bondage, so, Jesus, the firstborn Son of our King, the firstborn of Creation, and the firstborn from the dead, had to die to set us free from the bondage of sin.

Now that Christ has set us free, we remember his sacrifice through the Lord’s Supper and celebrate our freedom from sin through baptism. The crossing of the Red Sea hints at baptism.

Exodus 14
The “Baptismal Waters” of the Red Sea (Romans 6:4)

God set the Israelites free from the bondage to Egypt and brought them out of Egypt into a new place. With their bondage and slave masters behind them, God brought them to the water and they passed through it. The old slave masters tried to follow them to recapture them, but God washed them away to their death. The Israelites started a brand new life on the other side of the water. It was a testimony of God’s glory to the Egyptians (14:4) and to the Israelites themselves that God is the Lord.

Christ passed through the waters of death- defeating the enemy and breaking his chains that keep us captive- and rose up out of those waters to life on the other side. So, “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”

Our baptism is a testimony of God’s glory to Satan- that he is defeated, to ourselves- that we have passed from death unto life, and to others- that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Additional Resource:
What Does It Mean to Be a Slave to Sin? by