Harvest Time in the Garden

A Bible Exposition of Mark 14:43-52

Mark is going to show us: Four Hearts Exposed in the Betrayal of Jesus—We See the Majesty of Jesus Shine Through the Fallout of Self-Preservation

Three different flavors of self-preservation. Each will manifest itself in a terrible fallout. Then the selflessness of Jesus stands in magnificent relief to each of these. It’s like the song on Sesame Street that teaches children observation skill—one of these things is not like the others. You have three pairs of sunglasses and then the fourth item is a baseball cap.

Here you have three characters who reap the fruit of their self-centeredness, and Jesus is the one thing that’s not like the others. 

  1. Religious elites who scheme to protect their influence (43)

  2. A renegade disciples who sells out to profit himself financially (44-45)

  3. A sovereign Lord who stands to perform his responsibility (46-49)

  4. Self-reliant sheep who scatter to preserve their safety (50-52)

The Plaguing of a Weak Flesh

A Bible Exposition of Mark 14:32-42

The main point I want you to take away from this message today is to marvel at what Jesus faced for you. It is unfathomable. You can ponder it, but you can’t fully get your mind around it. Our passage this morning yields:

3 Views as Jesus and the Disciples Face Temptation in Gethsemane

  1. The atmosphere (32-34) Jesus perplexed, the disciples sorrowful

  2. The affair (35-40) Jesus praying, the disciples sleeping

  3. The aftermath (41-42) Jesus poised, the disciples unprepared

If We Are Faithless, He Will Remain Faithful

A Bible Exposition of Mark 14:27-31

“It is a night that Peter will never forget… All week the feeling of danger, the sense of threat, has been growing. Now, while those strange words at the Passover table are still ringing in their ears, Jesus leads them out of the city to camp under the trees. Outside the city gates, they splash their way through the Kidron stream and make their way towards the Mount of Olives. Numbers of others are doing the same—there just isn’t room for all the festival crowds to stay within the city. Finally, at the foot of the hill, perhaps twenty minutes’ walk out of the city, they arrive at [the Mount of Olives]… an unforgettable night is about to take another dramatic turn.”

Surely this night is unforgettable. That word hardly does justice as we know what events are going to unfold. But at this point in the evening we find ourselves in the middle of yet another argument. 

This time it isn’t the twelve disciples arguing with one another—it is Jesus on one side and Peter on the other.

Each one is making a prediction. 

Jesus predicts failure, and Peter predicts success. Like two announcers debating over who will win the big game, Jesus and Peter are at odds in their conflicting predictions about the future. I called our outline a duel because that’s what happens here—a back and forth.

4 Declarations from a Duel of Conflicting Predictions (27-31)

  1. Jesus predicts the men’s defection and reinstatement (27-28)

He tells them all they are on the brink of a moral failure.

2. Peter pledges his devotion despite the others defecting (29)

Peter responds by elevating himself above the others. So, Jesus has to go over-the-top.

3. Jesus portrays Peter’s downfall in painfully specific detail (30)

Rather than humbling him into silence or teachability, Peter digs in deeper.

4. Peter promises utter dependability along with the others (31)

Remembering Our Passover Lamb

A Bible Exposition of Mark 14:22-26

Friends, communion is a spiritual gift, a present from Jesus to his people. In fact, that’s the outline:

Three Activities as Jesus Institutes Communion for Us

It’s for us. 

In this text, Jesus is going to hijack the Passover meal and transform it into something new as history transitions from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant.

  1. He commandeers elements for the fellowship (22-24)

He takes elements out of the Passover meal and he gives them new significance. To commandeer something is to take it over. Most of our time today will be spent on these first two verses.

  1. He cultivates anticipation for the future (25)

The Lord’s Supper is designed to leave you desiring, expecting and wanting more. Not more of this life, but to be thinking about the life that is to come.

  1. He concludes by singing to the Father (26)

The night is heavy because Jesus is going to be betrayed in the next hours and falsely accused and tried. But he’s thanking the Father and singing with joy after this meal.

This morning I want you to see that communion is yet another way that Jesus blesses us. It is part of his tender care as our good shepherd. It is a gift and a provision for us spiritually. 

Mary Humbly Trusts Her God

A Bible Exposition of Luke 1:39-56

Today, we will look at a few verses in the Gospel of Luke together. Turn with me please to Luke 1. 

This passage reveals the human side of God fulfilling a divine plan. What did the human characters think and feel and do when God was at work in their lives as recorded here for us in Scripture. It’s a historical record of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus.

In our passage today, we will see two women, Mary and Elizabeth, marvel that God has sent his Messiah, and that Mary is his mom and reflect on the joy of God making good on his promise. God can be trusted to fulfill his promises—you can always bank on them, and he promises to save all who call upon his name.

These themes come together as expressed in our outline today:

3 Fruits as Mary Humbly Trusts Her Faithful God (Lk. 1:39-56)

  1. She embraces God’s providence (39-40)

  2. She experiences God’s provision (41-45)

  3. She extols God’s personhood (46-56)