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The Son of Man is Betrayed
Tony Chute, Lead Pastor
Overview: Mark records the events leading up to the arrest of Jesus, where it seems that Jesus is in a position of weakness. However, the real signs of weakness are evident in the lives of those around Him. Peter professes to defend Jesus at all costs, but denies Him instead; the disciples claim that they will not fall away, but they fail to watch and pray during His greatest time of need; Judas pretends to love Jesus but is in the process of betraying Him; and the High Priest is responsible for finding out the truth about Jesus but receives and accepts questionable testimony against Him. In each of these events, Jesus demonstrates that He is actually in a position of strength. He predicts the future accurately; accepts His death obediently; refuses to flee from authorities; rejects attempts at self-defense; and speaks the truth without fear.
01. Our weakness before God is ever present with us. We often promise more than we deliver; we still omit basic Christian duties; we betray our Lord through deliberate sins; and we often close our minds to truths that offend us.
02. Our strength in Christ is ever present for us. His Word is true no matter the circumstance; He intercedes for us at all times; His faithfulness is constant through all generations; and He is still the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
- What made Peter and the rest of the disciples so certain that they would never fall away from Jesus? What does their response suggest about their failure to trust Jesus completely, even at this point in His ministry? In what ways do we think our good intentions are more reliable than God’s Word to us?
- Given the fact that Jesus predicted His death and resurrection on multiple occasions, are you surprised that Jesus agonized over His impending death in Gethsemane? Do you think the basis of His agony was the brutal nature of His death or the spiritual implications of His death, or both?
- Jesus uses the affectionate term “Abba” as He pleads with the Father to remove the cup from Him, and He finds that the disciples have failed to keep watch and pray with Him. Do you feel alone and abandoned when you pray about things on your heart? How does Jesus’ resolve to follow the path set before Him encourage us to keep walking with the Lord even when we feel abandoned and alone?
- Note the brevity of the trial of Jesus before the council and the high priest. What do the testimony of the witnesses and their contradictions tell us about the innocence of Jesus? What does this text suggest about people who speak about Jesus without knowledge? How should we respond to those who are inaccurate in their claims about Jesus?
- What differences do you find between Peter’s denial and Judas’ betrayal? Are their actions unequal in some way? What was the outcome for each of them? What does this suggest about the sinfulness of sin in our lives and the grace of God towards us?
For Further Reading: Joel Beeke, Getting Back into the Race: The Cure for Backsliding (Cruciform Press, 2011).