Lesson 80

The Gospel According to Mark

World English Bible translation

14:26 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

14:27 Jesus said to them, "All of you will be made to stumble because of me tonight, for it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.' 14:28 However, after I am raised up, I will go before you into Galilee."

14:29 But Peter said to him, "Although all will be offended, yet I will not."

14:30 Jesus said to him, "Most assuredly I tell you, that you today, even this night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times."

14:31 But he spoke all the more, "If I must die with you, I will not deny you." Likewise, they all said so.  

Today's Lesson

Jesus and the disciples had shared the Passover. At the end of the supper, Jesus had begun a new tradition. He took bread and broke it and told the disciples that were with Him, "Take, eat. This is my body." He took the cup of wine and said to them, "This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many." Even today, Christians remember what Jesus began through the sacrament of Communion.


After these things, Jesus led them out to the Mount of Olives. There He told them that they would be scattered. Jesus would be arrested and the disciples would desert Him. Peter, ever the vocal one, told Jesus that even though everyone else might abandon Him, that he would not. But Jesus told Peter that even before the rooster crowed three times at daylight Peter would deny Him three times. Peter could not believe that this would happen. He told Jesus, "If I must die with you, I will not deny you."


When Jesus was arrested later in the night, every one of them did desert Him. They had thought that they would stand beside Him at the end. They thought that they would be brave and would be willing to sacrifice themselves with Him. But in the end, what they did was flee. They scattered and abandoned Him. Jesus knew that they would do this. Even though their behavior shocked and embarrassed them, it did not surprise Jesus.


Many times we have good intentions and yet we fail miserably to carry them out. We have the desire to do what is right and yet when it is time to do the right thing we find that we are helpless to accomplish it. There is hope. Through the work of the indwelling Spirit of God, we can overcome. But, this usually takes a long time for God to work in our lives to lead us to this point.


We can be consoled until we reach the point where the Spirit of God can make us stand up to our problems because we have a God that understands our shortcomings. God knows our hearts. He knows our failures. His love overcomes all of our deficiencies. Even though we rebel and deny Him, God's love pulls us in. Even though - in our moments of failure - we deny Christ, Christ will not deny us. We must have faith in a God who is bigger than our failures.


Do you believe that God will save you in spite of your failures? Do you believe in a God who is so forgiving that He will raise you to victory in spite of your defeats?


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