Mark 14:10-26 | Between the cups


The 14th chapter of Mark is full of contrasts to enable the reader to comprehend what true devotion looks like. This morning we will look at three events that illustrate devotion, which must be what our time with Jesus at communion is all about: 

  • Vs. 10-11 The decision of Judas to betray Jesus
  • Vs. 12-21 The preparation for Passover
  • Vs. 22-26 The institution of the Lord’s Supper

Nothing could give a better picture of true devotion than the contrasts of Judas’ act of betrayal and Jesus’ instituting communion at the Passover.

Vs. 10-11 The Betrayal

Vs. 10-11 The first picture is that of Judas’ betrayal and Mark wants the reader to understand the dynamics of this as he includes the revelation as too his identity as “one of the twelve”. The religious leaders had a challenge in their attempt to destroy Jesus as they had: 

  • Limited time
  • Limited opportunity
  • And No reason

Judas’ offer to them changed two of those in their favor. From purely a practical observation, apart from Judas’ act of betrayal Jesus would not have been arrested, tried or crucified at this specific time. The Greek word for “betray” in verse 10 is a word that means to “hand over” or as we would say “sold Him down the river”. Judas wasn’t coerced into this deceptive plan, he initiated it and went to the right people in order to carry it out. Further more we are told that “when they (the religious leaders) heard it they were glad”. The Greek wording on this phrase indicates an inward feeling of joy but suppressed outwardly as to not give away their inward feelings. What this suggests is the element of surprise by the religious leaders at Judas’ offer of betrayal, as they didn’t see it coming. They didn’t want Judas to know how delighted they were at his proposal. The religious leaders had the burden of finding a way to dispose of Jesus and they didn’t have one until Judas presented them with the opportunity. This information can only be classified as “insider information” and had to have been given to the disciples at a later date by someone who was there. In this unsurpassed betrayal we still see the light and impact of the LACK of enduring devotion as it can penetrate even those closest to Jesus. 

There are those that want to offer excuses for Judas’ act, but the Bible doesn’t offer that view as Judas’ act was:

a. Deliberate: He took the initiative and went to the religious leaders

b. Treacherous: He was a trusted member of the disciples

c. Envious: His stated motive was greed as he was an embezzler.

d. Calculating: To Judas this was nothing more than a business transaction

It took very little money to transform Judas from a devoted disciple to a deceiver; 30 pieces of silver according to Exodus 21:32 is the exact price paid to a master if his slave was gored by an ox. All of this reveals that Judas’ true “devotion” was only towards the true love of his life, himself.

Vs. 12-21 Preparation for Passover

Vs. 12 Mark gives several important clues as too the timing of this first communion as he says that it was “on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb.” Preparations for the Passover meal were made on the 14th of the month and the Passover lamb was slain at 6 PM on the next day. Mark notes that the conversation with Jesus who was THE Lamb of God about the preparations for the Passover meal and we note that the timing of this took place at the same time in which the lambs were being killed and prepared for the meal. 

Vs. 13-15 Peter and John were the two commissioned to procure the room where the disciples and Jesus were to celebrate the Passover with His disciples. The instructions were very specific; they were to look for a man carrying a pitcher of water which would have been unusual as such a task was women’s work thus this man was most likely a slave. They were to follow him to his master’s house and once there ask the master of the house where the guest room was at. The phrase “THE guest chamber” is literally in the Greek “My guest chamber” which suggests that this was a prearrangement made between Jesus and the master of the house. The room was furnished and prepared for the meal in accordance to biblical Passover observance. 

What’s not immediately recognizable by gentile readers of this passage is that “a man carrying a jar of water” was linked to another very important feast. To dig deeper into this you need to go to John chapter 7 verses 37-39 there we are told that, “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out saying, if anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” Now we know that the feast Jesus is revering to is the Feast of Tabernacles because John tells us so in John 7:2. The Feast of Tabernacles is an 8-day festival that begins at sundown and according to Moses words in Leviticus chapter 23 for 7 days of the 8 days it is a festival noted for being set apart from others for rest. But on the 7th day known as “the great day” the people observed it by coming together in a procession following a priest as he went to draw water from the pool of Siloam (the pool where Jesus told the blind man to wash his eyes after He had put mud over them). The priests took two golden pitchers, one for wine and the other for water from the pool. There was a musical procession as they went down to the pool to get the water for the golden pitcher and would sing the words of Psalm 118 with the 22nd verse of “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone”. After getting the water the whole procession went back to the temple through the water gate and the trumpet sounds as the priest enters the temple area. When the priest approached the alter there were two silver basins waiting Him, he pours wine into the one basin as a drink offering and the water from the pool of Siloam into the other. The whole ceremony was a joyous occasion thanking the Lord for His provision and asking Him to provide water for the coming year. Jesus stood holding that pitcher of water of the 7th day, the Great day of the feast of tabernacles with this proclamation. But John in his gospel account in chapter 7 verse 39 says, “But this He spoke concerning the Holy Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” This was a deliberate set up by Jesus to let His disciples know that what John records in the 39th verse was about to happen. These men were going to need to reflect on what Jesus death was going to bring them that at this moment they couldn’t comprehend. 

