Wednesday Night Bible Survey
March 22, 1995
We're now in the final week of Jesus' earthly life.
:1-5 Jesus' Betrayal is planned
:2 after two days is the feast of the passover
This is apparently Tuesday evening, which the Jews would count as being Wednesday, the next day starts at sunset, not at midnight.
Jesus had been in the temple all day Tuesday, teaching. Then he came out of the temple, and gave the discourse of chs.24-25 on the Mount of Olives. This is now the evening of the same day.
The two days He is speaking about are Wednesday and Thursday.
The Passover would begin at sundown on Thursday, or, Friday to the Jews.
:3 high priest ... Caiaphas
His actual name was Joseph, but he was given the nickname of Caiaphas (just as Simon was given the name Peter by Jesus), which means "as comely"
His father-in-law, Annas, was high priest from A.D. 6-15, and was still called by some "high priest", though at this time, the actual high priest was Caiaphas.
Ishmael, Eleazar, and Simon held the office between the deposition of Annas and the appointment of Caiaphas
Caiaphas was appointed high priest in A.D. 18 by Valerius Gratus, the governor of Judaea.
He was removed as high priest by Vitellius, governor of Syria, in A.D. 36, and unable to bear his disgrace, killed himself.
He, along with Annas, was a Sadducee.
:6-13 Anointing for burial
About 1.5 miles to the east of Jerusalem.
This was the hometown of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary
:6 in the house of Simon the leper
Is there anything strange about this?
Lepers were considered unclean!
What's Jesus doing in his house?
Jesus has probably healed him.
There some other interesting things we can note from John 12:
The one in charge of serving the meal - Martha (who else?)
Lazarus was sitting at the table with Jesus.
:7 a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment
The woman is identified in John 12 as Mary, the sister of Martha.
She's the one who sat at Jesus' feet while Martha was serving, busy about so many things. (Luke 10:39)
We aren't told just exactly what kind of perfume this was, but that it was very expensive.
John 12:3 says it was a pound of spikenard, or, oil of nard, made from Far Eastern plants and imported.
We find out in John 12:5 that it was estimated to be worth 300 denarii, or, a year's wages.
:8 they had indignation ...
Actually, it was one disciple in particular who was upset over this waste.
It was Judas Iscariot (John 12:4-6), and he was upset because he was the treasurer of the group, and he used to pilfer from the groups funds.
:11 the poor always with you ...
Does this mean that we aren't to worry about helping the poor?
It just means that in this particular situation, when it came to either using the money to help the poor, or using the money to anoint Jesus for His burial, the latter was more important.
:13 for a memorial of her
And so it is recorded in Scripture. Wow!
Jesus is worth it!
You can't spend too much on Jesus
You can't give Him too much of your life.
I'm not talking about giving money to the church, I'm talking about giving everything to Jesus and let Him do with your life whatever He wants to.
Lavishing worship upon Jesus
"Hey, don't spend so much time at church worshipping Jesus!"
Wait a minute, Jesus is worth it!
:14-16 Judas' Agreement with chief priests
:15 What will ye give me ...
Do you begin to see a pattern in Judas' life?
Does he appear to be motivated by money?
1Timothy 6:9-10 AV But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
We need to be careful about what motivates us, don't we?
:15 thirty pieces of silver
Or, thirty shekels, equivalent to 120 denarii, or, about a third of a year's wages.
Ironic that this is only about a third of what the perfume cost Mary.
What a contrast between Judas and Mary
Mary was willing to spend whatever she had on her Master.
Judas was willing to sell out his Master for more money.
This is considered the value of a male slave's life. If your ox killed another man's male servant, then you had to pay the other man 30 shekels of silver.
Exodus 21:32-AV If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.
Apparently, Judas and the high priests didn't think much of Jesus to only place this value on Him.
There is also a prophecy being fulfilled here:
Zechariah 11:12-13 AV And I said unto them, If ye think good, give [me] my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty [pieces] of silver. 13 And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty [pieces] of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.
:17-19 Preparations for Passover
:17 the first day of the feast of unleavened bread
There's actually a kind of disagreement among scholars as to the exact timing of all this.
The best view seems:
Robertson & Gill: It is Thursday morning, 14 Nisan, the passover lambs were killed at noon on 14 Nisan, and the passover feast celebrated after sunset on that Thursday, which would be considered 15 Nisan.
Jesus would die on the afternoon of Friday, 15 Nisan, still the day of Passover, before sunset.
Some don't like this chronology because they feel that Jesus had to have died at the time that the sacrificial lambs were killed.
:20-25 One will betray
:21 and as they did eat
This is the famous "last supper".
But keep in mind, it didn't look like the famous painting.
They were all reclining around a low table, reclining typically on their right arm
:22 is it I?
There's an interesting thing happening here:
Jesus has known all along who it was who would betray Him.
But He has never let any of the other disciples know who it was.
And it seems by their question here, that they don't even have a clue who Jesus is referring to.
Love keeps sin quiet
Jesus loved Judas until the end.
We have indications from John's description of this feast in John 13, that Jesus had set Judas in the place of honor, on his right hand.
Jesus even shared His meal with Judas, offering him "a sop"
Jesus never let on to anyone about what was going on inside of Judas' heart.
Proverbs 17:9-AV He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth [very] friends.
