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Garden Betrayal

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew
The Truth Network Radio
April 16, 2023 7:00 pm

Garden Betrayal

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew

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April 16, 2023 7:00 pm

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I have your Bibles with you today. Turn with me if you would to Mark chapter 14, and we're going to be looking at verses 43 through 50.

We're going to be looking at verses 43 through 45. We pray for our Lord in prayer. Heavenly Father, we pray for Nancy Lindley this morning, who appears to be ready to go and be with you. May her transition to heaven be an easy one. Pray for Jeremy Carriker and Jim Belk and Elsie Camaro and Nicole Lohse, Lance Walker, and Georgia Allen. We pray for their healing.

We also pray for Ashley Tear as she begins her married life. Heavenly Father, the passage that we're looking at today hurts our heart, but at the same time thrills our souls. It reminds us first how much Jesus loves us. He went through pain and sorrow in the garden. He could have left the soldiers there in a paralyzed state, and he could have called on 12 legions of angels to take him back to glory. He could have said that we sinners are not worthy of his blood.

Praise God he didn't say that. Instead, he suffered in the garden. He suffered on the cross. He shed his blood to pay our sin debt. Father, all we can do is bow in your presence and praise you for love that is too deep to be explained. Forgive us for not loving you as we should, and help us to love you more deeply and serve you more radically. Please keep my lips from error today. For it's in the precious and holy name of Jesus that we pray. Amen.

You may be seated. In the magazine Psychology Today, a kiss is described this way. A kiss is an explicit expression of openness and trust.

To touch with the lips is an expression of either affection, greeting, respect, or love. A pretty good definition there. I'm going to use a couple of illustrations today that I had used before because they fit right into the message that I want to share today. So if you remember these, please stick with me. Wes James used to be the pastor at Harbor PCA Church in Mooresville, North Carolina. Ten years ago, he preached a sermon at our presbytery meeting, and he used an illustration that I don't think I'll ever forget. His wife was getting ready to give birth to twins. They were in the delivery room, and she gave birth to the first little girl. And the nurse took that baby, cleaned it up, put it in the bassinet. And about as soon as she had the baby in the bassinet, the doctor called her and said, get over here quickly and help me. So she ran back to the doctor. And the baby all of a sudden starts just wailing.

I mean wailing and crying, opens mouth wide, crying as loud as she could. And the nurse turned around to Wes and said, Daddy, please do something with your daughter. And Wes walked over to the bassinet. And he leaned down over the bassinet. He looked at his newborn daughter, and he said, Hello, Caroline. Said, I'm your daddy, and I love you. And he reached down and he kissed her on the forehead. Immediately, she stopped crying. Immediately, no more whimpers from her whatsoever. She knew her dad's voice.

And you know what? All of a sudden, Wes burst out in tears. He would never forget that kiss. Men, do you remember the first time that you kissed your wife?

If you don't, don't say it because I don't have time for a lot of extramarital counseling this week. The first time I kissed Cindy, we were at Valley Cruises, North Carolina. And we'd gone up to the Mass General Store. Right behind the Mass General Store runs the Watauga River. And so after buying and shopping at the Mass General Store, we went over to the river.

We found a perfect little place. And we took off our shoes and we walked out into the water about knee deep. And I thought to myself, here's my chance. And I knew she couldn't run in that deep of water. And I knew that if she fell in that water, she's going to be extremely cold.

So this is my chance. And I reached over and I hugged her. And I just shared with her that I loved her. And then I gave her a kiss. After getting that kiss, I reached down up under our feet and there was a flat rock about that big. And picked up that flat rock to take it home as a souvenir. A reminder to me of that place, that day, and that kiss. In October of this year, or last year, we went on vacation back to Valley Cruises. We went back to that very same place and Cindy took pictures of that spot where we were. And then for Christmas that year, she gave me a big expanded picture of that. I've got it on my wall there in my office.

And it reminds me of our first kiss. B.B. Warfield was a theology professor at Princeton. And he was there at Princeton when Princeton really stood for truth. And he was a man of God.

Twenty years old, he's already a professor there, and he got married when he was 20. He took his wife with him to their honeymoon in Switzerland. While they were in Switzerland, she was hit by a bolt of lightning. And she was paralyzed from the neck down. He took her back home.

