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Bible Commentaries

Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NT

Mark 14

Verses 1-9

TITLE: Alabaster Box TEXT: Mar_14:1-9 PROPOSITION: Jesus encourages us to break boxes. QUESTION: How? KEY WORD: Responses READING: Same INTRODUCTION:

1. Background of story - 2 days before Jesus' death - people seeking to kill him - in the house of Simon the leper - woman breaks an alabaster box of ointment on Jesus head.

2. Critics - What a waste - could have been sold for 300 pence (one year salary)

3. Jesus - Good work - poor are always with you, not me - Done what she could - it will be preached where gospel goes

Jesus response

Leave her alone - 6

1.“Did Christ pour out his soul unto death for us, and shall we think any thing too precious for him? Do we give him the precious ointment of our best affections?” Matthew Henry Commentary

2.“Murmured” (vs. 5) = word that describes the “snorting of horses”

She has done a good work toward me - 6

1. We have opportunity for many “good works”

2. We must seek works that are good toward Jesus

3. Distinguish good works from Christian works

4. THEN Distinguish Christian works from works toward Christ

Poor always with you, not Jesus - 7

1. Deu_15:11 - The poor shall never cease out of the land

2. She was preparing my body for burying

3. She was ahead of the apostles in understanding

Done what she could - 8

1. What could make a better summary of life?

2. God does not ask it you did GREAT things.

3.“Have you done what you could?”

Spoken for a memorial of her - 9

1. It was recorded in the gospels - Mat_26:1-75 , Mar_13:1-37 , Luk_7:1-50 (similar event in Joh_12:1-50 )

2. Soon (in writing the gospels and in sermons preached) the whole world will know

3. Gospel is more than D B R - It is also an alabaster box of ointment

Conclusion: In order to do a good work, do what you can - you have to break some boxes

Verses 10-11

TITLE: A Convenient Betrayal TEXT: Mar_14:10-11 PROPOSITION: Betrayal is a serious and harmful sin. QUESTION: Why? KEY WORD: Circumstances SCRIPTURE READING: Same INTRODUCTION:

1. Judas and betray are forever connected.

2. Don't name your son “Judas” or your daughter “Jezebel”

3. Why was this a horrible act?


1.“Convenient” = in the right time, situation

2. Same word in 2Ti_4:2 - Preach word “in season” (when convenient”)

3. Judas wanted to avoid a riot - find a time away from crowds ( Luk_22:6 )


1. Word means - To turn over, to hand over

2. In good sense of deliver to another for safety or safe-keeping

3. To turn in a criminal, deliver to prison

4. To deliver over treacherously

Aggravating Circumstances

1. Insider trading

1. He took advantage of his intimate relation with Jesus

2. Enron, Martha Stewart - insider information

3. Helps you but hurts others

2. Destroys relationships

1. Puts your “friend” in the hands of an enemy

2. This is the “treacherous” part of betrayal

3. Destroys trust and friendship

3. Sneaky - It is done stealthily by night

1. Joh_3:19 - Men love darkness, because deeds are evil

2. Many think the darkness covers their crime

4. Kiss

1. With a kiss, an act which professed affection, a friend

2. Pat on back = just getting ready to stab you

5. Greed

1. 30 silver coins

2. What is your price?

3. Reality shows = what would you do for a million dollars?

6. Aware

1. He knew Jesus was innocent of any crime

2. This is not an accident, mistake, slip-up


1. Have you ever been betrayed?

2. Is your life betraying your Lord?

Verses 12-16

TITLE: Celebrate Passover TEXT: Mar_14:12-16 PROPOSITION: Passover is still a part of the New Testament church. QUESTION: How? KEY WORD: Applications SCRIPTURE READING: Same


1. It was Passover time.

2. Feast of Unleavened Bread = same thing extended

Background - Exodus

1. Exo_12:1-51

2. New year - first month - 10 th day - select lamb

3. Male, 1 st year, not spots or blemish - separate out

4. 14 th day - kill the lamb - blood on door posts

5. Cook and eat the lamb that night

6. Protection only inside the house

7. Followed by 7 days of feasting and celebration.

Jesus observed

1. Joh_2:23

2. Joh_6:4

3. Joh_13:1

What about Christians in the New Testament Church?

