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

Sunday, November 6, 2016

While Jesus was still speaking, Judas came there. He was one of the twelve apostles. Judas had many people with him. These people were sent from the leading priests, the teachers of the law, and the older Jewish leaders. These people with Judas had swords and clubs.
— Mark 14:43
Illustration of Mark 14:43 —  These people with Judas had swords and clubs.

Key Thought

Think of the incongruity—Jesus is in his place of prayer and is being betrayed by one of his own to a mob armed with swords and clubs 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 only fully righteous one, dies for the unrighteous. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, is arrested by soldiers armed with crude weapons. 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. 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 for 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 like the ones we sometimes face in our own lives and not 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 you both through the intercession of the Holy Spirit you have placed within me. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

While Jesus was still speaking, Judas came there. He was one of the twelve apostles. Judas had many people with him. These people were sent from the leading priests, the teachers of the law, and the older Jewish leaders. These people with Judas had swords and clubs. Judas planned to do something to show the people which man was Jesus. Judas said, "The man I kiss is Jesus. Arrest him and guard him while you lead him away." So Judas went to Jesus and said, "Teacher!" Then Judas kissed Jesus. Then the men grabbed Jesus and arrested him. One of the followers standing near Jesus grabbed his sword and pulled it out. This follower hit the servant of the high priest with the sword and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said, "You came to get me with swords and clubs like I am a criminal. Every day I was with you teaching in the temple area. You did not arrest me there. But all these things have happened so that it will be like the Scriptures said." Then all of Jesus' followers left him and ran away. There was a young man following Jesus. He was wearing only a linen cloth. The people also grabbed this man. The cloth he was wearing came off, and he ran away wearing nothing.

Mark 14:43-52

Related Scripture Readings

Christ himself died for you. And that one death paid for your sins. He was not guilty, but he died for people who are guilty. He did this to bring you all to God. His body was killed, but he was made alive in the spirit.

1 Peter 3:18

Who really believed the things we announced? Who really accepted the Lord's punishment? He grew up like a small plant before the Lord. He was like a root growing in dry ground. He did not look special. He had no special glory. If we looked at him, we would see nothing special that would cause us to like him. People made fun of him, and his friends left him. He was a man that had much pain. He knew sickness very well. People did not even give him the honor of looking at him. We did not even notice him. But he took our troubles and made them his. He bore our pain, and we thought God was punishing him. We thought God beat him {for something he did}. But he was given pain to suffer for the wrong things we did. He was crushed for our guilt. A debt we owed—our punishment—was given to him. We were healed (forgiven) because of his pain. But {even after he did this,} all of us wandered away like sheep. We all went our own way. {We did this after} the Lord {freed us from our guilt and} put all our guilt on him.

Isaiah 53:1-6

It is the same for us. We were once like children. We were slaves to the useless rules of this world. But when the right time came, God sent his Son. God's Son was born from a woman. God's Son lived under the law. God did this so that he could buy the freedom of the people who were under the law. God's purpose was to make us his children. You are God's children. That is why God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts. The Spirit cries out, "Abba, Father." So now you are not a slave like before. You are God's child. God will give you the things he promised, because you are his child.

Galatians 4:3-7


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.