The Bible one book, one chapter, one verse at a time

Unconstrained to Christ

SUFFERING KING: THE BOOK OF MARK:
Unconstrained To Christ: Mark 14:10-11
Pastor John Weathersby
Sunday April 25, 2021

Some would say that the book of Hebrews leave a crack open in the door, in the 6th chapter that perhaps we choose God and need to hold our salvation. Some would even say that perhaps Judas drives that door open further.

Today, we’ll see from scripture that nothing could be further from the truth. We’ll see Judas as having ulterior motives, having every opportunity to repent, but having not – having Jesus not trap him at every step but rather leaving him with invitation, yet in spite of all that Judas choses for betrayal and what he sees as personal gain, and in the end Judas is left with crushing loss – still unwilling for repentance. Judas stays constrained to his own sinful understanding which leads death, rather than finding his understanding in Christ which leads to life.

What a choice – as we look at Judas, the journey will be painful, because perhaps we can find elements of his own sin in us, but to the Christian rejoice in the Lord of your salvation – to the non-Christian see the grace and mercy and character of Christ and lets start where we’ll end:

Ephesians 2:8–9 (ESV)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Perhaps for the first time this morning between Mary and Judas, you’ll see Jesus’ hand of salvation, grab it.

As we study consider these things which could be found in ourselves, our ability to have:

Physical closeness but spiritual distance
Ulterior motives
God’s glory

Mark 14:10–11 (ESV)
Judas to Betray Jesus
10 Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them.
11 And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money. And he sought an opportunity to betray him.

As we studied last week, we had Jesus’ body prepared for burial, being anointed by the woman who was not only ready to fulfill this ministry opportunity but would have done more if she could have. The tense in the word suggest that she went to her limit in her ability to meet the need, so verse 8 said, “she has done what she could” in anointing Jesus’ body – it means literally everything she possibly could have. She swallowed her pride, people spoke of her “indignantly”, and scolded her, yet she was there exhausting her everything as Pastor John Nicholas so well put it she was participating in “unrestrained worship”. She took something of value and as the gospel writers put it:

Matthew: “she did it for my entombment”
John: “she kept it for the day of my entombment”
Mark: “she has anointed my body beforehand for burial”

And she poured it over Jesus, in unrestrained worship, constrained to Christ – all she COULD do.

But Judas John 12:4–6 (ESV)
4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said,
5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”
6 He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.

Judas had ulterior motives.

But Judas who was close to Jesus, enough to dip his bread with Jesus John 13:26
26 Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.
Judas was physically close but spiritually, far.

But Judas, who held the money bag John 13:29
29 Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor.

Judas was a thief.

Judas always listed last in lists of Jesus’ disciples, Judas who never once is recorded as calling Jesus “Lord”

As Pastor John called forward last week that we see Mary in “unrestrained worship” here in stark contrast we see Judas, “unconstrained to Christ”.

Hebrews 6:7-8 (ESV)
7 For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God.
8 But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.

Note what the writer of Hebrews is saying here, this is rich. The land all drinks the rain that falls on it

Genesis 8:22 (ESV)
22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

Matthew 5:45 (ESV)
45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

The land drinks the rain (common grace) and it yields a crop useful to the ones it is cultivated for and they’re blessed by God. Rain and soil become food, amazing provision. Plant a grape seed, get a grape. You don’t plant a grape seed and get a thorn from it – similarly Judas was present for the sermons of Christ – the miracles of Christ, the acts of compassion, the fulfillment of prophecy for 3 years the living Word but was unregenerate. He personifies,

Matthew 7:21–23 (ESV)
I Never Knew You
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’
23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Yet, he was chosen by Jesus.

John 6:70 (ESV)
70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.”

Be careful, Church.

John 6:70–71 (ESV)
70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” 71 He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray him.

Church, the things of this world that call to us, are hollow.

Matthew 27:3–4 (ESV)
Judas Hangs Himself
3 Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders,
4 saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.”

This was Judas life, so close to Christ and salvation, but blinded by the world, unable to see the word, giving himself over to Satan and his evil unloving tirade.

10 Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them.
11 And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money. And he sought an opportunity to betray him.

One of the 12, called by Christ. Close to Christ involved in ministry for 3 years, yet never Close to Jesus, never calling Him Lord, Judas had every chance to repent, Jesus never even called Him out revealing him to the 11 – He gave Judas every opportunity, in fact Judas almost had to work at a lack of repentance he had to want a hardened heart.

Notice what is happening here and Mark in his Gospel calls this concept forward by contrasting Mary and Judas

If Mary then was involved in unrestrained worship, constrained to Christ – with all she COULD do, and Jesus Himself said that “wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her”, I ask us – are we unrestrained in worship, or are we un-constrained to Christ. Are we Mary or are we Judas?

There is no middle.

Judas was physically close, but spiritually far.
Judas had ulterior motives.
Judas was a thief.

Hear these words, like John last week overtaken with Mary’s worship, I’ve been overtaken this week with Judas’ darkness – perhaps for cautious fear that anything like this would be in me:

John 13:27–30
27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.”
28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him.
29 Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor.
30 So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

With the favor and love of Jesus fresh in his mouth, still digesting into his body, he went out in service of his own passions and betrayed Christ.

I find this haunting.

What about you? Do your blind spots keep you far? Do we want hardened hearts, or do we look for our blind spots? Do we ask Jesus, “reveal to me any area of me that isn’t yours and take it captive” – “I want you over everything”

This week consider these 3 warnings in Judas and focus on these 3 passages, let’s grow together.

Are we physically close, but spiritually far.

Are we in the church, doing things, serving – but our Bible reading, our prayer times, our abiding in Christ was waning – Church, that’s a red-flag, it it’s one step to fix it. Repent. John 15:4

John 15:4 (ESV)
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

Do we have ulterior motives.
Is your service about Christ or about you, about being seen or about being worshipful, about money or about God’s glory. Who benefits from your service? You or others? Matthew 6:1-18

Matthew 6:1-18 (ESV)
Giving to the Needy
1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
2 “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
The Lord’s Prayer
5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.
8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.
14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,
15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Fasting
16 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Are we a thief.
Maybe it’s not money, maybe it is. Maybe you rob the church of their joy filed experience, by complaining and back biting. Are you dragging people down or encouraging them (Hebrews 10:25)

Hebrews 10:25 (ESV)
25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Let’s not be “unconstrained to Christ” let’s be unrestrained worshipers, open to correction and rebuke, to desire to do His will not ours.

Perhaps for the first time this morning between Marry and Judas you’ll see Jesus’ hand of salvation, grab it.

Ephesians 2:8–9 (ESV)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

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. Required fields are marked *

Back to top