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, 2 for they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar from the people.”
3 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. 4 There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? 5 For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. 6 But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 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. 8 She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial.9 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