They had built a little house right there just on the edge of the campus. And he worked at his teaching schedule so that he would never be away from her more than two hours at a time. Every day he got her up, he fed her, he bathed her, he washed her, he dressed her, and he ministered to his wife every single day. After she got hit by lightning, they were never again able to have marital intimacy. She lived for 60 more years. She lived until age 80, and she died at 80. When she breathed her last breath, he was not alone, B.B. Warfield with his wife. One of his fellow professors was there with him.

The professor said that he would never forget what happened. He said she breathed her last breath, and B.B. Warfield reached down, picked her up in his arms, and gave her a last kiss.

And then he prayed, and he thanked God for the gift of his wife. When I think about a kiss, that's what I think about. God gave us hearts for loving. God gave us lips for kissing. The Greek word for love, or one of them, is a word phileo, and it's also translated as kiss.

I said all that because I want to explain the irony of the story that we're looking at today. We're reading these verses of a kiss. It's not a romantic kiss. It's not an affectionate kiss.

It's a completely different kind of kiss. I've got four points that I want to share with you today as we look at this passage. And the first point that I want us to see is a wicked, ungodly kiss.

Look with me, if you would, at verses 43 through 46. And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with a crowd with swords and clubs from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign saying, The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him.

Lead him away under guard. And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, Rabbi, and he kissed him. They laid hands on him and seized him. To understand what a bitter betrayal this is of Judas to Jesus, I think we need to really understand how much Jesus had done for Judas. First of all, Judas was one of the twelve disciples, one of the twelve. Now folks, Jesus ministered to a lot of people.

Jesus healed many. He preached to the multitudes. He fed huge crowds, but he discipled only twelve.

He took them, put them up under his wing, and he poured his heart and his soul into these twelve disciples. He taught Judas. Judas learned from the teaching of Jesus. Jesus taught the great crowds, but then he would take the disciples back and they would eat supper together, and he would elaborate to them on his teaching. He taught parables to the crowds, but when he would get back to their home, then he would explain the parables to the disciples, and Judas took all of that in. Jesus said to all the disciples, including Judas, To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God. After Jesus was resurrected from the dead on that resurrection Sunday, on that afternoon, he met the two disciples on the Emmaus road, and I want to read you in chapter 24 verse 27 what happened. When they met there on the Emmaus road, the two disciples did not recognize Jesus.

He was in his new glorified body, and they didn't pick up exactly who this was, and this happened on the road. And Jesus said, In beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them and all the scriptures the things concerning himself. That word interpret is the Greek word hermeneuo. It's the word that we get hermeneutics from. Hermeneutics is the discipline that we preachers go through when we are interpreting a passage of scripture. We take that scripture, we break it down. We take a look at what the words mean. We take a look at the different tenses, and why do we do that?

In order that we might know it, not just know about it, but that we might know it. Well, you remember the story of the two disciples on the Emmaus road. They got back home. They ate a meal together, and the scripture says that in the breaking of the bread, their eyes were opened, and they recognized who Jesus was. And then they had a conversation because Jesus vanished from them.

I want you to listen to what that conversation was, verse 32. They said to each other, did not our hearts burn within us while we talked to us on the road while he opened to us the scripture? When Jesus taught the word, it came alive in their hearts. When Jesus taught the word to them, it just became so powerful, so very powerful that they described it this way. Our hearts burned within us when he opened to us the scripture. Folks, the disciples experienced that every single day, and Judas was one of the disciples. He knew the word. He had been fed the word by the author of the word.

Man, what a privilege. But not only he had been taught by Jesus, he also was an eyewitness to the miracles that Jesus did, and a lot of them. He saw these miracles take place. He saw Jesus stop the wind with his voice. He saw Jesus walk on water. He saw Jesus turn water into wine. He saw Jesus give sight to the blind, and hearing to the deaf, and mobility to the lame. He saw Jesus do many unbelievable miracles, feeding 5,000 with five loaves and two fish.

Then he saw Jesus raised from the dead three different people. A lot of people at that time saw Jesus do one or two miracles, and Judas saw probably almost all the miracles that are least recorded for us in scripture. Jesus also taught Judas how to pray by example and just by word in his teaching. Jesus gave Judas the opportunity to serve. He sent the disciples out two by two, and they went out and they shared the gospel, and they cast out demons, and they healed the sick. I don't know if you would think this or not, but I think in Matthew chapter 7 that one of the best examples that we have of what Jesus said was Judas himself.

