Obedience From Experience

Obedience From Experience: Mark 14:12-25
Pastor John Weathersby
Sunday May 2, 2021

We will spend some time today studying this passage, then we’ll take communion together, and today’s is is a large section. We’re going to focus in on a kind of obedience in the disciples in these passages and here is why – this kind of unquestioning obedience goes largely un-noticed and it is backed by the foreknowledge of God. Maybe you’ve seen it and noticed maybe you haven’t, today we will.

Today, we’ll see obedience that pours forward from a place of experience and a certain sealed faith.

Mark 14:12–21
12 And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?”

It’s funny sometimes I forget that people read controversy into the scriptures and so I forget sometimes to slow down and talk about those. Partly that is on purpose because I believe you have to bring divisive controversy with you and want to see it.

In 2006, Tim Challies wrote a blog on counterfeit detection research he did: https://www.challies.com/articles/counterfeit-detection-part-1/ why? Because, it’s been said as a matter for illustration that bankers are taught to detect fakes not by studying fakes, but by careful examination of the real thing – knowing it’s features, it’s look, and it’s feel.

Scripture is the same.

So when we talk about Judas choosing against God and having every opportunity for repentance, that’s exactly what I mean. I don’t think to give a treatise on the doctrines of grace, because Calvinism, reformed understanding of sin and ordo salutis simply describe the scriptures perspectives on sin and salvation, God and man and give an interpretive framework for the series in the Bible that are cohesive with what God has already said about sin and man. That said, going back briefly – Judas had EVERY opportunity to choose for God it was freely available to him and he did exactly what the natural man would – resist with everything (John 3:19Prov 14:12Jeremiah 17:9Romans 1:18-32Ephesians 2:1, and so on). Judas’ closeness to Jesus sopping bread with Him, having every warning and every experience with the disciples actually deepens my reformed position on salvation – if anyone would choose for God it would be a disciple exposed to Jesus the God-man, but he didn’t. Jesus clearly said in John 6 that none given to him by the father would escape, so I’d ask you back, oh man, did one slip or was one not given?

John 3:19 (ESV)
19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.

Proverbs 14:12 (ESV)
12 There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.

Jeremiah 17:9 (ESV)
9 The heart is deceitful above all things,

and desperately sick;

who can understand it?

Romans 1:18-32 (ESV)
God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.
20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools,
23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,
25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;
27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.
29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips,
30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Ephesians 2:1 (ESV)
By Grace Through Faith
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins

We’ll get back to Judas as we continue through today’s passage but I want to encourage you with this, if you brought with you a skeptical perspective on the scripture, settle that. Some may ask about the days of the week and if Jesus was celebrating passover on Friday or Thursday – if I said to you it’s huuuuump day, what day is it?

Wednesday – why? Because that’s how we use language commonly because of Geico. Similarly the Jews and people found in Biblical times using common language talked of days and nights colloquially. Psalm 1:2 says:

Psalm 1:2 (ESV)
2  but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

Did he meditate day and night or a lot?

In the book of Esther 4:16

16 “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”

Later in Esther 5:1 we read

Esther 5:1
1 On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, in front of the king’s quarters, while the king was sitting on his royal throne inside the throne room opposite the entrance to the palace.

If you follow the timeline, she appears before the king on the 3rd day, starting on Friday this would be Sunday so we give the Bible the same room we give normal language, not a tense strict literalism, with room for the a way people speak and use langue. Like the psalm reference isn’t literally all day and all night, these 3 days weren’t literally exhausted 72 hours, but portions of those 3 days.

On Mark 14:12, Lensky states the following:

The former originally designated the celebration of the afternoon and the evening of the 14th of Nisan (the eating of the lamb) and naturally came to be used by both Jewish and Greek writers also for the entire week of the celebration that followed. Thus “to sacrifice the Passover” and “to eat the Passover” refer to the sacrificing and the eating of the Passover lamb. […]“the Festival of the Things Unleavened,” soon came to include also the day on which the paschal lamb was slain, the 14th of Nisan; there were thus altogether eight days of yeastless baking and eating of bread. “The first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread” is thus beyond question the 14th of Nisan, which this year came on a Thursday. We state only the summary findings; the question has been settled so often that the arguments for the 13th of Nisan should no longer be advanced. The imperfect ἔθυον refers to the custom of sacrificing the lamb on this “first” day, which is most certainly designated as the 14th of Nisan.

