Mark 14

* Christ anointed at Bethany. (1-11) The passover, Jesus

declares that Judas would betray him. (12-21) The Lord's supper

instituted. (22-31) Christ's agony in the garden. (32-42) He is

betrayed and taken. (43-52) Christ before the high priest.

(53-65) Peter denies Christ. (66-72)

1-11 Did Christ pour out his soul unto death for us, and shall

we think any thing too precious for him? Do we give him the

precious ointment of our best affections? Let us love him with

all the heart, though it is common for zeal and affection to be

misunderstood and blamed; and remember that charity to the poor

will not excuse any from particular acts of piety to the Lord

Jesus. Christ commended this woman's pious attention to the

notice of believers in all ages. Those who honour Christ he will

honour. Covetousness was Judas' master lust, and that betrayed

him to the sin of betraying his Master; the devil suited his

temptation to that, and so conquered him. And see what wicked

contrivances many have in their sinful pursuits; but what

appears to forward their plans, will prove curses in the end.
12-21 Nothing could be less the result of human foresight than

the events here related. But our Lord knows all things about us

before they come to pass. If we admit him, he will dwell in our

hearts. The Son of man goes, as it is written of him, as a lamb

to the slaughter; but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!

God's permitting the sins of men, and bringing glory to himself

out of them, does not oblige them to sin; nor will this be any

excuse for their guilt, or lessen their punishment.
22-31 The Lord's supper is food for the soul, therefore a very

little of that which is for the body, as much as will serve for

a sign, is enough. It was instituted by the example and the

practice of our Master, to remain in force till his second

coming. It was instituted with blessing and giving of thanks, to

be a memorial of Christ's death. Frequent mention is made of his

precious blood, as the price of our redemption. How comfortable

is this to poor repenting sinners, that the blood of Christ is

shed for many! If for many, why not for me? It was a sign of the

conveyance of the benefits purchased for us by his death. Apply

the doctrine of Christ crucified to yourselves; let it be meat

and drink to your souls, strengthening and refreshing your

spiritual life. It was to be an earnest and foretaste of the

happiness of heaven, and thereby to put us out of taste for the

pleasures and delights of sense. Every one that has tasted

spiritual delights, straightway desires eternal ones. Though the

great Shepherd passed through his sufferings without one false

step, yet his followers often have been scattered by the small

measure of sufferings allotted to them. How very apt we are to

think well of ourselves, and to trust our own hearts! It was ill

done of Peter thus to answer his Master, and not with fear and

trembling. Lord, give me grace to keep me from denying thee.
32-42 Christ's sufferings began with the sorest of all, those

in his soul. He began to be sorely amazed; words not used in St.

Matthew, but very full of meaning. The terrors of God set

themselves in array against him, and he allowed him to

contemplate them. Never was sorrow like unto his at this time.

Now he was made a curse for us; the curses of the law were laid

upon him as our Surety. He now tasted death, in all the

bitterness of it. This was that fear of which the apostle

speaks, the natural fear of pain and death, at which human

nature startles. Can we ever entertain favourable, or even

slight thoughts of sin, when we see the painful sufferings which

sin, though but reckoned to him, brought on the Lord Jesus?

Shall that sit light upon our souls, which sat so heavy upon

his? Was Christ in such agony for our sins, and shall we never

be in agony about them? How should we look upon Him whom we have

pierced, and mourn! It becomes us to be exceedingly sorrowful

for sin, because He was so, and never to mock at it. Christ, as

Man, pleaded, that, if it were possible, his sufferings might

pass from him. As Mediator, he submitted to the will of God,

saying, Nevertheless, not what I will, but what thou wilt; I bid

it welcome. See how the sinful weakness of Christ's disciples

returns, and overpowers them. What heavy clogs these bodies of

ours are to our souls! But when we see trouble at the door, we

should get ready for it. Alas, even believers often look at the

Redeemer's sufferings in a drowsy manner, and instead of being

ready to die with Christ, they are not even prepared to watch

with him one hour.
43-52 Because Christ appeared not as a temporal prince, but

preached repentance, reformation, and a holy life, and directed

men's thoughts, and affections, and aims to another world,

therefore the Jewish rulers sought to destroy him. Peter wounded

one of the band. It is easier to fight for Christ than to die

for him. But there is a great difference between faulty

disciples and hypocrites. The latter rashly and without thought

call Christ Master, and express great affection for him, yet

betray him to his enemies. Thus they hasten their own

53-65 We have here Christ's condemnation before the great

council of the Jews. Peter followed; but the high priest's

fire-side was no proper place, nor his servants proper company,

for Peter: it was an entrance into temptation. Great diligence

was used to procure false witnesses against Jesus, yet their

testimony was not equal to the charge of a capital crime, by the

utmost stretch of their law. He was asked, Art thou the Son of

the Blessed? that is, the Son of God. For the proof of his being

the Son of God, he refers to his second coming. In these

outrages we have proofs of man's enmity to God, and of God's

free and unspeakable love to man.
66-72 Peter's denying Christ began by keeping at a distance

from him. Those that are shy of godliness, are far in the way to

deny Christ. Those who think it dangerous to be in company with

Christ's disciples, because thence they may be drawn in to

suffer for him, will find it much more dangerous to be in

company with his enemies, because there they may be drawn in to

sin against him. When Christ was admired and flocked after,

Peter readily owned him; but will own no relation to him now he

is deserted and despised. Yet observe, Peter's repentance was

very speedy. Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he

fall; and let him that has fallen think of these things, and of

his own offences, and return to the Lord with weeping and

supplication, seeking forgiveness, and to be raised up by the

Holy Spirit.
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