READ: 1Co_5:7-8

1. Jesus is the “pascha” lamb.

A. He was sacrificed for us.

B. Joh_1:29 - John said, “Behold the lamb of God, takes away sin of world”

2. Separated

A. We must separate from the world - 2Co_6:17-18

B.“Saint” - set apart, separated, “sanctified”

1. Purge out

A. Clean house - remove all the old, decaying, rotten, and moldy

B. Spring house cleaning started here

C. We must die to old man, put off sins of flesh, purge out old leaven

1. We must become a “new lump” of dough

A. Born again - new, fresh, clean, start over

B. 2Co_5:17 “a new creation in Christ”

1. Unleavened bread in communion

A. No impurities, nothing decaying

B. Sourdough bread is delicious - but not in the Lord’s Supper

1. Remain in the house of God

A. Remain active, faithful, attend worship

B. Don’t quit the church, leave God - lose your protection of Jesus’ blood

1. Celebrate

A. Partake of the communion with Christ

B. Follow with a week of feasting

Verses 17-21

TITLE: Is it I? TEXT: Mar_14:17-21 PROPOSITION: Soul searching is hard work. QUESTION: Who? KEY WORD: Actions SCRIPTURE READING: Same


1. In communion we “examine ourselves” ( 1Co_11:28 )

2. As we think about our faith - 2Co_13:5

3. Today we will sit at the table with the apostles and Jesus.

4. We will “examine ourselves” and ask, “Lord, it is I?

5. Greek construction shows, “It is not I, is it?” (Expecting a NO response)

Betray - traitor

1. Awful to contemplate

2. It would not be me, would it?

3. Would you betray Christ?


1. Mar_14:30-31 - Peter

2. Mark 14:66-72 - 3 times

3. Then the rooster began to crow.

4. Are you denying Christ in your conduct and example?

Leave - (deliberate decision)

1. Joh_16:32 You will be scattered and leave me alone

2. Mar_14:50 Then they all forsook him and fled.

3. Are you making a decision to leave Christ?

Drift away - Joh_6:60-68

1. Jesus taught about eternal life and resurrection

2. Some said, Hard saying, I can’t understand it. (60)

3. Jesus asked, “Will you also go away?” (67)

4. Peter - To whom can we go? (68)

5. Are you drifting away? ( Heb_2:1 )


1. Heb_3:12 Beware, enter in a heart of unbelief

2. Apostles upbraided - unbelief - Mar_16:14

3. Thomas - Joh_20:24-29

4. Has unbelief entered your heart?

Not Ready

1. Mat_24:44 Be ready, for the Son of Man is coming in an hour you do not expect

2. Parable of 10 Virgins - Mat_25:1-13

3. Parable of Talents - Mat_25:14-30

4. Glimpse into judgment day - Mat_25:31-46

5. Are you ready for judgment day?

Verses 22-26

TITLE: The Last Supper TEXT: Mar_14:22-26 PROPOSITION: Jesus converted the Jewish Passover to the New Covenant communion memorial service. QUESTION: What? KEY WORD: Traditions SCRIPTURE READING: Same


1. We partake of communion each Sunday.

2. Most understand why this is done.

3. Many do not understand the background for this.

Preparation - House cleaning

1. All leaven MUST be removed from the house.

2. Four sets of dishes ( Exo_23:19 )

A. 1 for milk, 1 for meat for the year.

B. 1 for milk, 1 for meat for Passover.

3. Game to get all involved

A. Mother hides cookies, cake, or bread in the house.

B. Children search for it - reward - eat the cookie

C. Call for father to clean out all crumbs and throw then into the fire.

1. Lambs are purchased

2. By 3 PM lambs are being killed, blood on door frames

3. National BBQ of lamb

Meal begins at 6 PM

1. Father (as patriarch) puts on priestly robes

2. Family is seated in order around the father

3. Candle is lighted by the woman of the house

4. 1 st - Cup of Sanctification

5. Then 3 loaves in bag with 3 sections; middle loaf removed, broken and hidden

6. Youngest boy asks 4 questions:

A. Why is this night so special?

B. Why the unleavened bread and bitter herbs?

C. Why do we dip salt into the water?

D. Why do we sit on pillows at the table?

7. The father quotes Exo_12:27

8. The remainder of the evening is spent eating and answering these questions.

9. 2 nd cup - Cup of Plagues - 10 drops on a white plate

10. 3 rd cup (desert) - Cup of Thanksgiving ( Luke 22:17-20 -3 rd and 4 th mentioned)

11. 4 th cup - Cup of Redemption (This is the cup Jesus used to introduce communion to the apostles.)

