August 2, 2020

Studies in Sorrow

The Overlooked Gospel
“Studies in Sorrow”
Mark 14

Mark 14 is filled with visceral emotions.
The Pharisees’ had a visceral hatred for Jesus.
Jesus had a visceral sorrow over his cup of suffering.
Judas had a visceral regret over his betrayal of Jesus.
Peter had a visceral grief over his denial of Jesus.
A visceral reaction is an instinctive, raw, gut-deep, full-body response.

Pharisees (Mark 14:1-2)
The Pharisees had a visceral hatred for Jesus. But why?

Jesus pronounced seven “woes” on the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23:1-36)
They are hypocrites.
They only want to be seen by men.
They are blind fools.
They are full of greed and self-indulgence.
They are blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!
They are serpents, a brood of vipers.
They are white-washed tombs.

The Pharisees and scribes grow to hate Jesus because he calls them out! He speaks truth to power.

Judas Iscariot (Mark 14:10-11)

The Pharisees had an unquestionable belief in their own rightness.

Judas betrays Jesus. And then he’s filled with a visceral regret.

Why did Judas betray Jesus?
The love of money

Judas was a thief. (Mark 14:3-5, John 12:4)
Judas sells Jesus out. (Matthew 27:3-5)

A visceral regret led Judas to self-destruction.

Boasting at dinner that he would never fall away, never be scattered. (Mark 14:27-31)
Refusing to allow Jesus to wash his feet at the Supper. (John 13:4-9)
Repeatedly falling asleep when Jesus had asked him to be in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. (Mark 14:37-38)
Drawing his sword and cutting off the ear of the High Priest’s servant. (Matthew 27:51-54)
Denying three times any connection to Jesus. (Mark 14:66-72)
Peter’s grief is visceral. Perhaps the darkest moment in Peter’s life.

Peter gathered himself and began to connect his own failures to what he had seen and learned over the past three years being with Jesus.

Psalm 51

Peter’s grief was turned toward hope, toward a new beginning.

Jesus felt a visceral sorrow over what was coming next.


Mark 14:32-36
Distressed, troubled, very sorrowful, even to death.

Jesus’ sorrow turned into resolve.

Jesus reminded himself that the Father’s will, God’s will, is always our best outcome. “Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

Jesus resolved to push through, to trust the Father, he resolved to see the joy set before him, to endure the cross, scorn its shame, and sit down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

As you examine your own heart, do you find …

The Pharisees were unable to recognize their own hatred, and because of that, were unable to see and hear the Savior who was standing right in from of them. May that never be true of us.

Judas’ regret turned him inward, instead of upward. He could not bring his regret to confession, and he refused the bread of forgiveness that Jesus offered him. May that not be true of us.

Peter’s grief drew him to Jesus, drew him to hope, drew him to Jesus’ words about forgiveness. May we be drawn to Jesus, to his mercy and grace.

Are you in need of resolve?
The storms are beating on your house and the foundation is ready to give way. Do you need the resolve to keep standing, to keep trusting? May we find the resolve that we need for today.