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Arrest in Gethsemane (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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November 18, 2021 6:00 am

Arrest in Gethsemane (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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November 18, 2021 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Gospel of Mark (Mark 14:42-52)

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Judas is strutting up to him, acting like he's just, oh, my rabbi, and as though the Lord is some sort of dummy that didn't see what was going on. And telling this Peter to Mark, Peter must have felt a surge of disgust towards Judas again that he had to dismiss very quickly to get in the flesh.

Mark, very likely present for all of this, if not some of it at least, he too may have had a surge of that. This is Cross Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the Gospel of Mark.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. But for now let's join Pastor Rick in Mark chapter 14 as he begins a new study called Arrest in Gethsemane. We are in the Gospel according to Mark chapter 14 verses 43 through 52. Verse 43, and immediately while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priest and the scribes and the elders. Now his betrayer had given them a signal saying, whomever I kiss, he is the one.

Seize him and lead him away safely. As soon as he had come, immediately he went up to him and said to him, Rabbi, and kissed him. Then they laid their hands on him and took him. And one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. Then Jesus answered and said to them, have you come out against a robber with swords and clubs to take me? I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me?

But the scriptures must be fulfilled. Then they all forsook him and fled. Now a certain young man followed him, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body, and the young man laid hold of him. And he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked. Mark leaves out a lot of information, and that's not a criticism.

We'll try to fill in some of it, but we can't get it all. This title for this consideration is Arrest in Gethsemane. Jesus often drew to this garden there on the slopes of the Mount of Olives, right across from Jerusalem, just separated by the Kidron Valley, and there you were in Jerusalem.

And at this moment, he had just finished praying. He had been entering the battlefield of the cross. This would be God's greatest offensive against sin, and I use that in a military manner, the offensive. He launched this great attack against the walls of sin, and that, of course, the cross. This is also the garden that while he met here frequently with his disciples before this night, he is being betrayed by one of his disciples this very night, and of course, we all know who that is. We now look at verse 43, and immediately while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs came from the chief priest and the scribes and the elders. Mark calls him Judas here in verse 43.

This will be the last time that he calls him by name. He refers to him once more in verse 44 as the betrayer. With swords and clubs they came.

Well, after everybody had gone to sleep, it's dark out, it's late, and pretty soon it will be morning. And so their plan was to take him without allowing or reducing the possibility of any resistance that might come up. Mark says this in verse one and two of this fourteenth chapter. The chief priest and scribes sought how they might take him by trickery and put him to death, but they said not during the feast lest there be an uproar of the people. And as we discussed when we went through that first section in Mark 14, it is during the feast because they weren't in control.

Christ was in control of everything. And yet, there we discover from that one verse that they wanted to avoid the uproar. Well, they coming at night is helping them along with this. John writes in the third chapter of his gospel these words of Jesus. This is concerning the night that they've come out. This is the condemnation that the light has come into the world and men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. And while John is not referring to this very moment when he wrote those words, it is a fact nonetheless. These men were in darkness, the men who were issuing this warrant for his arrest and those that were opposed to the Christ.

It says here in verse 43, they came from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. This is pure arrogance on their part. These guys felt superior to everybody else, to the people.

They felt the masses were too ignorant and unschooled to ever disagree with them. At one point, John records a moment where Jesus gave sight to a blind man and the blind man was so taken by Christ and he was standing up to these guys. They were trying to get him to, you know, just side with them and he would not.

He would even mock them at one point. It's funny, you guys don't know who this Jesus is who gave me sight. Well, this was their response. Are you teaching us? Quote, unquote, John 9, verse 34. You have no right to disagree with us. We are the keepers of knowledge.

Well, this practice has been the case ever since men have been putting their ideas on paper or some other means of writing them down. And we, of course, we care what God has to say. Thank God there are very intelligent people in Christianity and thank God there are those that aren't as intelligent but are just as spiritual and just as effective even. These Pharisees and these scribes and the chief priests, they were incapable of appreciating the miracles, the teachings of virtuous life.

