Wednesday, 13th July 2022
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Before Jesus went on the cross, every day He spent time with His disciples, took them to Jerusalem, into the House of God. But Jesus did not stay in the House of God, He did not stay in Jerusalem, He left at the end of the day, then enter in again in the morning. We also come to the House of God every day, we enter, we left, then we enter again the next day. Do our lives change as we entering and leaving the House of God? Jesus treasures lives, He wants to remind us, and reveal to us how our lives are.
In Jerusalem, Jesus took the disciples to the Upper Room, He taught them and established the communion for them. After Jesus resurrected, the disciples again enter the Upper Room, this time, Jesus was not there with them, but they were different. Because they knew Jesus had overcome death, they knew Jesus was resurrected, and they knew their lives were different. Today we are also entering the Upper Room after Jesus’ resurrection, He has overcome, He has received victory, and we must be willing to offer our lives. It’s not about sings and wonders, it’s not about healing and delivering, but it’s about praying together and observing the communion; letting go our oneself and uniting with one another. There may be danger, challenges, difficulties, and hardship, but we are no longer afraid.
In the Upper Room, we will be planted, fertilised, and bear fruits. We will live under the Tree of Life; and live out the true life God has given us. Life is the core of our faith, our lives must be right, because if our lives are not right, we will be confused, we will be lost, and we will not see hope.
Section One V1-16 How Did Men Respond?
V1 ‘After two days it was the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by trickery and put Him to death.’ Passover is a time to remember how God delivered the Israelites out of Egypt. This is the time of thanksgiving, but the chief priests and the scribes were planning to kill Jesus. God loved His people and saved them, but how they repay God was to kill His only Son. These chief priests and scribes knew the Bible very well, but they did not know Jesus. Do we really know Jesus? Do we really understand the Heart of God? V2 ‘But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar of the people.”’ For them, the Passover was just a festival, a feast, a day of celebration… they forgot the true meaning of Passover, which is to remember God and to give thanks to God. We may live our lives in a familiar pattern, which stops us to really receive the Word of God and to really see the truth of life.
V3 ‘And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.’ Jesus came to Bethany and chose to go to the house of Simon. Because Simon was willing to open up his house, and Jesus wanted Simon to see the love of God. As a leper, he would have been despised and rejected by the society, but Jesus accepted him and love him for who he was. When we follow God, do we only want to see the signs and wonders? Do we only want our earthly lives to change? Do we only want our problems to be solved? Or do we really seek God and receive the love of God?
V4-5 ‘But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply.’ The woman was Mary, who was willing to give up her costly oil of spikenard that represented her marriage. But in the eyes of men, it was a waste of money. We must know that the House of God deserves the best, so stop using the earthly values and standards to treat the House of God. If we want to control God, then it would lead to death, just like Judas, he wanted Jesus to do what he wanted to see happening, therefore he used his own way, trying to manipulate Jesus.
V10-11 ‘Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them. And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. So he sought how he might conveniently betray Him.’ Judas followed Jesus for three years, but at the end he still betrayed Jesus. Because he did not like Jesus’ teaching, he did not seek Jesus’ heart, and he only followed his own earthly desires.
Section Two V17-52 How Did Jesus Respond?
V18-20 ‘Now as they sat and ate, Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eats with Me will betray Me.” And they began to be sorrowful, and to say to Him one by one, “Is it I?” And another said, “Is it I?” He answered and said to them, “It is one of the twelve, who dips with Me in the dish.’ The disciples were sorrowful, because not only Judas, but they were all having doubts in heart. They knew Jesus could see through their hearts and they were afraid. Jesus was not only talking to Judas, but to every one of the disciples. What is inside our hearts? Jesus is also talking to us today, He can see through our hearts, no matter how well we behave or how obedient we may look.
V21 ‘The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born.’ Jesus only spoke the truth, He knew what were in the disciples’ hearts, and He responded with the Word of God. The lives of the disciples needed healing and deliverance before they entered Upper Room, therefore Jesus established the communion for them.
V29-31 ‘Peter said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be.” Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” But he spoke more vehemently, “If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And they all said likewise.’ Peter was still living under the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, he did not admit his weakness and he did not believe that Jesus could see through him. We often live like Peter before he entered the Upper Room, with a victim mindset; we don’t want to admit our mistakes and we don’t want to receive teaching.
V32-34 ‘Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.”’ Jesus was sad for His disciples, He saw their lives going up and down, He saw them continue to live an earthly life, He was tempted by the devil, and He was sorrowful. Jesus loved His disciples, He spent all His time teaching and fellowshipping with them, He poured out everything to them, even His life, but their lives seemed to stay the same.
V35-36 ‘He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”’ Jesus wanted to spend more time with His beloved disciples, He saw their lives still the same and He really wanted to help them, but at the same time, He was humble and obedient. Jesus asked God for more time, but once these words were spoken, He immediately realised that He was weakened, and asked the Will of God to be done.
V37-38 ‘Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”’ Jesus loved His disciples, He continued to help and support them, He knew their weaknesses, but He didn’t give up on them. For the second time and the third time, Jesus came to wake up the disciples, who were still weak and tired. We will still fall weak and weary after Jesus’ resurrection, but we also have the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome. We will no longer stay in our own weaknesses, and we will no longer surrender to our sins. By being humble and obedient, denying ourselves and benefiting others, we will overcome and receive victory together with Jesus.
Section Three V53-72 The Words Spoken
Jesus did not speak in front of the people, who were accusing Him wrongly. The people did not believe anything Jesus said and therefore Jesus remained silent. What are the words coming out from our mouth? Our words come from our hearts, and an unbelief attitude will speak words of unbelief. The words from people are ‘I do not understand’, ‘I do not know’, ‘I do not admit’… these are the words we say when we hear the truth, but Jesus never gives up on us, just like how He never gave up on His disciples. Jesus was waiting for the disciples to be willing to again enter the Upper Room, to let go of their own agendas, and to be transformed by God.
马可福音 14 – 在真理下的生命
V3a 耶稣又离开耶路撒冷，到“伯大尼”- 就是有耶稣所爱的拉撒路、马利亚和马大家。这一次他去了“长大麻风”的西门家，帮助坚固西门的生命。长大麻风的人在当时是被社会上的人厌恶的，然而耶稣接纳他、爱他，在那里并没有特别施行神迹奇事。我们跟从神的时候很喜欢看医病赶鬼，好像看戏一样，心里的生命却没法改变。我们跟从神，希望得到世俗的好处，然而耶稣彰显的是爱的生命。