GOSPEL OF MARK – ROBBY GALLATY – Program 48
By: The John Ankerberg Show
|By: Pastor Robby Gallaty; ©2011|
|Mark 14:12: We will examine the three major progressions in the text.|
The Last Supper with the Savior – Part 1
The title of the message this morning is this: The Last Supper with the Savior, Part 1. The Last Supper with the Savior, Part 1. If you have your Bibles, turn with me to Mark 14:12: “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?’ And he sent two of his disciples and said to them, ‘Go into the city [watch this], 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.’ And the disciples set out and went to the city and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.”
Verse 17: “And when it was evening, he came with the twelve. And as they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, ‘Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.’ They began to be sorrowful and to say to him one after another, ‘Is it I?’ He said to them, ‘It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the dish with me. For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.’”
Three major progressions in the text, write the first one down. We see the preparation for the meal. We see the preparation for the meal. Now the preparation for the Passover, if you notice, resembled Jesus entering Jerusalem in Mark 11. Notice from the text that no one is coercing Jesus to do these things. No one is making Him do anything against His will. Jesus is acting on His own power, on His own will. He’s not shrinking back from pressure, but He acts openly according to God’s plan.
Now, you may be wondering, why is Jesus sacrificing the Passover lamb before the Passover? Because if you know the history of the events of Jesus’ life, Jesus dies the moment before Passover begins. Jesus dies on the afternoon of the day before Passover. Remember, they had to have His body down into the grave so that they could partake of the Passover. And so why in the world is Jesus taking the Passover lamb before Passover? It was said in Exodus 12:6 that you were supposed to sacrifice on the 14th of Nisan—and that’s not an automobile; it’s a date, the 14th of Nisan. Some rabbis, as I was studying this, actually used to sacrifice the lamb in some circles before the Passover, so Jesus is in full authority to do this. Obviously He’s God, but even back then, some people would sacrifice the Passover and eat the meal before the actual day of the Passover.
So we start to see the planning of the meal. Jesus says, this is the deal. We’re going to eat the Passover before the Passover and I want you to prepare the way for us. Notice He sends out two disciples. It reminds us of Mark 6:7. Remember when Jesus sent out the 72. He said, I want you to go two by two into the world to cast out demons, to prophesy, and to heal the sick. They are sent out on a mission to prepare the Passover. Now here’s a good question. Who were the two? Luke 22, which contains the same story, and verse 8 tells us it was Peter and John, Jesus’ star disciples. I want you two guys to go out and prepare the Passover for us.
Look at verse 13. Here are the instructions: “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?’” Now this is interesting. In the first century, men did not carry water jugs. Did you know that? Men never carried water jugs. That was reserved only for women, young girls, and slaves. So this was odd to begin with. So Jesus says, I want you to go into town. There is going to be a man that’s a carrying a water jug.
Now, some scholars have tried to discount the omniscience and the foreknowledge of Christ, that Jesus could have just accidently said this and could have gotten it right. I want you to understand something. Jesus could have known that there could have been a man walking around with a water jug, but He would have not known as a mere mortal the exact moment and the exact time that the man would be walking and the disciples would be entering and they would cross paths at the exact moment if He were not God. Jesus is displaying for us not only that He knows what’s happening but that He’s in absolute and total control of all the events that are happening at the end of His life.
Now why in the world would someone give up their room to strangers? I mean, why in the world would you give your house to a band of 12 and Jesus, this rabbi? It was customary for Jewish people, during the time of Passover, to give extra rooms up for pilgrims that were travelling from faraway places to stay. And notice what Jesus says in verse 14. He said ask the guy about his guest room. Did you catch that? Ask him about his guest room. We don’t want his bedroom; we don’t want his living room; we want his guest room
Look at verse 15: “And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us [the Passover].” What’s interesting is the room could have contained furniture, it would have had rugs on the floor. It was a perfect venue that Jesus knew beforehand would work for the Passover. So we see the planning of the meal.
