With Passover and Unleavened Bread two days away, chief priests and scribes sought how to capture and kill Christ (Mark 14:1-2).
A woman lavishly poured costly perfume of pure nard over Christ in the home of Simon the leper. Some scolded her saying she wasted the perfume since the money saved could be given to the poor. Jesus told them to leave her alone since she had done a good deed of anointing His body beforehand for burial and people will remember her when the gospel is preached (Mark 14:3-9).
Money motivated Judas to seek an opportune time to betray Jesus to the chief priests (Mark 14:10-11).
In preparing the sacrificial Passover lamb, He asked the disciples to follow a man carrying a pitcher of water. When he entered a house, He instructed them to ask the owner for the guest room, which would be a large furnished upper room, where "I may eat the Passover with My disciples" (Mark 14:12-16).
While eating, Jesus predicted one would betray Him. All the disciples were grieved and said, "Surely, not I?" Jesus said it would have been better for that man not to have been born (Mark 14:17-21).
Jesus broke bread saying it was His body. After they all drank from a cup, He said this was His blood of the covenant poured out for many. None would drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when "I drink it new in the kingdom of God" After singing a hymn, they went to the Mount of Olives (Mark 14:22-26).
Jesus predicted they all would fall away because Scripture said that striking the Shepherd caused the sheep to scatter, but after He had been raised, He would go before them to Galilee. Peter said he would not fall away, but Christ said he would deny Him three times (Mark 14:27-31).
When they came to Gethsemane, Jesus took Peter, James and John with him. While there, He became very distressed and troubled as His soul was deeply grieved to the point of death. He prayed that God would remove the cup so He wouldn't have to die, concluding, "yet not what I will, but what Thou wilt." Three times He found His disciples sleeping and not watching, even for one hour. He exhorted them to keep watching and praying so they not come into temptation because, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. The Son of Man then was betrayed into the hands of sinners (Mark 14:32-42).
Judas accompanied by a multitude of religious leaders with swords and clubs, captured and led Christ under guard. Christ told them everyday He was teaching in the temple and they didn't sieze Him, but this happened so "Scriptures might be fulfilled." His disciples left Him and fled including a young man wearing nothing but a linen sheet over his naked body (Mark 14:43-52).
Peter followed Jesus at a distance while He was led away to the high priest. The religious leaders and whole Council kept trying to obtain testimony to put Him to death. Jesus kept silent and made no answer to false testimony against Him. After the high priest asked if He was the Messiah, Jesus answered, "I am and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming with the clouds of heaven." Because of His "blasphemy," they condemned Him to death. Some spat at Him and others blindfolded and beat Him with their fists and said, "Prophesy!" (Mark 14:53-65).
Peter denied three times that he was with Jesus to a servant-girl, maid and bystanders, by answering, "I do not know this man you are talking about!" Peter wept after remembering Jesus saying, "Before a cock crows twice, you will deny Me three times" (Mark 14:66-72).
Let’s look at these 11 paragraphs in a chiastic structure as follows from the first through the eleventh paragraphs: A; B; C; D; E; F; E'; D'; C'; B'; A’. We group together the content contained in A & A’; B & B’, etc. Here are my conclusions:
1. Fear of man minimizes the effects of Christ's death so you deny His work on your behalf (A & A').
2. Instead of following the world's desires, follow the woman's example of lavish and sacrificial worship by spending time in prayer and listening to God (B & B').
3. Money can be security blanket preventing you from hearing and obeying Christ's radical teaching to take up your cross and follow Him (C & C').
4. Watching, praying and spending time with Christ prevents succumbing to temptation since the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak (D & D').
5. Beware of severe consequences in boasting that you won't fall away and deny Christ (E & E').
6. The focal point of your life should be the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ through His shed blood (F).
Consider the theme of Mark 14 (item #6) summarized in 2 Cor. 11:3-4 since it's easy to be led astray from the simplicity and pure devotion to Christ in the following ways:
1. Is fear of man leading you astray from the simplicity and pure devotion to Christ?
2. Are the world's desires leading you astray from the simplicity and pure devotion to Christ?
3. Is acquisition of more money leading you astray from the simplicity and pure devotion to Christ?
4. Is laziness in prayer leading you astray from the simplicity and pure devotion to Christ?
5. Is over-confidence leading you astray from the simplicity and pure devotion to Christ?