Comments on “Unworthily”

1. Describes the manner (how) you partake - attitude, mind set, purpose

2. If you are a Christian, washed in the blood of Jesus - CANNOT be unworthy.

Conclusion :

1. Have you prepared for this communion?

2. Are you doing it in the proper attitude, frame of mind, and purpose?

NOTE : A special thanks to Michael D. Inman for much of the material, “The Blood Covenant”, used in this sermon.

Verses 27-31

TITLE: Scattered Sheep TEXT: Mar_14:27-31 PROPOSITION: Sheep are easily scattered without a good shepherd. QUESTION: Why? KEY WORD: Causes SCRIPTURE READING: Same


1. Jesus tells his apostles that when he is arrested - they will scatter.

2. Mat_26:56 Then all the disciples forsook him and fled.

3. What causes sheep to scatter?

Lack of faith

1. Faith - trust, confidence

2. If we do not believe in our leaders - we will wander away


1. Fear is a negative motivator - restricts, cowers down, runs away

2. 2Ti_1:7 We have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power of love and of a sound mind.

No real depth to their commitment

1. Many are faithful - as long as there is no cost

2. When put to the test - would you run or stay?

3. If you were one of the 12 - you would have fled also

Trouble, strife

1. Internal strife - division, debate, arguing, fussing = scattering of sheep

2.“I don’t need this. I am going elsewhere.”

3. We must learn to disagree - without being disagreeable!


1. Sometimes the flock moves on with the shepherd and we do not notice.

2. Are you paying attention? Are you listening?

Not being fed - hungry

1. Some leave because they are not being fed - churches leaving the “old paths”

2. Change agents - seeking to attract the “unchurched” - abandon feeding the flock

Enemy attacks

1. Persecution is inevitable - 2Ti_3:12 - Righteous will suffer persecution

2. When wolves attack:

A. Some get stronger, bolder, stand up and resist

B. Many will just run the other way - scatter


1. The flock of God will always need good, strong, courageous leaders.

2. This church is blessed with a strong, united eldership.

3. We have deacons who take their work seriously and faithfully.

Verses 32-42


1. Although this is a very rare phenomenon, bloody sweat (hematidrosis) may occur in highly emotional states or in persons with bleeding disorders. As a result of hemorrhage into the sweat glands, the skin becomes fragile and tender. Luke's descriptions supports the diagnosis of hematidrosis rather than eccrine chromidrosis (brown or yellow-green sweat) or stigmatization (blood oozing from the palms or elsewhere). Although some authors have suggested that hematidrosis produced hypovolemia, we agree with Bucklin that Jesus' actual blood loss probably was minimal. However, in the cold night air, it may have produced chills.

2.“How can we do less than prostrate ourselves in adoration and gratitude for One by whose grace I need never die? And how could we fail to do less than arise and walk in newness of life, sharing the good news with others?”

3.“If one who knew that real fellowship with God means sweating blood at the anticipation of being forsaken of God in any sense for any time, what a horrible thing it must be to be separated from him forever!”

Verses 43-65

TITLE: Arrest and Trial TEXT: Mar_14:43-65 PROPOSITION: We must understand what Jesus endured for us. QUESTION: What? KEY WORD: Events READING: Mar_14:60-65


1. Jesus was arrested.

2. I want you to understand what Jesus went through before the cross.


1. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John (supported by other 23 books)

2. 1 st century historians - Flavius Josephus, Seneca, Plutarch, and others

3. Shroud of Turin and recent archaeological findings - While I am not convinced that the shroud is the one that was around Jesus, it does give us insight to Roman crucifixions.