Let’s move into the next section of that night and that is the partaking of the meal, the partaking of the meal. Verse 16: “And the disciples set out and went to the city and found it just as [Jesus] had told them, and they prepared the Passover.” Exodus 12 gives us an account of how the Passover should be taken. Every person that night on the Passover would have participated in this meal—the father, the mother, the sons, and the daughters. This was the holiest feast of the Jewish calendar. It was a heightened time, because it was a time when the Jewish people remembered the faithfulness of God to deliver them from the bondage of the Egyptians, under the leadership of Moses, to lead them from bondage into the Promised Land. They would go over this every single year.
Now how did they do it? They remembered that back then, they would kill the lamb, they would put the blood of the lamb on doorposts of the house and then at night, the angel of the Lord would pass over every doorpost that had the blood or the covering of the blood. You see the significance with Christ. It was a time of remembrance of God’s faithfulness in the past. But, don’t miss this, it was also an anticipation of the future redemption of God that one day God would send the coming Messiah. Jesus is trying to show the disciples that He is that coming Messiah. See what Jesus is doing is this: all throughout the story, He is probably, we think, making connections to Himself. All this is about Me. All the past is about Me. The future, I am the promised Messiah for you. Jesus is showing the disciples that He is the fulfillment of the Passover. So first of all, we see kind of the preparation for the night.
Secondly, we see a prediction by Jesus. Look at the prediction. Jesus says to the disciples when it was evening, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” Write down the omniscience of God. Omniscience is just a $4 word that means all knowing. He knows it all. He knows all things at all times. It’s Thursday by our calendar. It’s Friday by theirs. Remember, they count days from sundown to sundown so on Thursday night at sundown, it’s actually Friday. That’s how they count it. For us, it would have been Thursday. For them, it’s actually Friday, which is the day before the Passover.
Now, if you want a detailed explanation of what happened in the Upper Room that night, just something for you to do extracurricular, go to John 13 as you prepare your heart for next week; chapters 13, 14 and 15 as you see Jesus teaching the disciples. And as a sign of humility—let me sum it up—Jesus decides, because the disciples won’t do it, that He’s going to demonstrate humility. He takes off His outer garment. He wraps Himself in a robe. He goes over and takes a basin of water. He bends and washes the disciples’ feet.
Now, I can understand Matthew’s feet. I mean, I can even understand Him washing Peter’s feet. You know, Peter had a foot-shaped mouth. I mean, he got in trouble but I can understand Him washing Peter’s feet. I can understand Him washing James’ feet and John’s feet. But Jesus is about to wash Judas’ feet. Just a moment later He says, this guy is going to betray Me. This guy is going to have Me killed. But yet He washes Judas’ feet. And then after the washing of the feet, they move into the final aspect, which I said is the eating phase. And then Jesus says these words, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me…”
A shot of lightening hit the place. You talk about changing the mood, Jesus! We were enjoying the Passover and you had to go talking about someone betraying you. Jesus says there is a turncoat among us. There’s somebody in the room that will take advantage of us. Jesus clarifies to try to prove to the disciples He knows He’s about to be betrayed. Jesus predicting this is not so much for Judas. It’s for the disciples so that they’re not caught off guard in the garden when Judas turns Jesus in. He clarifies. He says one of you at the table is a turncoat.
And look at what verse 19 says. “They began to be sorrowful and to say to him one after another, ‘Is it I?’” The word sorrowful is used twice in the book of Mark. The other place that this word is used is back in Mark 10:22. This is the story of the rich young ruler. You remember this man. He comes to Jesus. He has a lot of money, a lot of possessions. Jesus, what must I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus said, keep all the commandments. The guy said, I have. Jesus said, there’s one thing you lack. Go sell it all and give it to the poor. Verse 22: “Disheartened by the saying [of Jesus], [this man] went away [what?] sorrowful [there it is], for he had great possessions.” It’s the idea of failing. It’s the idea that you’ve fallen short. Someone sets an expectation and you’ve fallen short.