Vs. 16 Mark records two things:

1. “So His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found it just as He had said to them..”: The first part is the preparation of our Lord where everything that He said He would do was done just as He had said. The Passover lamb had been slain and returned to the upper room and all they had to do was follow.

2. “..And they prepared the Passover.”: But there is a 2nd part of this as we are told that they had to prepare the Passover, roasting the lamb, the making of unleavened bread, the bitter herbs, the four cups of wine, making the paste symbolizing the mortar used for laying the bricks and getting the room ready with the candles and such. All this lie on the responsibility of the disciples. 

Vs. 17-21 After the preparations complete in the evening the 12 came. Most folks have a wrong picture of this scene do to Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting called the “The Last Supper”. The painting looks as if Jesus told all of them to come over behind the Table for of photo. The disciples would not have been seated in chairs, instead they would have been lying on couches around a low table only a few feet of the ground. John and Judas would have been on either side of Jesus with the other disciples seated around the table. The dinner took an immediate somber tone with Jesus’ announcement that “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eats with Me will betray Me.” This prediction narrowed Jesus death to the direct betrayal of one of His disciples and with John and Judas next to Him sharing His dish it would have narrowed the focus directly upon one of those two. Yet with Jesus announcement that there was a traitor in their midst not a single person stood up and said “I know who it is!” Instead each of them in a moment of self evaluation looked deep within themselves and said “It is not I, Is it?” Next we are told in verse 20 that Jesus said “It is one of the twelve, who dips with me in the dish”. It was then that Judas dipped his bread into Jesus dish as John’s account tells in 13:27 that “after the piece of bread satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him. “What you do, do quickly.” 

Vs. 21 Before Judas left Jesus said, “The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.” Jesus doesn’t say these words because Judas was doing something he couldn’t help; he was free to act even though his actions had long ago been predicted. God didn’t drive Judas to this awful moment, Judas chose to do what he did. These words, “It would have been good for that man if he had never been born.” Are the most solemn words Jesus ever spoke and should drive every unrepentant sole their knees and light a fire of obedience upon every believer’s passion.

Vs. 22-26 The Lord’s Supper

Vs. 22 According to John 13:30 Judas, “Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night.” In other word’s Judas left before Jesus institute the Lord’s Supper. With Judas gone Jesus instituted what is know as the Lord’s supper in the middle of the Passover.  Note the words, “as they were eating” which tells us that this took place, right between the third and forth cups of wine. The Passover meal is like a big dinner theater only you aren’t just eating and watching you are a part of the production with things you say. Through out the ceremony they would be four times when they would all share a glass of wine together.

1.) First they would say, “I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians..”

2.) Second, they would say, “I will free you from being slaves..”

3.) Third, they would say, “I will free you with an outstretched arm..”

4.) Lastly, they would say, “I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God..”

They had just drank together the third cup together and said “I will free you with an outstretched arm..” The Lord’s supper was placed right in between those two statements. Think of what Jesus was saying, “I’m freeing you from sin, with My death upon the cross.” “That will be the sole basis of your relationship with me, celebrate it, realize that it is because of this that I will take you as my own and be your God.” “This is my promise to you, my covenant to you!” Then Jesus took one of the pieces of bread gave thanks and broke it and then distributed it to them. Saying to them, “Take, eat this is My body.” It is here that He took up the un-leavened bread, broke it, blessed it and said “this is my body.” The word Eucharist is taken from the words “blessed it”. Jesus is giving God the Father thanks for the opportunity to purchase us back to Him

Vs. 23 This cup would have been the one in which they would say, “I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God..” And here it becomes the new agreement between God and man. The word “shed” or “poured out” points back to Lev. 8:15 where we are told that only in the sin offering is the blood poured out upon the alter. So this blood represents a covenant by which you will be God’s people and He will be our God. It is by His sacrifice for our sins. Covenants were entered into by eating and drinking together; so when we partake of it we are agreeing to the terms of the covenant. The terms areWe are only saved by faith in Jesus finished work on the cross, further more we are only sustained by it! The Lord’s supper is all about His sacrifice and our rejoicing in it, thanking Him for it! 

Vs. 25-26 Jesus finishes this with a prediction that will have its fulfillment in the Millennial Kingdom when Jesus has cleansed and restored Israel. In a worldwide kingdom where He will reign as King of the throne of David. The phrase in verse 25 “I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it NEW in the kingdom of God.” The word “NEW” in the Greek is NOT as it relates to TIME, but NEW as it relates to quality. The wine we shall drink together with our Lord will be of a NEW QUALITY, spiritual nut just physical! We know that the Hymn sung was Psalm 136 Over and over in this 26 verse psalm is repeated the words “For His mercy (loving kindness) endures forever”.