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The Last Week: Wednesday (4 of 8)
Series: The Last Week of Jesus' Life
Because God has made us free, we have the ability to chose the path of light that leads to life, or the path of darkness that leads to death. How do we respond to Jesus and his message? Specifically, how do we respond to his death and resurrection? The chief priests and scribes on the one hand (vv.1-2) and Judas on the other (vv.10-11) were preparing for Jesus' death by planning to kill him. Between the two parts of this conspiracy account (vv.3-9) stands the story of a woman who pours ointment on Jesus' head at a dinner party. Mark brackets this story as a way of bringing to our attention the graphic contrast of responses to Jesus.
The "scheming" of the chief priests and teachers of the law as well as the betrayal of Judas portrays the ugliness of sinful choices, choosing darkness rather than light, choosing death rather than life, while the anointing of Jesus portrays the beauty of devotion, the beauty of worship, the beauty of pure, extravagant love. Hatred and love, darkness and light, good and evil, beauty and betrayal, it's all here in the Wednesday story of Jesus' last week.
The words, deeds, and attitudes seen in this passage serve as a kind of mirror reflecting the choices we make in response to Jesus and his message.
The Choice to Resist Jesus (14:1-2)
Some, like the chief priests and scribes, still react to Jesus with hostility, rejecting outright both him and his message. The rejection of the chief priests and scribes was largely based on fear and envy. They saw Jesus as a threat. "If Jesus is not soon silenced, what will happen to us? Jesus' claims and his message is too disturbing, too unsettling. He turns the world upside down with his talk of God's kingdom. He invites sinners to participate in God's kingdom. He forgives the unforgivable. He doesn't respect our traditions. Jesus must go!" They are seeking to protect their position, their p ...
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