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Preparation for the Passover

The Life of Jesus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  53:28
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1. Following the Olivet Discourse in Mark 13, Mark’s gospel turns its attention to events that preceded the betrayal and arrest of Jesus...
2. In the first sixteen verses of Mark 14, we are told of "Four Preparatory Acts"...
a. Two done in opposition to Jesus
b. Two done in service to Jesus
[Once these four preparatory acts are completed, the stage is set for the last night and day of Jesus’ earthly life. In Mk 14:1-2, we are told how...]
Do any of us make preparations to live out our faith or mature in our faith?



1. This is not the beginning of their machinations - cf. Mk 3:6; 11:18; 12:12
Mark 3:6 ESV
The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
Mark 11:18 ESV
And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching.
Mark 12:12 ESV
And they were seeking to arrest him but feared the people, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them. So they left him and went away.
2. But now it is two days before the feast of Passover - Mk 14:1
Mark 14:1 ESV
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,
a. "It was now two days before..." - ESV
b. "Now the Passover and Unleavened Bread were two days away..." - NASB
3. The plot involves the chief priests, scribes, elders, along with Caiaphas the high priest - cf. Mt 26:3-4
Matthew 26:3–4 ESV
Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him.
What is the intention of the chief priests, scribes, elders, and Caiaphas high priest?
4. Their intention is to take Jesus by trickery (stealth)


1. They did not want to do anything during the feast, lest there be an uproar - Mk 14:2
2. For they feared the people - cf. Mk 11:32; Lk 22:2
3. Despite their intent, the events are not entirely in their hand - cf. Ac 2:23 We must always understand that men can not overcome the Providence of God.
Acts 2:23 ESV
this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
[Indeed, their plot will be carried out much quicker than intended. But before we see why, we read in Mk 14:3-9 that...]



1. The home of Simon the leper (perhaps father of Mary, Martha, Lazarus) - Mk 14:3
2. John identifies the woman as Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus - cf. Jn 11:2; 12:2-3
3. Not to be confused with the woman that anointed Jesus earlier - cf. Lk 7:36-50


1. Using an alabaster jar of expensive perfume - Mk 14:3
2. Breaking the jar, pouring the perfume over His head, anointing and wiping His feet with her hair - cf. Jn 12:3


1. They were angry at what they considered wasteful - Mk 14:4
2. For the perfume was worth 300 denarii (300 days wages), and they thought it better to have sold it and given the money to the poor - Mk 14:5
3. Judas Iscariot especially was angry, not that he cared for the poor, but because he often pilfered from the money box - Jn 12:4-6
John 12:4–6 ESV
But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.
4. Thus the disciples criticized Mary sharply - Mk 14:5 Many of us will be criticized for doing what is right as well. Criticized for make preparations and being prepared to live lives of faith.


1. Leave her alone, she has done a good work - Mk 14:6
2. There would always be the poor to help, but not so with Jesus - Mk 14:7
3. She has done what she could, even anointing Jesus for His burial (once again, predicting His death) - Mk 14:8
4. The highest praise? Mary’s actions will be memorialized - Mk 14:9
[Jesus’ prediction of Mary’s praise was fulfilled by the inclusion of this story in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John. Sadly, Mary’s preparatory act is soon followed by a much different one as...]



1. With the intent to betray Jesus to them - Mk 14:10
2. Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve apostles - cf. Mk 10:4
3. Whom Jesus knew early on would betray Him - cf. Jn 6:70-71
John 6:70–71 ESV
Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray him.
4. Luke adds that Satan had entered Judas - cf. Lk 22:3
Luke 22:3 ESV
Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve.

22:3 Then Satan entered Judas. Although Satan/devil has been mentioned in Luke 8:12; 10:18; 11:18; 13:16, he has been comparatively inactive since 4:13.

Does Satan enter into us today?
We have to be prepared for his attacks.
He works the same as he always has. Through the lust of the eye; lust of the flesh; and the pride of life. - cf. 1 Jn 2:15-17
1 John 2:15–17 ESV
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
The works of the flesh are manifest... - cf. Gal. 5:16-21
Galatians 5:16–21 ESV
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.


1. The chief priests are glad, and promise to pay Judas - Mk 14:11
Mark 14:11 ESV
And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money. And he sought an opportunity to betray him.
2. Matthew records the price agreed for betrayal: 30 pieces of silver - cf. Mt 26:15
Matthew 26:15 ESV
and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver.
3. Judas had previously manifested his greed for money - cf. Jn 12:4-6
John 12:4–6 ESV
But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.
4. Judas then sought for a convenient time to betray Jesus - Mk 14:11
Mark 14:11 ESV
And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money. And he sought an opportunity to betray him.
[What a contrast between the preparatory acts of Mary and Judas! Finally, let’s briefly consider the preparatory act of the disciples...]



1. The first day of Unleavened Bread arrived - Mk 14:12
Mark 14:12 ESV
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?”
a. When the Passover lamb was to be sacrificed
b. The day was likely Thursday, Nisan 14 - ESV Study Bible
c. His disciples asked where He wanted them to prepare to eat the Passover
2. Jesus gives explicit instructions - Mk 14:13-15
Mark 14:13–15 ESV
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, 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?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.”
a. For two of His disciples (Peter and John) - cf. Lk 22:8
Luke 22:8 ESV
So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.”
b. With either miraculous foresight, or having made prior arrangements
c. To meet a man who will provide a large upper room, furnished and prepared
d. We need to understand that space was at a premium. Many have pilgrimaged to Jerusalem to do the same thing.


1. They go into the city (Jerusalem) - Mk 14:16
2. They find it just as Jesus predicted
3. They prepare the Passover
Do we have instructions to follow from Jesus today?


1. With these preparatory acts completed, the stage is now set...
a. For Jesus to keep the Passover
b. For Judas to betray Him to the chief priests
c. For the trial, crucifixion, and death that will lead to His burial
2. Perhaps we should ask, "What sort of preparatory acts are we doing today...?"
a. Are they things that would prove to betray our Lord?
b. Or things which would show our love and devotion to Him?
3. Every day we do things, small though they may be...
a. That might be preparatory to greater things
b. That might prepare us to do good or to do evil
How much better to follow the example of Mary and the disciples, rather than the example of Judas and the chief priests...!
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