When he said, Not everyone that sayeth to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. But in that last day, there will be many that will come to me saying, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? Have we not cast out demons in your name? Have we not done many wonderful works in your name? And Jesus would say to them, Depart from me, you workers of iniquity.

I never knew you. And then Jesus gets down on his hands and knees before this filthy Judas, and he washes the dirt and the grime from between his toes. If you've read Dan Brown's book, The Da Vinci Code, and I'm not suggesting that you read it, but if you have or if you have read the ancient heretical book called The Gospel of Judas, then you will be given the idea that poor Judas was just a victim, a victim of an angry God. Judas was just a victim. He really was not guilty.

Don't buy that. Judas was a guilty, guilty, ungodly traitor to Jesus. Only a handful of men had the privileges and the opportunities that Judas had, but Judas, for 30 coins, 30 pieces of silver, and a nudge from Satan, just sold out the Son of God.

Philip Ryken said the following. He said, Even the last words Jesus spoke, ever spoke to his betrayer, were spoken in love. Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss? Jesus called Judas by his personal name. Matthew tells us that he even called Judas his friend that night, and it was as a friend that Jesus called him one last time to repentance. When he asked Judas this question, he was not expressing his own surprise, but trying to startle Judas into the recognition of what he was really doing. Oh, Judas, Judas, are you sure you want to go through with this? Don't you see that I am the one and only divine Son of God?

Can't you see what you're doing? You're becoming a traitor to the cause of Christ. Thus, to the end, Christ sees to keep him from ruin. Now listen, no one on the face of the earth ever loved Judas like Jesus did. And after Jesus expressed to Judas that kind of love, and that kind of mercy, and that kind of grace, Judas walks up to Jesus in the garden, and he betrays him with a kiss.

He kisses him right on the cheek. That's the signal to the Sanhedrin that Jesus is the one, and that they are to arrest him. And Judas was essentially saying with that kiss, kill him, nail him to a cross, curse him, spit on him, mock him, take his life, nail him to a cross. How deeply did that betrayal wound the heart of Jesus?

I don't think we can even begin to imagine. John MacArthur was preaching at a pastor's conference several years ago, and he was preaching to pastors about some of the heartache that you're probably going to go through in the ministry. And he shared one of the greatest heartaches that he had ever had. He had shared the gospel with a young teenage boy, and shared the gospel with him, and that boy was homeless. The boy responded to the gospel and trusted Christ as his Lord and Savior.

John says, I want to personally disciple you. Took him up under his wing, started personally discipling, came to find out that the boy was homeless. And so he said, you can just come and live with us. He took him in like a son.

And that boy came into their home, and ate meals with them, and fellowship with them, and learned the scripture with them. He graduated from high school, wanted to go to college. And John says, okay, I'll pay for it. And he paid his tuition to the master's college. Then after he finished with college, he said, I'd like to go to seminary. And John said, good, I'll pay for your seminary education.

And he did that. Well, right after that, he took him in as a member of their staff there at the church, and he became one of the youth directors. It wasn't long after that, he began to say some very unkind, very untrue things about John. And he was working with the youth, and he started spreading rumors about John to the young people. The young people began to spread those rumors, and it got really ugly at their church. And he went to the elders of the church. He said, we need to get rid of John MacArthur.

You need somebody else to come in and become the pastor and get rid of him. And that's what was going on there. Finally, the elders brought the young man in. They sat him down. They began to question him. They called him in all kind of lies.

And so they fired him from his staff position as youth director, and they excommunicated him from the church. John said it was the most difficult thing that he'd ever been through in his life. He said he lost weight. He couldn't eat.

He couldn't sleep. Finally, he and the boy met together. And he said, I've got to ask you, why did you betray me like this? And he said, the boy looked right into his eyes, and he said, I just don't like you.

I just don't like you. I want you to multiply John's hurt by about 10,000, and when you do, you'll have a little bit of the feeling that Jesus had in his heart about Judas. All right, point to Peter's response. Look at verse 47. But one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. Now, Mark doesn't tell us which disciple it was. We get that in the Gospel of John, and the disciple was Peter. Now, what's the natural thing to do when you're betrayed?

