Mark 14:1 – 11

Sunday, April 6, 2014



Theme: Affectionately acknowledging Christ’s worth – worship.


This section is bookended with the Chief Priests and Scribes’ plot to kill Jesus and ending with Judas’ betrayal.


Mark’s gospel has been described as a passion account with and extensive introduction.  His account covers a larger portion of his gospel than the other three gospels.


The three predictions of the death of Christ (8:31; 9:30 – 32; 10:32 – 34) in the central section of Mark show that the event was both destined by God and essential for the completion of Jesus’ mission.


14:1, 2 – The chief priests and scribes were concerned about an uprising of the people, but were not concerned about killing Jesus.  The Jewish leadership is desperate.  They do recognize that Jesus is popular with the masses.


– Jerusalem’s population increased from 50,000 to 250,000 during the feast of Passover.


14:3 – The alabaster container is a luxury item and is very expensive by itself.  The ointment may have come from India and would cost about a years worth of wages.  This may have been an investment for the future. 


Quote from Mark, by Larry W. Hurtado (Baker Books):


“The perfume the woman used is described as made from nard, an aromatic oil extracted from a root found in India.  It was sealed in an alabaster flask to preserve it, and the flask would have had to be broken to use the perfume.  The description of the value of the perfume (more than a years wages [Greek, ‘more than three hundred denarii’]) suggests that the substance might have been a family heirloom, something that could be sold in times of financial need.  If so, the woman’s act was like parting with one’s savings.  It was customary to anoint the head of an honored guest at a meal, but the woman’s act went far beyond normal courtesy, and it is little wonder that it aroused the surprised response mentioned in verse 4.”


14:4 – Some were expressing “indignation.”  The NIV says: that some “rebuked her harshly.”  John’s gospel said that it was Judas Iscariot who rebuked her.


14:5 – It was the custom among the Jews to give donations to the poor on the evening of Passover.


14:6 – Jesus said that the women (Mary) had done a beautiful (noble) thing for Me.  It was a good work because it was done for the Son of God who is worthy of great sacrifices.


– What this woman did for Jesus was so selfless.  What a contrast to how others treated Christ, including Jesus’ disciples.


14:7 Deuteronomy 15:1 – 11, care for the poor.


14:8 – Compare the poor widow in 12:42 – 44.  Jesus commends both.


– Jesus seems to anticipate suffering a criminal’s death, for only in that circumstance was there no anointing of the body at death.


14:9 – Jesus fully expected that the gospel would be preached in the entire world.  This woman becomes a part of Jesus’ gospel story.  How can each one of us become a part of Jesus’ gospel story?


14:10 – This may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.  Judas now betrays Jesus.  Satan uses Judas’ weakness – he is a thief (John 12:4 – 6).


– Matthew 26:14 – 15 states that Judas was given 30 pieces of silver for betraying Jesus.  According to Exodus 21:32 puts 30 shekels of silver as the price of a slave that was killed through negligence. 


14:11 – Judas pleased the enemies of Christ.  In John’s gospel he stands with them while Jesus is being arrested (John 18:4 – 7; Compare Paul – Galatians 1:10).  See John 17:12 for the word “destruction,” compared with “waste.”