Now, if we piece together the three Gospels that have this incident in it, we can piece together three different responses from the table that day. That’s what I want to do. The first response is in the book of Mark—write it down—which is self-doubt. These guys are doubting themselves. Look at what Mark says. Jesus says this and the disciples say Is it I? In the language of the New Testament, this is actually what that reads. They’re actually saying this: Surely it’s not me, Jesus. That’s what they’re saying. Surely it’s not I, Lord! So they’re doubting themselves. But they’re saying, in a way, Listen Jesus, that would never be me.
Then we piece together Matthew, which we studied last week, and we see not self-doubt but self-evaluation. In Matthew’s gospel, the disciples say Is it I, Lord? Is it me, Jesus? Tell me. We know Judas says, Is it I [what?], Rabbi?
And then the final question is a self-less question. Self-doubt, self-evaluation and then a self-less question. In John’s gospel, John, prompted by Peter says this: Lord, tell us who it is. Who is it, Jesus? Tell us.
But in Mark’s Gospel, we see this self-doubt. By Jesus not explaining or identifying the man, the disciples have to do soul searching, right? Jesus is allowing them to search themselves to see if they have turned on Him. Verse 20, Jesus clarifies: “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the dish with me.” If they had any doubt up to this point, they’re starting to realize who it is that will betray Him. And Jesus limits this to the twelve. He’s saying there’s one from the inside.
Now, the disciples cannot point fingers at this point, you have to remember, because in just a few moments every single one of them will turn on Christ. All of them, starting with Judas. Look at Mark 14:10. Greed overtook Judas and he turned on Jesus. Mark 14:37, just in a few moments we’ll see overtook James, John, and Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane because they couldn’t stay up and watch and pray. Mark 14:50, fear will overtake the disciples and they will all flee. When push came to shove and Jesus was attacked and apprehended, they all left Jesus. And then the final one, the one we know the most. Mark 14:66, cowardice will overtake Peter. Are you with this man? I don’t know Him. You look like a Galilean! Are you with Jesus? Never seen Him before.
You know, it’s easy for us today to point the finger but how many times have you given in to temptation? How many times in your life when push came to shove, you gave in? Maybe the pleasures of the world or the desire for riches have overtaken you and, like Judas, you have traded a relationship with Christ for a relationship with money. Maybe at work or school, you cower under the ridicule of your co-workers or friends when they speak about Christ and instead of defending your faith, you falter and cower under pressure. Maybe it’s just the opportunities you miss to share your faith. It’s not the confrontational experiences. It’s not getting into arguments. It’s the opportunities you have to share your faith with others, maybe with your classmates or your co-workers or your family or your friends and when they go through a difficult situation, fear sets in and you’re overwhelmed with that and so you don’t share about how Jesus is the answer. So you keep your mouth closed.
I think all of us, if we were honest, would say that we give in to temptation just like the disciples. We fail at times in our life. But that’s why I want to move into the patience of God. We see the omniscience of God, but on display we see the patience of God. And this is just a passing note. It’s not really in the text but I think it’s an overarching theme. Jesus was patient with Judas. Did you catch that? At any moment—get this—at any moment in Judas’ life, Jesus could have turned him in. He could have said to the disciples, I’m sick and tired of this hardened heart. This guy’s a fake. But He didn’t do that. When Judas started to speak up about giving money to the poor or about taking care of missions and ministry, Jesus could have called him out here and said, this guy’s a hypocrite. He doesn’t believe that. Even at the last supper, Jesus could have excused Judas and said this guy’s a turncoat, but He didn’t do that. Jesus, demonstrating the love of God through the patience of God, allowed him every single opportunity to repent up until the final moment of his life even washing his feet.
Imagine Jesus on His knees looking into the eyes of Judas and saying, Judas, don’t do it. Don’t do it. Turn, brother. I believe one of the reasons—this is just a thought—that Jesus didn’t turn in Judas is because if Peter would have found out, Peter would have killed him. Think about that. If Peter would have found out, I mean, Peter was ready to kill a soldier he didn’t know. Imagine if Peter would have found out that one of his own was turning on Jesus. He loved Jesus so much that I think Peter could have probably attempted to kill Judas, maybe John or James. But how patient is God with us? Time and time again we stray but the love of God demonstrated through the patience of God continues to call us back giving us every opportunity to repent.