Why? Because they loved darkness. Their deeds were evil. People could not see that the miracles of Christ and his teachings and his virtuous life, they resented the fact that the people liked that more than them. Rather than repent, they looked to get rid of Christ because he did what he did on Saturday, their Sabbath, because he did not stand for their arrogance and hypocrisy but rather exposed them for it. And the temple goers, though, they were too dumb to realize that Christ was the problem. Bottom line is they disagreed with God and we should never lose sight of who these men were because they've always been around and they will until Christ returns.

And while we want to share the gospel, we do not want to be influenced from the gospel because of their position. Those fishermen, those men around Christ, they were no longer impressed with anybody but Christ when it came to God. Jesus was the one that had their full attention. That doesn't mean that they disrespected others of God.

They certainly would love John the Baptist. Verse 44, now his betrayer had given them a signal saying, whomever I kiss, he is the one sees him and lead him away safely. Well, Judas was totally involved with hell at this point and after identifying Jesus, he's thinking, well, it's going to be up to them and I'll be out of the picture and yeah, he will be. This word from this betrayer, whomever I kiss, well, the essence of sin is the corruption of a good thing. And this is a corrupt gesture, a gesture that is supposed to mean far more than what he is using it for.

His hypocrisy, of course, is just the smaller part of his offenses. But Judas, greedy in his own way, learned nothing from the scripture. Had he not read the story of Gehazi? Had he not read about the servant that poured water on the hands of Elijah?

And yet, he's doing the same thing. Bible study counts. It's what you do with it. You can either study the Bible, fall asleep when the Bible's being taught, did I get anybody? If not yet, we're early into it.

Or you can do something with it. So when Paul writes to the Corinthians, he said, you know, we reached a point we despaired even of life. We thought we had had it. He didn't need a Bible study at the moment. He was in despair.

But it was because of his Bible study that he got through the moments of despair. It matters. If it didn't matter, Satan wouldn't target it.

But he does. There it is in the scripture, Judas. Gehazi was greedy and he was struck with leprosy because he defiled a good thing from God. Naaman, Naaman the general came and with his leprosy and he fussed a little bit with the prophet.

But loved ones encouraged him to just submit and he did. And he dipped in the Jordan seven times and his skin was restored. We pick it up in 2 Kings chapter 5. This is the prophet dealing with Gehazi who when Naaman said, I want to reward you for this. I want to give you garments and gold and pay you for healing me. And the prophet said, I don't want any of that.

God did this, not me. And Gehazi witnessing it says, I'll get it. And so Naaman goes on down the road and Gehazi runs after him and says, oh, my master has changed his mind. And then he gets the garments and the gold. He buries it, hides it and he comes back and the prophet is waiting for him. The prophet says, is it time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants? Therefore, the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you.

And he went out from his presence leprous as white as snow. Question Gehazi, was it worth it? Was it worth it?

The trinkets of this world. Question Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus Christ, was it worth it? Maybe you're a Christian, you're struggling and you think God's not delivering on time for you. And maybe you're thinking about turning away from the faith and going to the world.

Ask yourself the question, is it worth it? Is it worth turning against the Lord? It is better to suffer affliction than to suffer an eternal hell.

Affliction in this life, that is. And so it says, Judas giving them advice now, and lead him away safely. I'll identify him and you lead him away safely to the judicial murder that awaits him. Hey boys, bring him in safely so we can murder him our way.

That's what was going on. We're not impressed with Judas' encouragement to lead him away safely. This call for non-violence from this man who is leading the Lord into violence. You know, Judas availed effort on his part to protect his sense of nobility. Or you know, on another hand you can say, well they didn't want things to, you know, they started abusing the Lord, the disciples might jump in and then it would be a bloodbath and the disciples would lose.

I think it's a combination of, but we do read, 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. It would have been good for that man if he had never been born. It wasn't worth it, Judas, but it's too late for him. But it's not too late for those who come under Bible study, whether you are listening to a pastor teach the Word or you are in your own private time receiving the Word, however it is. There is gold to be found in the study of God's Word, gold for life that is. Verse 45, I guess the prosperity teachers would see that in a different way, wouldn't they? There's gold?

