God’s Radical Grace

SUFFERING KING: THE BOOK OF MARK:
God’s Radical Grace: Mark 14:43-50
Pastor John Weathersby
Sunday May 23, 2021

Have you ever felt crushed.

I don’t mean in an anger inducing way, I mean, in a violation of trust and deeply personal way. Read this text about Jesus experience with that weight. Jesus knows what is coming, but it is no less impactful to watch it play out we should feel these words, but more than that we should feel them and be moved to change. To see the face of his friend so satisfying his own desire, but so lost to truth at the same time.

Maybe you’ve been here – I hope not.

I remember the day I came home after having gotten in trouble at school. I didn’t see my father the first night, I just went to sleep because I knew the fall out would be significant. I went to school the next day, somewhat a blur and when I came home I remember seeing my father waiting for me. Lots of words were exchanged and he said to me, I don’t ever want to see you again.

I was 15.

I may have seen my father in the flesh 5 times since that point, I’m 42.

I don’t think he ever came to look for me, maybe I’m wrong, but I was on my own. I’ve never told single person, other than my wife, that story. Prior to right now only he and I knew that and she knew about it – Jesus has been betrayed, hurt, and from this point on, peoples backs will face him. Those who were supposed to trust him, be with him, and love him.

Let’s move through this slowly.

Because maybe you’ve tasted what Jesus drank – appreciating that, will bring in the reality of your salvation, it will help you own it, and when you do it is freeing to know God’s radical grace.

What we’ll see today is Jesus coming prepared for the full cup, Peter prepared to fight, one was prepared with his own will, the other with God, and the difference was prayer.

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.

Judas, one of the 12. Mark says this with I think a kind of deep head shaking confusion. Remember Jesus knew clearly who it was and who would perpetrate this act. He said it “one of you will betray me” and even obscured the location of their passover dinner so that he Judas, could not bring this throng of power and stop their fulfillment of the feast.

But Mark didn’t know.

The 11 didn’t know. They knew Jesus said there would be a betrayer – but never I’m sure in their wildest dreams would that betrayal be from among them to the officials. But that is exactly what just happened. John gives us more of the scene:

John 18:3–5 (ESV)
Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
3 So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons.
4 Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?”
5 They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.

But remember, Jesus left disciples at the gate, brought 3 in with Him and then just verses before said:

Mark 14:41 (ESV)
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.

The hour has come, “The son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners”.

This is God’s radical grace, Jesus remains teaching His disciples and preparing them to build His church even during this deeply troublesome time.

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.

One of the 12, chief priests and the scribes and the elders – they would take no risk of Jesus escaping. Judas gave the sign kissing Christ, like a greeting of a friend. You can imagine – Judas pretending like there weren’t a few hundred armed police and soldiers coming up to the remote garden behind him with torches and weapons,

Jesus, hey man I missed you!

This. Is. Cold.

The greeting with a kiss, not the cold hand shake we do when we meet someone for the first time, it’s the cooler handshake with the hug, this is supposed to be a friend a trusted disciple and follower – but he is a deceiver. Who does he deceive, the list is long but Jesus isn’t on it.

After the friends greeting, you can imagine the guard/police/military on the ready:

John 18:6–8 (ESV)
6 When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
7 So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.”

This is God’s radical grace –

Matthew captures the moment with different focus:

Matthew 26:49–50 (ESV)
49 And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him.
50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him.

“friend do what you came to do”. What did he come to do? Earn his money for selling out Jesus. Judas’ was a straight money transaction. Perhaps he thought he’d get some status too among the elite, the guy that handed over Jesus, a parking spot Downtown and a key to the city gate. The entire time he was planning, Jesus who knows what was going on. Perhaps Judas during this kiss was feeling remorse, knowing what Jesus who should be his friend was going into? He wasn’t sending Him off to summer camp – he was putting Him in the hands of the Authorities and the Jews who wanted certain death.

He still can’t call Jesus Lord. “greetings Rabbi”.

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.

Peter assured Jesus he would lay down his life for him, maybe he was wiling. But Jesus didn’t want their death – he wanted their life… and that is harder. Jesus was in the garden paying to God, 3 times he tried to get Peter to do the same; Jesus came prepared for the full cup, Peter to fight, one was prepared with his own will, the other with Gods, the difference was prayer.