Jewish Trials

1. Between 1 AM and daybreak (2 Jewish trials)

2. Annas, high priest (Roman recognized)

3. Caiaphas, high priest for the year (Jewish recognized)

4. Found guilty of blasphemy

5. Blindfolded, spit on, struck in face with fists

6. At daybreak, taken to the Temple

7. Found guilty of blasphemy by the Sanhedrin (3 rd Jewish trial)

Roman Trials

1. Jesus was taken to the Fortress of Antonia, home of Pontius Pilate (1 st Roman trial)

2. Presented as self-appointed king

3. Pilate made no formal charges, sent him to Herod (2 nd Roman trial)

4. Herod made no charges and returned him to Pilate (3 rd Roman trial)

5. Ready to release him, made offer to release one at Passover

6. Barabbas was released

7. Pilate allowed Jesus to be scourged and crucified


1. Scourging (flogging) was allowed before a crucifixion

2. Weapon: short whip (Flagellum), braided thongs of various lengths

3. Into each thong were tied metal or pieces of bone

4. Hands tied high to a post, clothing removed

5. Beaten by 2 men alternating blows from each side

6. Skin, muscle, tissues torn down to the bone

7. Pain and blood loss - left them just short of collapse or death

8. 39 lashes was a limitation to prevent total death here


1. Lack of food and water

2. Lack of sleep or rest; walked over 3 miles

3. Stress of trials, loss of support, apostles left, denied, betrayed

4. Loss of blood in the beating

Information for this sermon adapted from -

Verses 66-72

TITLE: And the cock crew TEXT: Mar_14:66-72 PROPOSITION: There is more than one way to deny our faith. QUESTION: How? KEY WORD: Ways READING: Same


1. Held a meeting in northern Arkansas

2. Stayed with family, back bedroom, until about 5 AM

3. Neighbors had a rooster, crowing on the fence, at our window

4.“Roosters wake up the sun”


1. Jesus has been betrayed by Judas

2. He is now arrested, in the middle of an illegal trial (1 st of 6)

3. Peter is near (outside) watching

What Happened

1. Peter is at the fire keeping warm

2. A maid recognized him, “You were with Jesus” (67)

3. He denied - I know not, don’t understand what you are saying

4. And the cock crew

5. A maid said - This one of them

6. He denied again

7. Some stood by - You are Galilean, speech give you away Living in the south and raised in Michigan - I have heard this, myself

8. Peter - curse, swear (take oaths) I know not the man you speak of

9. Cock crows a second time

10. Peter remembered the words of Jesus

11. Before the cock shall crow twice, you will deny me thrice. ( Mar_14:30 )

12. He thought about this

13. He wept - The form of the Greek verb (imperfect) implies that he continued weeping. "It is a touching and beautiful tradition, true to the sincerity of his repentance, if not as a historical reality, that, all his life long, the remembrance of this night never left him, and that, morning by morning, he rose at the hour when the look of his Master had entered his soul, to pray once more for pardon."-- Geikie .

Uses and Meanings of “Deny”

1. "To say ... not, to contradict," - Joh_1:20 “confessed, did not deny”

2. "To deny" by way of disowning a person, as, e.g., the Lord Jesus as master, e.g., Mat_10:33 - deny me, I will deny you 2Ti_2:12 - we deny him, he will deny us

3. To "deny" the Father and the Son, by apostatizing and by disseminating pernicious teachings Jud_1:4 denying the only Master, God, even our Lord Jesus Christ

4. "To deny oneself," in a good sense, by disregarding one's own interests Luk_9:23 - to come after Christ, deny your self

5. In bad sense, to prove false to oneself, to act quite unlike oneself, 2Ti_2:13 - God remain faithful, he cannot deny himself

6. To "abrogate, forsake, or renounce a thing," Tit_2:12 - denying ungodliness and worldly lusts 1Ti_5:8 - denied the faith, worse than an infidel

7. "Not to accept, to reject" something offered, Heb_11:24 - Moses refused to be son of Pharaoh’s daughter

Copyright Statement
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Bibliographical Information
Luscombe, Manly. "Commentary on Mark 14". Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NT. 2021.