I'll get it. Anyway, greedy grubbers. Verse 45, if you're into prosperity teaching and you're offended by that, you should be offended by that because there's so much more to Christ than you getting something from him, but we have much to do. Verse 45, as soon as he had come, immediately he went up to him and said to him, Rabbi, Rabbi, and kissed him as soon as he had come, wasting no time, supposing himself to be clever at this point, blinded by Satan, unable to see that God was in control, not Judas. And he says, Rabbi, Rabbi, why not Lord, Lord? Satan was now the Lord of Judas, Iscariot. Luke's Gospel, chapter 6, Jesus asked this question, why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do the things which I say? And then in John 8 he says, you are of your father the devil and the desires of your father you want to do. Those two verses Judas was present for. He heard these things.

They did not register with him. He dismissed the word of God from the Son of God. It says here, and he kissed him in verse 45. In the Greek, it's emphatic. It's a demonstrative kiss. It's not a peck. It's a kiss on the cheek, but it's a clear, deliberate sort of a grab the shoulders and kiss the cheek and everybody knows, you know, probably both sides, both cheeks, everybody knows, okay, that's the one. That's the signal. Again, Luke's Gospel, he adds this, but Jesus said to him, Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss? You know, we might say seriously?

Are you really? I mean, is that the signal? Of course, Christ is totally aware of what's going on and he's still giving us lessons from the scriptures. Incidentally, these disciples, though they were very comfortable with the Lord, they were not that chummy with him. He maintained a distance between superior and subordinate. And, for example, there's a few of them.

I had to take them out for time's sake, but I'll give one. Luke 9, verse 45, but they did not understand and they were afraid to ask him about this saying. Well, if they were so chummy with him, they would never have been afraid to ask him about this saying.

But there was that line there, you know, we don't want to irritate them. He's at points that Peter could argue with him to a point, but then there was still that wall. And my reason for saying this is that this was out of character, I think. Judas just strutting up to him, acting like he's his, oh, my rabbi, and as though the Lord was some sort of dummy that didn't see what was going on. And telling this, Peter to Mark, Peter must have felt a surge of disgust towards Judas again that he had to dismiss very quickly to get in the flesh.

Mark, very likely present. For all of this, if not some of it at least, he too may have had a surge of that feeling. They loved the Lord so much. This comes out in the story. And we also find out from Matthew that when Judas approached him, Jesus referred to Judas as friend. Matthew 26 verse 50, but Jesus said to him, friend, why have you come?

And then they came and laid hands on him and took him. That Greek word for friend used by Matthew is just that, a friend, comrade, a companion. It was an opportunity for Judas to say, you know what, he is my friend, and repent. Of course, he doesn't take it. But Jesus, of course, treating him with respect up to the last moment, still giving him opportunity.

But Judas blows past the last exit ramp before the toll, and he continues on. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. That is a fundamental, that is a basic teaching from the Bible. Sometimes your friends will say things that are true and necessary, and it is not because they're trying to wound you. You know, the truth hurts. But there are those that are deceitful. They are your enemies, and they flatter. And this is something that I feel, and the Bible does too, is an important lesson for us to learn so that we're not too thin-skinned in the face of correction.

This was for anybody else, it would have hurt. He's calling me a friend, and I'm betraying him. But again, Judas was full-blown. He's gone. He's serving Satan at this point.

That is doable. It is possible to serve Satan. The world, many of them, most of them, don't believe that.

We know it's a fact, and we shouldn't lose sight of it. We are occupied with serving the Lord, but we are also mindful that there are others that serve Satan, even if under the guise of themselves or some other religion. Christianity is supposed to be this powerful truth, because it is powerful, and it is true. And yet many in the world are devout in their approach to their gods.

If you consider some of the people in Hinduism, for example, they're very devout. There's so much hope on their faces when they go to their temples and they offer their food or drink or whatever it is, they're an incense to their gods. They're very, a lot of hope, but there's something missing.