Luke 22:49–51 (ESV)
49 And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?”
50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear.
51 But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him.

“no more of this”.

Jesus wanted their lives. Perhaps that is why He gave them opportunity to prepare in the garden praying with Him, because their lives would be required.

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.”

They came prepared, a paid traitor who through his relationship would walk them to Jesus in a secluded place. Armed guards and police, with torches and swords up to a remote farming operation on a mountain side. Jesus looks at this scene asking, “who are you here for, John Gotti”. They were sent in droves because earlier in John 7 we read:

John 7:43–48
43 So there was a division among the people over him.
44 Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.
45 The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?”
46 The officers answered, “No one ever spoke like this man!”
47 The Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived?
48 Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?

They’d failed previously because of who Jesus was, now they’d succeed because of who Jesus was, it was His fathers sovereign time that humanity would be allowed to have their sinful way with Him,

I’m going to say that again, slowly:

it was His fathers sovereign time that humanity would be allowed to have their sinful way with Him

But remember This is God’s radical grace – all the hate and seething anger they can muster as an outflow of their cold dark hearts will be redirected as God’s wrath towards sin, defeating in and taking the sting from death.

1 Corinthians 15:55–57 (ESV)
55  “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Peter was ready to fight to the death for the Lord, and in someways maybe that’s easier than living for the Lord. You don’t have to get prayed up for a fight, you get all geeked up on emotion and energy. Serving God is a lifetime of subtle decisions, what will I do today – will I focus on Him as Lord, what decisions will be filtered through obedience – and how will I pass on what I know of Christ to others who’ll do the same.

50 And they all left him and fled.

Flip with me to Mark 14:27 (ESV)

27 And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’

Days earlier, maybe they were all together. You can imagine them happy disciples walking with their Lord (or Rabbi in Judas’ part) enjoying each others company- laughing and learning. Watching the God-man work, they probably felt on top of the world and a bit untouchable. To being scattered, and like that Jesus was alone.

Mark 14:28–30 (ESV)
28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.”
29 Peter said to him, “Even though they all fall away, I will not.”
30 And Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.”

Jesus went alone to the Cross abandoned, friends with their back to Him, God away as father in this moment as Jesus becomes the sin of those who He would saved are being redeemed through these works:

2 Corinthians 4:8–10 (ESV)
8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

Peter is told, you’ll for sake me, not so Lord I’ll die for you.

Jesus prays in the garden 3 times while Peter, James and John sleep.

Peter denies Jesus 3 times, and then remembers…

It is hard to live for Christ, rather than just die – and so God in Christ gave us radical grace.

What will we do with God’s radical grace?

Will we live for Him, or are we simply prepared to die for him? Remember that is a set of daily decisions:

what will I do today –
will I focus on Him as Lord, what decisions will be filtered through obedience –
and how will I pass on what I know of Christ to others who’ll do the same.

Will we “keep watch”, it’s harder than being ready to swing and fight, what about our plans? If Jesus’ plan and God’s will turn out NOT to be well aligned with our goals, are we ready to betray Christ for what we want?

Or, will we keep watch in prayer, staying attuned to God, our will aligned to His own, ready to follow Jesus as Lord, it’s difficult – but Jesus is worthy!

We should feel them and be moved to change not just be entertained like some Roman gladiator, but like a disciple of Christ’s we should be moved to change our lives to be most fully secured by His Lordship and with Isaiah

Isaiah 6:8 (ESV)
Isaiah’s Commission from the Lord
8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”

What does that look like? Are you going to move to the 1040 window and learn a new language and evangelize a tribe of people who hate Jesus and murder missionaries? Maybe, but let me ask you this before you do that, in the geography you are in today, are you using the language you know to represent Jesus well in the culture you find yourself in now?

Jesus was in the garden paying to God, 3 times He encouraged Peter to do the same; Jesus came prepared for the full cup, Peter to fight, one was prepared with his own will, the other with God’s, the difference was prayer.

Are you spending time on thing focused on the Kingdom of God; or just the Kingdom of Bob, or …

Pray, Observe, Apply.

×Note: To download, click the button. If it doesn't work, right click, then click "Save Link As." Download only works if media is stored within this site. Download Video

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top