Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Mill stream in Quimperle, France

Monday, November 7, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Nov 8, Mt 26, Mk 14

Today's readings are Mt 26, Mk 14. Tomorrow's are Lk 22, Jn 13.

With the cross approaching quickly, Mt 26 is full of significant events. As time grows short and the plot to kill Him crystallizes (Mt 26:1-5), Jesus' every move and teaching become vitally important as He imparts His final lessons and message to His disciples. He knows the end is near. 

Jesus establishes that time with Him and knowledge of Him are to be the highest priority in the lives of His followers (Mt 26:5-13). He is to be given priority over all our possessions (the alabaster jar) and everything we do (feed the poor), even the "good" things we do.

He teaches that He has come to serve when He offers bread to the one who would betray Him (Mt 26:17-25).

Jesus shows them that His crucifixion will bring union with Him and with each other in Mt 26:26-29. This is the overriding lesson of the Last Supper. He also tells them, albeit cryptically in Mt 26:30-35,  that they will not have the depth of commitment nor the courage to follow it through until after He dies and rises again (Mt 26:32). It will be His presence and power that will ultimately do what they cannot do on their own, transforming them into true followers that are willing to sacrifice everything in being faithful to Him. For now, on their own, they can't even stay awake for Him (Mt 26:45).

His arrest occurs in darkness but Jesus is careful to explain that nothing that occurs is outside of God's plan and all of it is ordained by God (Mt 26:47-56). God's plan of redemption dictates what will happen, not the will of men. Their plan to execute Jesus will result in His exaltation. In that exaltation, salvation will come to those who believe in Him (Mt 26:57-75).

Peter's denial only affirms that without Jesus, he is unable to follow Him completely and in full surrender of all of his fears and concerns. This one who denies Him now will, after Christ rises from the grave, be the one to boldly and without reservation deliver the first evangelistic sermon ever to a crowded Jerusalem. 

Mk 14 relates many of the same lessons with some additional details in each. Many Bible scholars believe Mark was written first and Matthew borrowed heavily from Mark's writings. 

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