If you've ever seen this, you know there's something that's not the same. They have more questions than they have answers. We have the answers, but we must dig for them.

They're not handed to us on a silver platter. We must work and be diligent to show yourself approved. A worker, a worker, does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Henderances to that? You know, pride, self, the flesh, puffing up with knowledge. You start learning things and you begin to think that you're superior in some form.

These things we need to watch out for. You know, what do you have that you've not been given, says the Lord. Verse 46, then they laid their hands on him and took him. Well, the sin that really wrecked Judas, the sin that even grieved the Lord, more than this treacherous act of betrayal exhibited with this kiss, the thing that really got to the Lord, and rightfully so, is that Judas failed to come back to give the Lord a chance to forgive him. He never came back to the Lord. He committed the unpardonable sin, not treachery, not some dark, ghastly crime or act of immorality. The one and unpardonable sin is the refusal to accept the forgiveness that is offered to us with such high cost.

It is the work of the Holy Spirit to move in the heart, to point to Jesus Christ as the Savior, to encourage the sinner to repent and to come and to receive mercy and grace and forgiveness. He never did. Peter would be there, not Judas. Had he come back, I have no doubt he would have squeezed through the narrow gate of heaven. In the book of Numbers, when the people were being disciplined by God for their murmuring and unbelief, God told Moses to make a brass serpent, because God had released serpents to bite the people. They would die unless they looked at this brass serpent. We pick it up in Numbers 21 verse 9, so Moses made a bronze serpent and put it on a pole. So it was, if the serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived. Jesus said, unless I am lifted up, referencing this very moment, those who want to be forgiven and live eternally must look to me. You must do this by faith. All those Jews that were bitten by a serpent, all they had to do was look at the bronze serpent.

But if they were hard-headed or hard-hearted, if they refused to receive from Christ or from Yahweh in the wilderness, they would die because of the bite. This is, of course, applicable to Christianity, and Jesus is the one that makes it so. He is the one that made that connection between Numbers and his cross.

If I am lifted up, I will draw all men to me. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, Jesus said. Now John also, about this event, he mentions a captain being present. John 18, then the detachment and the captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him.

The captain in the Greek is the commander of thousands of centurions, equal to a lieutenant colonel, perhaps, in our infantry. Either way, the point is that Rome had a military presence there. So when the Pharisees sent them out, sent the temple guards to arrest Jesus, he sent the Jewish temple guards to arrest him, there was also a Roman presence there. Probably not coming in force, but still there in the background, ready to put down any serious resistance.

The Antonio fortress was not very far from this garden of Gethsemane, and it would not have taken much at all to bring in reinforcements. Verse 47, and one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. Well, now we're getting back to Peter, which is, and when I read this, we're getting back to me. I see myself in Peter. Once they laid their hands on Jesus, Peter made his move.

He was no coward, as I have been making my position clear on that. Luke says, when they asked for permission, Peter didn't wait. He acted. Luke's gospel, chapter 22, verse 49, when those around him saw what was going to happen, they said to him, Lord, shall we strike with the sword? What do you think Peter did? He didn't wait for the Lord to say yes or no. And it goes on in Luke, chapter 22, verse 50, but one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. Peter did not.

He would have none of this. Once they put their hands on the Lord, he pounced. My flesh says, go Peter, go.

I'm with you. The swordsman of Gethsemane, we know from John's gospel, and we know the name of the servant whose ear was cut off. John tells us. John was very much plugged into the temple, likely selling fish to them.

They were customers there. Thanks for tuning in to Cross Reference Radio for this study in the book of Mark. Cross Reference Radio is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel, Mechanicsville in Virginia. To learn more information about this ministry, visit our website, Once you're there, you'll find additional teachings from Pastor Rick. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. When you subscribe, you'll be notified of each new edition of Cross Reference Radio. You can search for Cross Reference Radio on your favorite podcast app. That's all we have time for today, but we hope you'll join us next time as Pastor Rick continues to teach through the book of Mark, right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-21 10:01:55 / 2023-07-21 10:11:15 / 9

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