Rejection and betrayal are probably some of the biggest fears of every person. The great majority, if not all, strive to prove their importance, to earn recognition and fame. Moreover, in some cases, people willing to lose their humanity in exchange for prestige and influence. And all these are the result of fallen human nature that dictates the way people live. Furthermore, pride is the greatest sin of all. Pride is an engine, and it carries behind a whole line of other sins.
Because pride is the reason for fleshly desires (Gen. 3:6-7), that is why rejection and betrayal hurt. That is to say, the wrong perspectives built upon the foundation that has nothing but perishable things will eventually fall, and great that fall will be (Mat. 7:27). Consequently, rejection and betrayal could bring a person to the point of devastation and complete void. And indeed, Christ Jesus is the only one who can fill this emptiness and restore the brokenness.
Weekly Insight Bible Reading
So, in this weekly insight, we will look at the following questions:
- Rejection and Betrayal by religious leaders
- Treacherous and faithful types of Christians
- Rejection and Betrayal as a result of sinful life
This time, I do not want to go through the whole history of events in Mark 14. Therefore, I would encourage you to read Mark 14 beforehand. Please, take your time to study these chapters by yourself, with your family or study group.
Also, you might be interested in what was the last week. Please, check our previous weekly insight – God’s Guidance And Providence For His Chosen People.
Rejection and Betrayal by religious leaders
At the beginning of Mark 14 author tells us how religious leaders were preparing a plan of rejection and betrayal of Jesus Christ. Thus, the ones whom God separated to serve Him and appointed to be holy unto Him now seek to kill the Son of God. Moreover, they wanted to trick the Lord Jesus, so He will give them a reason to accuse Him and put Christ Jesus to death. But because of the fame of the Messiah, which quickly spread and far beyond Jerusalem, they feared that instead, the people might revolt against them (Mark 14:1-2).
The stone which the builders rejected
The rejection and betrayal by religious leaders were not something new in the history of the Holy Land. The march of the prophets started from Obadiah in 850 BC and ended with Malachi in 424 BC. The Lord God has sent many prophets to the wicked kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Thus, their mission was to warn and to reprove leaders from their evil ways. So, out of twenty kings of Judah, only eight of them have listened to the prophets. But the nineteen kings of Israel have rejected all the prophets. Sadly, after rejection and betrayal, most of the prophets got martyred.
The parable of the Lord of the Vineyard in Mark 12:1-12 (also Matthew 21:33-46 and Luke 20:9-19) summed up these 426 years of the march of the prophets. Furthermore, during another 400 so-called silent years, the Lord God turned from the children of Israel. However, rejection and betrayal by the religious leader brought God’s quietness and obliteration over the kingdoms. And as Mark 12:12 says, the chief priests, scribes, and elders knew that Jesus Christ spoke about them in that parable.
Rejection and betrayal are not a choice
Just like in the times of prophets, when pride and self-righteousness of leaders tranquillized their humbleness and fear of the Lord God, the religious life of the priests times of Jesus was rotten and self-centred. Thus, their rejection and betrayal are not necessarily a choice but a result of the continuous life in sin and rebellion against God. The pious life that they practiced was rather mechanical than holy. And such a routine, godless religious life made their hearts callus. The hearts that are incapable of receiving the Word of God and the promised Messiah.
I have touched on this topic in the Bible Study about Fasting According To Jesus – Matthew 6:16-18. Maybe you will find some time to study this one too.
Question to ponder:
Do you see any of the similitudes between the religious leader times of prophets or times of Jesus and the religious people nowadays? Do you see the presence of rejection and betrayal in the modern church? How about your pious life?
Treacherous and faithful types of Christians
There are many Christians who profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They have prayed the prayer, got baptized. Further, they go to church every Sunday and even attend Wednesday prayer meetings. Moreover, they do partake in Lord’s Supper and other important religious activities and celebrations. From first sight, they are but typical new-born Christians who fully devoted their lives to serve the Lord Jesus. However, the examples from Mark 14 that we are about to study will reveal to us the true nature of those who are treacherous and who are faithful ones.
Mary of Bethany – faithfulness and devotion
Mark 14:3 tells us the story of Mary who lived in Bethany. She came to the house of Simon the leper when the Lord Jesus had dinner with His disciples. Mary brought with her an expensive alabaster box full of aromatic oil from India. She poured the contents over Jesus’ head, as an anointing for His burial.
Some disciples responded with indignation that the perfume had been wasted, for its value was over three hundred pence – a worker’s pay for an entire year. And the most vocal among the twelve was Judas Iscariot. He insisted that such an expensive oil should have been sold and the money given to the poor, as a generous act during Passover.
But the real intention of Judas was a selfish one. He was concerned only for his bag of money (John 12:4-6). Moreover, he and other disciples were scolding the woman. Therefore, Jesus said to leave Mary alone. His point was that they always have the poor around them to minister unto them, but He would not be with them always.