1Peter 4:8-AV And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
:23 He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish
One of the common things served at meals was to have a dish or bowl full of a meat juice.
It would be set in the middle and everyone would take their bread and dip it into the same bowl.
Kind of like french dip sandwiches.
What Jesus is saying here is simply that one of the people at the table would be betraying Him.
:24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him
Jesus is going to be betrayed and die on a cross, just as had been prophesied of Him beforehand.
:24 but woe unto that man by whom ...
Jesus was going to die, but woe to the guy who allowed himself to be the one to be used to bring it about.
:25 thou hast said
Or, "you said it", or, "yes you are"
:26-29 Communion instituted
:28 my blood of the new testament
diatheke AV - covenant 20, testament 13; 33
1) a disposition, arrangement, of any sort, which one wishes to be valid, the last disposition which one makes of his earthly possessions after his death, a testament or will 2) a compact, a covenant, a testament 2a) God's covenant with Noah, etc.
or, new covenant, or, new agreement.
When we read this we might think that this has something to do with the last 27 books of the Bible, and in a way it does, but not directly.
To understand what the new testament is, we need to keep in mind what the "old testament" , or, "old covenant", was.
The old testament was the agreement that the Israelites had with God through the ministry of Moses and the Law.
It too was an agreement that started off with blood.
Hebrews 9:18-AV Whereupon neither the first [testament] was dedicated without blood.
Exodus 24:3-8 And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do. 4 And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the LORD. 6 And Moses took half of the blood, and put [it] in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 7 And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. 8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled [it] on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.
But there are problems with this old covenant, namely, it's based on man being able to keep the law in order to please God.
And that's impossible.
Hebrews 8:6-8 AV But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. 7 For if that first [covenant] had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come ...
The writer then goes on to quote the text of the new covenant.
The new testament is the new covenant that God promised in Jeremiah:
Jeremiah 31:31-34 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day [that] I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33 But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
Note: The new covenant included things like
1. Putting God's laws into the people's heart
2. Knowing God personally, and
3. Forgiveness of sins.
Just as the first covenant was initiated with a blood ritual, so the second covenant, or new covenant, or new testament, was initiated with blood, Jesus' own blood.
The cup we drink at communion is to help us remember that blood and remember that we have this new relationship with God, not based on our works, but on His work for us.
:29 when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom
The next time that Jesus is going to take communion with His disciples (and us) is when He comes back again to rule in His kingdom on earth.
I think we should often remind ourselves of this at communion.
We don't usually think of the second coming during communion, but there's an aspect of communion where we should really think about it. We should be thinking about the fact that Jesus will again one day share in communion with us, but it will be when He comes back.
:30-35 Disciples will deny Him
:30 they had sung an hymn
Gill: The "Hallell", which the Jews were obliged to sing on the night of the passover; for the passover, they say, was "bound to an hymn". This "Hallell", or song of praise, consisted of six Psalms, the 113th, 114th, 115th, 116th, 117th, and 118th: now this they did not sing all at once, but in parts. Just before the drinking of the second cup and eating of the lamb, they sung the first part of it, which contained the 113th and 114th Psalms; and on mixing the fourth and last cup, they completed the "Hallell", by singing the rest of the Psalms, beginning with the 115th Psalm, and ending with the 118th; and said over it, what they call the "blessing of the song", which was "#Ps 145:10", &c., and they might, if they would, mix a fifth cup, but that they were not obliged to, and say over it the "great Hallell", or "hymn", which was the 136th Psalm. Now the last part of the "Hallell", Christ deferred to the close of his supper; there being many things in it pertinent to him, and proper on this occasion, particularly "#Ps 115:1 116:12-15 118:22-27", and the Jews themselves say, "the sorrows of the Messiah" are contained in this part:
Psalms 145:10-AV All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee.
Psalms 115:1-AV Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, [and] for thy truth's sake.
Psalms 116:12-15 AV What shall I render unto the LORD [for] all his benefits toward me? 13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. 14 I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people. 15 Precious in the sight of the LORD [is] the death of his saints.
Psalms 118:22-27 AV The stone [which] the builders refused is become the head [stone] of the corner. 23 This is the LORD'S doing; it [is] marvellous in our eyes. 24 This [is] the day [which] the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. 25 Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. 26 Blessed [be] he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD. 27 God [is] the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, [even] unto the horns of the altar.
:31 it is written, I will smite the shepherd ...
Jesus is quoting:
Zechariah 13:7-AV Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man [that is] my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.
Note: It's interesting to me that Jesus didn't say, "You are all going to run from me because I have done intense psychological testing on you, and you all have such weak personalities that you're going to run".
Jesus based His conclusions on the Word of God.
:33 yet will I never be offended
Is Peter going to be able to keep this promise?
For some reason, I've started to cringe when I hear some husband telling his wife that he'll never drink again, or something of that sort.
When you make claims like that, are you prepared to eat your words?
Our flesh is WEAK.
In us and with our own abilities, we can never learn to do the things we're supposed to do.
Romans 7:18-AV For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not.
It's only as we learn to let God take over more and more of our lives, and we learn how to walk in the power of the Spirit of God, that we are able to do the things God wants us to.
Galatians 5:16-AV [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Peter would learn to stand up for his belief in Jesus, even be arrested and face persecution, eventually dying for his faith, but only after he learned how to let God have control of his life.