There isn’t an error in preciseness or confusion of days, there is room for common speaking of days and seasonality without minute by minute precision.

13 And he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him,

Please notice Jesus decisive certain language. A man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Not find this guy, not look for, these are words of certain assurance and security. These kinds of passages should buffet your soul and arm you up. Jesus who is certain that in a city swarming with people who all need to partake in this most important festival inside the city walls a man with a jar WILL find THEM.

We’re getting closer to obedience that pours forward from a place of experience and a certain sealed faith but we’re not there, yet.

14 and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’
15 And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.”

What Jesus is doing is important – remember Judas is among them. The traitor who has now agreed to sell out their location. Jesus protects His ability to fulfill every ounce of the law and participate in this with them, to leave them with the ever-important communion (which we’ll take today as well) he sends in Peter and John (as Luke tells us) who through this arrangement will be the only ones to know where the Passover will be held.

Here it comes, obedience.

16 And the disciples set out and went to the city and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.

There it is obedience that pours forward from a place of experience and a certain sealed faith

17 And when it was evening, he came with the twelve.
18 And as they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.”
19 They began to be sorrowful and to say to him one after another, “Is it I?”
20 He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the dish with me.

The same account in John gives an interesting insight, John 13:21

John 13:21 (ESV)
21 After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”

Jesus wasn’t a disinterested party, He’d spent time with Judas and cared for Judas. It is a great picture of 2 Peter 3:9

2 Peter 3:9 (ESV)
9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

As we said earlier,
John 6:37–39 (ESV)
37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.

39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.

Jesus in John 13:18
18 I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’

Quotes from Psalm 41:9 (look it up) Jesus is not surprised, but genuinely disappointed. Jesus command over scripture is staggering – He ties events in his life to mentions in poetry and demonstrates the living word, bask in these instances.

21 For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”

He is back focusing in on Judas again. Jesus’ uses the example of Judas quite a bit throughout his life giving us helpful warning-glances at him, his purposes, and his motivations.

In John 6:64 we read:
64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.)

Jesus knew from the very beginning Jesus continues in John 6:65
65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

Are you following Jesus here. John 6:64 and 6:65 flow one after the other, they’re not detached. Jesus is explaining that Judas didn’t repent and come to Him because the Father didn’t grant to Judas to repent. 64 is explained by 65 – and just as you’re settling that, 66 comes:

John 6:66 (ESV)
66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.

Judas is responsible for his sins, look at

Matthew 27:4 (ESV)
4 saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.”

God didn’t make Judas do anything, Judas satisfied his own lust for money.

Judas was busy, there with Jesus for those 3 years, serving along side the others but Judas loved money, not Jesus. The love of things more than Christ, the elevation of idols over Jesus are enough to keep you at bay.

Mark 14:22–25 (ESV)
22 And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.”
23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it.
24 And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.
25 Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

Obedience from a place of experience and faith.

Their experiences with Jesus weren’t the same every time. Rather they were varied, what was the same was Jesus foreknowing and sovereign control over circumstances. What Jesus said would work

Romans 8:28 (ESV)
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Do you believe that? If so, you too can function from a place of faith, and over time have that faith bolstered through experience.

Work at this, this week, it defends against the sin’s of Judas

Matthew 22:36–37 (ESV)
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

This is why we come to the Scripture’s the way we do, we know that the scripture cannot be broken John 10:35 and because Scripture is an honest friend that confronts us. Does this mean we’re dumb lemmings? No quite the opposite, scripture encourages us to test all things and hold fast to what is good 1 Thessalonians 5:21 and so, when God moves on us and we become saved, perhaps immediately perhaps over time through experience we come to trust the Word with an obedience that pours forward from a place of experience and a certain sealed faith – Jesus says to go into that busy city to be found a man carrying a jug of water – off we go.

John 10:35 (ESV)
35 If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken—

1 Thessalonians 5:21 (ESV)
21 but test everything; hold fast what is good.

Pray, Observe, Apply.

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