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Mark 14:43-52 The Slow Fade

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INTRODUCITON |

One of the effects of Covid happened slowly, silently, and will have lasting consequence in the lives of many.
Many of us exercised less and eat more.
We stayed up later, enjoyed our favorite ice cream a few more nights a week than normal, had Grubhub deliver tasty meals to our door rather than cooking in, and over time we slowly realized that our clothes fit a bit differently than before.
This didn’t happen over night. it was a slow fade away
This happens in our lives spiritually too.
We start to compromise in what we consider a small area but it isn’t long before we notice that we have compromised in greater areas.
We don’t see our sins, the small ones, as that serious, so we stop repenting and growing in those areas and this leads to compromise in other areas - and at times we don’t even realize it.

Tactics (vv. 43-45)

A. We do not war against flesh and blood, but Satan uses them as weapons against us.

v. 43 -“And immediately” - Jesus was still in the garden with his disciples when Judas and the crowd approached him.
It was in the middle of the night. The city was asleep, but Satan was at work in the hearts of men.
There were leaders...“priest, scribes, and elders” involved.
This was the Sanhedrin. These were men who had been out to trap Jesus for some time now, but now they were on a crash course to crucify him.
These are the men who questioned Jesus’ .
Mark 7 question his devotion to religious tradition when his disciples picked grain on the Sabbath and didn’t wash their hands before eating.
Mark 8:11 (power)“The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.”
Mark 11:28 “and they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?””
Remember, their comfort was being threatened. They had been looking for a way to kill Jesus, now they had it, and b/c of Judas’ betrayal they had the ability to carry it out.
There was a crowd with Judas.
It think we should see a side note here.
It is not hard to draw a crowd around lies and deceit.
Even among educated, well versed, dedicated people.
John describes this crowd as a “band of soldiers and officers.”
They were dedicated to the religious system.
They were Roman soldiers and temple guards.
They were privy to the conversations among the Sanhedrin, and now was their time to contribute to the cause of preserving their religious heritage.
Would you agree that humanity has always been interested in a good drama.
Unfortunately, our lives are not a Netflix series. We don’t live in a reality show - in real life people get hurt and friendships are broken.
This crowd came with swords and clubs. They were prepared to engage an earthly enemy, but they were not prepared for the spiritual battle they were a part of.
The question is, how do we combat being sucked into this way of thinking, this type of mob mentality, embracing a what we think over what is actually true.
I think we can be better prepared by heading Paul’s words the the Philippian church.
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
There was a kiss… (vv.44-45)
A sign usually associated with affection was employed to deceive.
Amid the moonlight and olive trees Judas planed to kiss Jesus so that there was no confusion as to who he was.
It would have been culturally appropriate for Judas to kiss Jesus’ hand, but he chose the more affectionate kiss.
v.45 - “And he kissed him” - he kissed him affectionately.
Judas’ kiss was not the only sign of affection that he used.
“Rabbi” - He addresses Jesus as he had known him. As his teacher, but only to ensure that there wasn’t an uproar among the disciples.
Judas was a great leader. He had a plan and was working it efficiently.
Satan often uses our physical realm to come against us spiritually.

B. Satan works under the cover of darkness. He doesn’t want things brought into the light.

Judas began to compromise earlier as he walked with the disciples. He was a thief, and he was more concerned about being a robber than he was about repenting.
Judas was a thief working in the shadows and now he would move to being an accomplice to murder.
This slow fade can just as easily happen to us when we embrace covering our sin and disregard our need for confession.
Judas, like you and me, was called to love, even engaged Jesus with a kiss, but he caved to selfishness.
Satan desires for you to do the same. Have you allowed sin to remain the cover of darkness, have you caved in small areas of sin rather than confessing your need for Jesus?

Terror (vv.46-47, & 50)

The Disciples - The result of the disciples failure to watch and pray.

The disciples, Peter, James, and John, had been more aware of their physical weariness than their need for prayer.
And we will see, as we work through these next few chapters, that their compromise in what seems small led to something much greater.
But to better understand this scene, we need to look to one of the other gospels to get a more detailed account of what went on at this following Judas’ kiss in the garden.
Matt26:50-51 “Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear.”
As this encounter unfolds the disciples are standing by, and here Peter surprised at what was unfolding in front of him, cuts the ear off of one of the soldiers.
Peter, much like the crowd, in his zeal, was prepared to fight against earthly forces, but Jesus knew that this was a spiritual battle.
We talked about the two modes of dealing with conflict - fight or flight. Here Peter engages the fight, but remember, this was not a physical earthly fight.
Matthew 26:52–54 ESV
Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?”
Jesus deescalates the situation in the way his disciples were familiar - by pointing Peter back to scripture.
Yes, Jesus had omnipotent authority at his hand, but there was more to be accomplished here than a temporal earthly victory.
The eternal will of the Father was at play on this quiet night in the garden., and Jesus was set to carry it out.
v.49 - “[L]et the Scriptures be fulfilled.
v.50 - This story comes to its climax here, “Then everyone deserted him and fled.
The Gospel according to Mark The Arrest: Judas and Jesus (14:43–52)

All drank the cup (14:23), all pledged to die with him (14:31), … and all desert! The “all” in v. 50 is made emphatic in Greek by placing it at the end of the sentence: the betrayal of Judas is thus multiplied by the wholesale failure of the disciples; they all abandon Jesus and flee

Fear was a very natural response, but what they had been taught over the passed 3 years was to respond spiritually.
Here we see clearly what Paul is referring to when he wrote to the church at Corinth.
1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
The lesson we should learn here is that must always be working against the natural man, so that we can see, understand and embrace the things of the Spirit of God.

TENACITY

Jesus in his aloneness was content in the will of the Father.
David prophetically spoke of Jesus abandonment from such a close companion.
Ps. 55:12-15For it is not an enemy who taunts me— then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me— then I could hide from him. But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. We used to take sweet counsel together; within God’s house we walked in the throng. Let death steal over them; let them go down to Sheol alive; for evil is in their dwelling place and in their heart.
Jesus’ determination in the face of opposition is further seen in his boldness and power in the face of his accusers.
John 18:4-6Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
“I am” - Exodus 3 reference. Jesus is alluding to his connection with the Father (I am that I am!) rather than his earthly connection to the disciples, the religious expectations of the elite, and to Judas himself.
Moses was to tell the Israelite people that that “I AM has sent me, and here Jesus was saying the same thing.
Application - When things get hard in your life, when those who are closest to you abandon you, when it seems that no one understands you - where do you find your approval, boldness, and peace?
What a joy it is that Jesus has invited you to be identified with him, to be part of his body, to be surrounded and encouraged by the love of God in the Son by the power of the Holy Spirit in the people of the church.
To embrace of life of long obedience rather than a slow fade into sin and selfishness.

TABO

Mark concludes the garden scene by referencing an anonymous follower of Christ.
It is this man that shows the condition of all who abandon Christ, unprotected, alone, and running for their lives.
This is in stark contrast to to the crucified Christ who was cared for by Joseph.
Mark 15:46 “Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.”
Those who turn away from Christ for the comforts of this world will be left uncovered, unprotected, and unknown before God, but those who trust in him even though they die are covered, protected, and known through the perfect work of Christ.

CONCLUSION |

As we live to avoid a slow fade away from God let us embrace a life of slow deliberate dependance on him.
Turning from Sin.
Inviting godly people into our lives.
Embracing God’s word as our standard for living.
lords supper
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