Then one of the twelve apostles went to talk to the leading priests. This was the follower named Judas Iscariot. Judas wanted to give Jesus to them. The leading priests were very happy about this. They promised to pay Judas for doing this. So Judas waited for the best time to give Jesus to them.
— Mark 14:10-11
This section of Mark began (in 14:1) with the enemies of Jesus plotting his death. It now ends with one of Jesus' own close followers offering to betray him to death. How sad! Rather than looking closely at Jesus' ministry and hearing what he had to say, his enemies were looking for the right time and place to kill him while Judas was looking for a way to betray Jesus. Jealousy and hate blind us to the truth about other people. That is why Jesus is so critical of the religious leaders. Let's remember that hate always blinds us to the truth about others and closes down our hearts about their true identities and value.
O Father, forgive me when I've judged the actions of others negatively because of my ill feelings toward them. Lead me gently to love them more generously and fully. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Today's Verses in Context
It was now only two days before the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The leading priests and teachers of the law were trying to find a way to arrest Jesus without the people seeing it. Then they could kill him. They said, "But we cannot arrest Jesus during the festival. We don't want the people to become angry and cause a riot." Jesus was in Bethany. He was eating in the house of Simon the leper. While Jesus was there a woman came to him. The woman had an alabaster jar filled with very expensive perfume. This perfume was made of pure nard. The woman opened the jar and poured the perfume on Jesus' head. Some of the followers there saw this. They became upset and complained to each other. They said, "Why waste that perfume? That perfume was worth a full year's work. It could be sold and the money could be given to poor people." And they criticized the woman strongly. Jesus said, "Don't bother the woman. Why are you troubling her? She did a very good thing for me. You will always have poor people with you. You can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. This woman did the only thing she could do for me. She poured perfume on my body. She did this before I die to prepare me for burial. I tell you the truth. The Good News will be told to people in all the world. And in every place where the Good News is told, the story of what this woman did will also be told. The thing she has done will be told and people will remember her." Then one of the twelve apostles went to talk to the leading priests. This was the follower named Judas Iscariot. Judas wanted to give Jesus to them. The leading priests were very happy about this. They promised to pay Judas for doing this. So Judas waited for the best time to give Jesus to them.
Related Scripture Readings
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies. Pray for those people that do bad things to you. If you do this, then you will be true sons of your Father in heaven. Your Father lets the sun rise for the good people and the bad people. Your Father sends rain to people that do good and to people that do wrong. If you love only the people that love you, then you will get no reward. Even the tax collectors do that. And if you are nice only to your friends, then you are no better than other people. Even the people without God are nice to their friends. So you must be perfect, the same as your Father in heaven is perfect.
All people will hate you because you follow me. But the person that continues strong until the end will be saved.
People will do all this to you because of me. They don't know the One who sent me.