We see the preparation of the Last Supper. We see the prediction at the Last Supper. Finally, we see the punishment given at the Last Supper. Mark 14:21: “For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”
Now there are two aspects to this phrase or these two lines and it’s this: God allowed Judas’ role; Judas chose his own role. Now that’s neat. On display in this text we see a great picture of the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man. It’s two sides to the same coin. The sovereignty of God—God’s in control of every situation. However, Judas has a responsibility and is not free from the moral choices that he makes. The Son of Man is a title that Jesus uses over and over to describe Himself. And when He says these words, here’s the key, it is written. That’s what He says. It is written. And you know what Jesus is saying there? He’s saying that this statement carries the weight of the sovereign plan of God. It’s according to God’s divine purpose.
Psalm 41, we read it before but listen to what it says. Verse 9, “Even my close friend….” This is the psalmist talking about what will happen to Christ: “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who [I] ate my bread [with], has lifted his heel against me.” What the psalmist is saying is this: one who is at the table in intimate fellowship, not just an acquaintance but a dear brother, will turn himself against me. Even though the betrayal of our Lord is one of the worst acts of evil, it was a necessary part of a plan that God created to bring about the redemption of the world. We see that in Acts 3. We see that in Acts 4
But let me talk about Judas’ role. We know that God allowed this and God ordained it and God willed it to happen. But then there’s Judas’ role. Judas chose his role. God chose his role and Judas chose his role. Even though Judas was used by God, it doesn’t cancel him from the responsibility of his moral choices. The word there that’s interesting is betrayed. Betrayed means to deliver up. It’s another word that means to hand over. In the same situation, Jesus is betrayed by His disciple as he hands Him over to His enemies, but underneath this, God is orchestrating and fulfilling His sovereign plan to redeem the whole world. There’s never a place in scripture where prophecy and predestination exclude divine human responsibility.
Let me say it again. There’s never a place in scripture where prophecy and predestination get you off the hook from human responsibility. And I’ll show you two scriptures to prove that. Ephesians 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world….” Do you know what that means to be chosen in Him before the foundation of the world? That means that before God created the world, He chose you in Him, right? In His own secret will He chose you in Him to be holy and blameless before Him. So God chose us before the foundation of the world.
However, you and I must choose God. Romans 10:9. Here’s a command and here’s a promise: “…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will [What?] be saved.” Verse 13, “For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”
Man is not off the hook from choosing God even though God chose him, which is the reason on Sunday when you come to Brainerd Baptist Church, I’m going to give you a command and a charge if you’re lost, if you’re an unbeliever, to repent and believe in Christ. Even though God is the one who gives the faith to believe, even though God is the one who gives the repentance to repent, you, my friend, and I have to physically repent and believe in Christ. Man is never without excuse even though God is sovereign.
But notice how Jesus closes: “It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” Now why would Jesus say that? Think about that. It would have been better for this man to have never been born; because once you’re born, you never die. Think about that. You never die. The soul lives forever. It’s not if you’re going to live. The question is, where will you live? You just change addresses when you die. You go from earth to either heaven or hell. That’s why Jesus says it would have been better if Judas had never been born because once he was born, he could die again. Annihilationalism holds no weight when you look at the scriptures. It’s the belief that we were created from dust and we will return to dust. Jesus proves right here it would have been better for this man to have never been born because once he’s born, he will never die.
Now, here’s the million dollar question. Did Judas repent? That’s the question. Did he turn? Some scholars—liberal—say he did. I’m going to prove to you that he didn’t. Two reasons that Judas didn’t repent. The first one is this: Judas only expressed remorse to the chief priests and the leaders, not repentance to God. Matthew 27:3. Here’s the key text for you: “Then when Judas [you’ve got to see this] his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned [so he sees what happens] he changed his mind [That’s what the ESV says. He changed His mind. Yours may say he had remorse. One person says he repented but I’m going to get to that.] and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.”
