From Pastor Perry

Mark 14:66–72 (ESV)
Peter Denies Jesus
66 And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came, 67 and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” 68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean.” And he went out into the gateway and the rooster crowed. 69 And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” 70 But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” 71 But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.” 72 And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.

Why does Peter take the brunt of the fall when all the Apostles fell away.  I think he is easy to blame, maybe because there is a little Peter in all of us.  He tries so hard, yet continually comes up short.  We try to, but it is good that we are not saved by our works, but by our faith.  When Peter heard the rooster, he broke down and wept.  Later on, Jesus will look at Peter and “love” him and Peter will know that he has been forgiven.  But in today’s reading, that is yet to come.

I pray: O Lord, we too fall short of the glory of God and we go against our own words.  Forgive us and lift us up, brush us off, and refocus us on what you did on the cross.  Amen.

Mark 14:53–65 (ESV)
Jesus Before the Council
53 And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. 54 And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting with the guards and warming himself at the fire. 55 Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. 56 For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. 57 And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’ ” 59 Yet even about this their testimony did not agree. 60 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” 61 But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” 62 And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” 63 And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? 64 You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death. 65 And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.

The events of today’s reading I find quite humorous, yet at the same time... a seriousness that is taking Jesus to the cross.  Jesus is taken before the council, but if you reread the reading, you see that all the witnesses do not agree with each other.  When their testimony did not agree, the high priest asked Jesus “Have you no answer to make?  Jesus could have laughed here and said “you hear them, I’m just as confused as you are!”  But Jesus didn’t.  He gave them exactly what they wanted.  He said “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”  When he said “I Am,” Jesus just connected the dots for them.  

I pray: O Lord, there are times that I am afraid to say the truth because of the consequences.  At this point, the Apostles had all fallen away too.  Help me to stand firm unto the end.  Amen.

Mark 14:51–52 (ESV)
A Young Man Flees
51 And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized him, 52 but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked.

Today’s reading contains only two verses.  They are unique, in that they are not found in Matthew, Luke, or John... bu only Mark.  If you ask the question “So what does this mean?”  The right perspective may be to ask why is it found only in Mark and not the other Gospels?  Probably because they did not see or experience this act.  The young man who ran away naked was probably no other than Mark himself!  He experienced it, so he writes about it.  We are not sure that this is Mark, but most commentaries state that they believe this is Gospel writer of Mark... that is, Mark!

I pray: O Lord, I know that all the disciples fell away from Christ.  I would like to say “Not ME!”  But I know this is not true.  I am a sinner like all others.  Instead of focusing on not running away, I want to focus on your forgiveness.  Please forgive me when I choose my ways over your ways.  Amen.

Mark 14:43–50 (ESV)
Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
43 And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard.” 45 And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” And he kissed him. 46 And they laid hands on him and seized him. 47 But one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. 48 And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.” 50 And they all left him and fled.

In today’s reading, Judas has setup Jesus to be captured at night with the sign of a kiss.  Jesus points out that I have been in your temple where you could easily capture him.  They do not realize that Jesus is not going to run, because he knows he has to die and he is there to die.  He willingly goes to the cross for you and for me.

I pray: O Lord, you knew before you even came to Earth that you would die on the cross.  We would have never seen it coming, we would be just like the disciples.  Lord, you took my sins to the cross, sins I should have died for.  I give thanks for all you have done for me.  Amen.

Mark 14:32–42 (ESV)
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
32 And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. 34 And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.” 35 And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” 37 And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. 41 And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”

Today’s reading shows Jesus at one of the most troubling times in his life here on Earth.  He knows he is about to die, yet he would like to not have to go through it.  He knows what lies ahead.  He also knows the significance of what he has to do.  You see his troubled heart (human nature) when he says: “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”  His will in his human nature wants the Father to rescue him, yet his divine nature wants to do the Father’s will... and God’s will prevails.  Meanwhile, his disciples can’t stay awake, but keep sleeping through Jesus’ troubled prayer in the Garden.  Jesus gets his answer and responds to his sleeping disciples: “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”

I remember driving to my Uncles funeral in Ruston, LA, and I was so sleepy from long hours.  I was afraid I was not going to make it because I was so tired.  I finally pulled over at a rest area on I-20 and took a nap for about an hour.  The hour flew by, but it was enough for me to make it into Ruston for the funeral.  I was so afraid I would miss it.  Have you ever been so tired that you couldn’t keep your eyes open, even if Jesus himself asked you too?  I have been there, done that, got the T-shirt.

I pray: O Lord, I give thanks that you are a forgiving Lord, that when you are troubled... the disciples were asleep.  You forgave them and you have forgiven me when I’m sleeping... whether physical, mental, or spiritual.  Amen.

Latest comments

05.03 | 22:15

Pastor. since I did not get to attend church today, I read your blog and found it
to be so informative for Ash Wednesday. Thanks for your comments.

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25.12 | 07:53

Amen+

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28.11 | 13:00

Happy Thanksgiving

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03.11 | 01:46

A-Men!!!

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