The Betrayal of the King: April 2

The Servant King
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve,
and to give his life for a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

The Betrayal of the King
Mark 14:43-50 | April 2, 2017

Review: Last week we listened to Jesus exhort his followers to “stay awake” until he comes again. We reflected on what it means for us to stay awake and to keep watch for the coming of Jesus into our lives both now by the Spirit and as he comes again to judge the living and the dead. We asked the question, “Where do you find yourself falling asleep?” Share any reflections you had this past week as you thought and prayed through this passage.

Introduction: This is week five in our Lenten study on Jesus, entitled “The Servant King.” In chapter 14 the plot to kill Jesus comes into clear focus. This is what Jesus has been predicting. And this is what Jesus has been sharing with the disciples. Still, chapter 14 shows how stubbornly the disciples are holding on to their hopes for what kind of King Jesus will be. So even though Jesus has been preparing them for this moment, when it finally arrives the wheels all come off and everybody runs and hides. The disciples have been listening to Jesus but not hearing him.

By the time we get to the end of chapter 14 no one but Jesus is standing in the right. We expect this from the Romans and the religious establishment—they have a lot to lose. And we see Judas as this pathetic figure willing to sell out Jesus and his friends for a very small fortune. So when we think about the betrayal of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, it’s the Romans, the priests, and Judas that are the perpetrators. But our text actually says, “And they all left him and fled,” (verse 50).

Therefore, the text asks us to consider not how we can do better than the Romans, priests, Judas, and the other disciples; rather, the text asks us to reflect on how we all are part of the betrayal of Jesus.

Pray: Lord Jesus, give us your wisdom from above as we open your Word together. Quiet our minds and grant us your peace at the end of long and busy days. Thank you for the gift of a community like this. Give us the joy of sharing with one another. Help us to see you as you are, and as we need you to be, and not as we want you to be. Amen.

Read: Mark 14:43-50

Discussion:

1. What do you do when the strong person in your life becomes weak? Up until the Garden
of Gethsemane Jesus was in control. Jesus is in a place of weakness.
2. Before the crowds arrive Jesus prays, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you.
Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” If you think about the first part of Jesus’ prayer, the Father’s answer is a ‘no’. How does that make you think about your own life of prayer?
3. What motivated the chief priest, scribes and elders to have Jesus arrested?
4. What do you think about Judas? Why did he do what he did?
5. Think about the different characters in the story—crowd with clubs, chief priests, scribes, elders, Judas, the one who drew the sword, and the other disciples. Where do you see yourself in this story of Jesus’ betrayal?

Application: As you go through your week, think about verse 50 and where and why it is that you put distance between you and Jesus. Where do you find yourself fleeing Jesus? Think about the times in your life you feel most removed from Jesus and consider this simple prayer, “Lord Jesus, quickly come.”

Pray: Abba, Father, we confess that we fail your Son Jesus. And we marvel that he never fails us. We don’t love Jesus as we should, and yet he loves us still. Give us the courage to stay with Jesus as he makes his way to the cross. In Jesus Christ, the Servant King, we pray. Amen.

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