Now here’s a good way to study your Bible. Here’s a hermeneutics lesson. When you see a word in scripture that you’re questioning, “what does this word mean,” it’s important to find out how the author of that book uses the same word. So what you want to do is find that word in the book in another context or you want to find the opposite of that word in the same book. So I what I want to do is take you to Matthew 3. The word we’re looking for here is what? Did Judas repent? That’s the key word. Matthew 3; same author, different context. Watch this.
“In those days [verse 1] John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” This is the common word for repent. It means to turn around. It doesn’t just mean to change one’s mind, it means to change one’s direction, change one’s attitude, change one’s motive, change one’s heart. In fact, the Strong’s Dictionary says it is a pious sorrow for unbelief in sin and then a turning from them to God and the gospel of Christ. So that’s the word for repentance.
Now go back to Matthew 27:3: “Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind.” That’s the word in the ESV. NASB says remorse. NIV says remorse. New King James Version says remorse. The original King James says repent. It’s a soft view of repentance. When you look at that word in the language of the New Testament, it does not mean repent like you and I think the word is repent. In fact, it’s a different word. It’s a different word entirely, which is why the new translations translate it as changed his mind. What the word means is this: he had regret. He had remorse. He was upset over how things had unfolded, and so he had gone back to the chief priests to express what he had felt. It’s not change in direction. It’s not a change in attitude. It’s not a change in heart. He’s upset because he got caught and it had perpetuated further than he ever wanted it to go.
See, the big difference between repentance and remorse is this: a lot of people, when I’ve preached before in past messages, will hear a sermon and their heart will be burdened. And they may even come forward and bow before the Lord. They may even shed a tear before God. But when they leave the place, they go back to living the same way they came in. It’s business as usual. That’s not repentance, that’s remorse. That’s remorse because you got caught for what you did. Repentance is a complete turning. I’ve sinned in the face of a holy God. What can I do to make it right? Notice Judas doesn’t go to Christ for repentance. He goes to the chief priests. That’s disconnected even there. It’s a whole other message.
But there’s a second reason I believe that Judas didn’t repent. And some people would say, well, he turned the money back in, Robby. That’s a sign of repentance. Not exactly. Judas turned the 30 pieces of silver back in to fulfill prophecy. Remember Judas’ moral responsibility, but God’s divine plan? Zechariah 11:12 says this: “Then I said to them, ‘If it seems good to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them.’ And they weighed out [the] wages thirty pieces of silver. Then the LORD said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter’—the lordly price at which I [priced it]. So I took the thirty pieces of silver – [Watch this] [went into the house of the Lord] and threw them into the house of the LORD.”
What is Judas doing here? He’s carrying out the plan of God. God, before the foundation of the world, knew this would happen. Here’s Judas’ problem. If you boil Judas down to this, this is his problem. Judas only followed Jesus because of what Jesus could give him. He only followed Jesus because of what Jesus could do for him. He only followed Jesus to see what he could get out of Jesus.
I think many of us this morning need to repent because that’s your Christian life with God. It’s all about making deals. God, won’t you do this and I’ll do that? If you answer this prayer and heal this person and give me these finances and help me get this house and this car and this job and this future employment, then I’ll do…. No! It’s, God I love you and I’m not trying to make a deal with you and I’ll do whatever you want and go wherever you want me to go just because I love you for who you are. See, if we’re not careful, we can begin to look like Judas more than anyone else. We can begin to fall into the same sinful trap that he did.
We don’t work to earn God’s favor. We don’t serve God because we’re trying to get something from Him. A poet once said, Of all the sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these—it might have been. It might have been. I think the most disheartening decision any person can ever make is to turn from the Lord Jesus and turn to self and sin like Judas. I pray today, if you’re with us today and you haven’t done that, if you haven’t accepted the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, that Jesus came as a man, lived a sinless life, went to the cross, died, was raised from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of God, if you haven’t put your complete faith and trust in Christ, my friends I urge you to do that today.