Mary of Bethany may not know the whole idea behind the ministry of Jesus as the Christ but she knew for sure that the Lord is about to die. And wherever this gospel shall be preached, her gracious act will be known to the whole world for a memorial of her (Mark 14:9).
Judas Iscariot – rejection and betrayal
Meanwhile, Judas Iscariot went to the chief priest to betray Jesus unto them. Further, he was waiting for a good moment for rejection and betrayal of the Lord (Mark 14:10-11).
Of course, Jesus Christ knew that one of the twelve will betray Him. Moreover, Jesus made an announcement about it while they were having Lord’s Supper in Mark’s personal room in the house of his mother (Mark 14:15, Acts 12:12). And such an announcement shocked His disciples that they started questioning the Lord, so He will tell who is that betrayer. However, Jesus did not reveal the identity of the one who made rejection and betrayer. Otherwise, they would not let him leave the room (John 13:27-30).
So, Jesus’ final words were that it would be better for that man if he had never been born (Mark 14:21). Of course, that speech Jesus addressed to Judas. Thus, the Lord announced his “rewards”, to suffer the terrible consequences of his rejection and betrayal of the Messiah.
Rewards from men are immediate, from God – imminent
I am going to stop at this point to summarise the sections above. And now it came much more clear to me the meaning of the words of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 6:4,6,18. Particularly, this sentence (with a big emphasis on the last word): thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thy openly. And that is one of the reasons why I read KJV 😉
The moral here is the following. Nobody knew the real intent of Mary of Bethany when she “wasted” such an expensive oil for Jesus’ anointing. Moreover, they reprimanded her for that. That is now we know that her motives were gracious, however, immediate rewards from the fellow-Christians were murmuring. And on the other hand, Judas Iscariot whos idea was to sell the oil and give the money to the poor instead. I am sure that his idea was approved by the majority. But secretly from his Master and brother, Judas was nurturing rejection and betrayal of the Savior of the world.
However, the Lord Himself dot the I’s and cross the T’s. He is the One who sees the hidden parts of every man. Only Jesus knows the secrets that we store in our hearts. Thus, the rewards are imminent and He is the One who is to sound a trumpet (Matt. 6:2). For the faithful Mary of Bethany that is a memorial of her along with the preaching of the Gospel. But for Judas Iscariot the Betrayer – condemnation, eternal death and separation from the Glory of God.
Question to ponder:
Would you like to receive a reward from the Highest? Or your chasing after rewards from the men? Apart from attending church services and reading the Bible, how do you work out your salvation (Philippians 2:12)? What do you think your reward will be?
Rejection and Betrayal as a result of sinful life
As I have mentioned in the first section of today’s weekly insight, rejection and betrayal are not a choice but a result of sinful life. That is to say that a person will not come to the point of rejection and betrayal of someone if he/she would be righteous. But as we know, there is no one righteous, not even one (Psalm 14:1-3, Psalm 53:1-3, Romans 3:10-12). Judas Iscariot was not better than that who never truly repented of his sins but followed Jesus because of His name and glory for the sake of his personal gains.
And yes, we are not better than Judas Iscariot in some or another way. Do you remember that passage from Genesis 18:22-33? The passage when Abraham was interceding before the Lord God to save Sodom and Gomorrah for the sake of righteous people. And there was none, except Lot and his family of two unmarried sons, two unmarried daughters, two married daughters and their husbands. But God would never destroy the righteous with the wicked. Thus, he saved Lot’s family.
But this time, all the way around. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the perfect and righteous man, came to save “Sodom and Gomorrah” and took the punishment in our stead. There is no one righteous, not even one but God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
Question to ponder:
What sin made Judas Iscariot come to the point of rejection and betrayal of our Lord Jesus? Search your heart. Is there any secret part that you hiding from God, an area of your life that has to be repented of?
- No matter how religious you are, no matter how spiritual you are, you are sinful by nature. There is no one righteous, not even one. And your piousness does not make you more or less sinful in the PERFECT eyes of God.
- Many religious people of all times are blinded by their pride and self-righteousness. They cannot accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Thus, rejection and betrayal are the only results of their wicked life.
- If you seek the Lord Jesus Christ with all your heart, like Mary of Bethany, God’s reward is a memorial of you forever on earth and in heaven. But if you still serve your sins, your reward is eternal damnation.
- God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16)
If you have not yet accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not now!? Please, do not wait until it is too late! Embrace God’s Grace, Mercy and Love now – Accept Jesus Now!
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer: Matthew 6:9-13
- The Henry Morris Study Bible – KJV
- The Matthew Henry Study Bible – KJV
- The MacArthur Study Bible – ESV
- ESV Study Bible
- Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible KJV
- The Complete Bible Commentary – George Williams
- The Moody Bible Commentary – a one-volume commentary
- Studies in the Sermon on the Mount by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
- NASB Zondervan Study Bible
- Chronological Life Application Study Bible – NLT
- Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps, and Time Lines
- The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible
- Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary