What Jesus Did! 'Incongruity at its Worst' — Mark 14:43

Wednesday, November 6, 2024

And immediately, even as Jesus said [to Peter, James, and John that his betrayer had arrived], Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders.
— Mark 14:43 NLT

Key Thought

Think of the incongruity — Jesus is in his place of prayer and is being betrayed by one of his own apostles to a mob that is armed with swords and clubs and that was sent by religious leaders. This kind of "stuff" shouldn't fit together in the same scene. Yet this is what happens to the Lord. Jesus, the fulfillment of God's law, is hated by the experts in the law. Jesus, the ultimate servant leader, is despised and feared by the religious leaders of his day. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, is arrested by soldiers armed with swords and crude weapons. Then Jesus, the only fully righteous one, dies for the unrighteous. This doesn't make sense. This doesn't fit. This isn't right. However, this is what happens, and this is how Jesus changes everything. What a breath of fresh air to sustain us when things are not right, when they do not fit, and when they are unfair. Jesus shows us he can enter the worst of circumstances and bring redemption, hope, and victory — even when those circumstances are impossible.

Today's Prayer

Father, thank you for Jesus' victory over sin, death, unfairness, and hatred. Thank you for a victory that was won in the middle of a mess even much worse than the ones we sometimes face in our own lives rather than being won from the fringes or from long distance. Thank you for showing that in the middle of humanity's worst failings, Jesus can bring redemption. I praise you Almighty God for your grace. I praise you, Lord Jesus, for your love. I praise both of you through the intercession of the Holy Spirit you have placed within me. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 1 Peter 3:18
  • Isaiah 53:1-6
  • Galatians 4:3-7


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Illustration of Mark 14:43 NLT —  They had been sent by the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders.

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.