I think the natural thing to do is to seek revenge and to get some payback. The word ban that's used to describe that big group of people that was there in the garden coming after Jesus is a word that means, and you don't see it here in Mark, but you see it in the other Gospels. It's a word that means a group of no less than 200 people, huge group of people that were there. There were Pharisees in their decorative robes. There were servants of the Pharisees and Sadducees, and then there were the soldiers who had a sword in one hand and a club in the other. And then Judas walks up to Jesus, kisses him on the cheek. We don't see this here, but in John's Gospel, we're told what happened. Jesus asked a question. He says, whom are you seeking? And they said, we're seeking Jesus of Nazareth, and Jesus responded, and he said, I am. The Greek word ego, I'm me. If he spoke in the Aramaic, and if you saw it in the Aramaic, what he would be saying was, I am that I am, Yahweh.

He was saying, you came here looking for Jesus of Nazareth, you have found him, and who you have found is Almighty God. I am Almighty God, and as soon as he said, I am, all that whole crowd was knocked off their feet. They're lying there in front of him in a prostrate position. It looks like they're all worshiping Jesus, and they can't move. I mean, they are totally paralyzed. They can't get up.

They can't do anything. Let me tell you something. They did not bow voluntarily. They were knocked off their feet by the power of Jesus' name. Let me ask you something. Who's in control here?

That's no question. Jesus could have walked away from them, left them paralyzed. They couldn't move. They could have done a thing about it, and Jesus could have taken complete control and walked away. He didn't do that. He lets them up. So I think that put a little bit of backbone in the eleven disciples, and one of them steps up and says, well, Jesus, you want us to whip up on them?

I know that's probably the wrong attitude, but there's something about that I like. I like it when men stand up and protect people who they love. All right, point three, a sermon for the high priest. In Luke chapter 22, verses 50 through 51, I needed to go over there for this. It says, And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. But Jesus said no more of this, and he touched his ear and healed him. Mark doesn't tell us that Jesus healed this young man.

Luke does tell us that. Have you ever wondered why we needed four gospels? This event, this incident, is probably one of the best reasons that I could give you for why we need four gospels.

The story is your answer. Matthew and Mark just tell us that one of the disciples got up and whacked off the ear of the servant of the high priest. John tells us what disciple it was that it was Peter and that the servant of the high priest had a name and his name was Malchus. Luke tells us that he cut off not just the ear but his right ear, and Luke, who was a doctor, tells us that Jesus healed him.

Let's get this picture in our minds. Judas walks over. He betrays Jesus with a kiss on the cheek, and the soldiers have been ordered by Caiaphas that they are to immediately arrest him.

They start to step forward. Jesus says, who are you seeking? They said, we're seeking Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus says his name.

I am Yahweh. I am the eternal God, and they are knocked off their feet in a prostrate position lying down before Jesus. They can't move. I mean, they try to get up.

It's like a big hand is on them holding them down. I think Jesus probably lets them sit there for a minute realizing the danger that they are in, and then Jesus lets loose his power, and they stand up. This show of divine power against the soldiers and the anger in the heart of the disciples probably emboldened the disciples, I think, and they said, Lord, should we strike them with the sword?

By this time, impetuous Peter's not going to wait for the Lord's answer. He jumps up. He pulls his sword out of his sheath, and he starts swinging that sword.

The person that's next to him is not a soldier, but it's the servant of the high priest. It's Malchus, and he just takes that sword, and he aims at his neck. He's trying to decapitate him. Malchus sees it coming. He tries to back off and duck, and Jesus hits him on the right ear, and it severs his ear from his head, on the ground, and I want you to picture Malchus at that point in time.

Man, he's hopping around like a chicken with his head cut off. The blood is just spewing out of that ear. He's got unbelievable, horrendous pain, and his hearing is getting messed up, and it all happens so quickly that the soldiers have not even responded yet, and so Jesus says, God, stop this right now, and put your swords up, and don't do this.

Then, Jesus reached down on the ground. He picked up that nasty, dirty, sandy ear, and he takes it, and he puts it back on Malchus' head. Immediately, just like that, the pain is gone. Immediately, just like that, his hearing is back. It's perfectly attached, and everything's well. I can imagine the soldiers and some of the religious leaders running over there and saying, are you okay?

Are you okay? And they're grabbing that ear, and they're pulling on it and looking at it. They can't believe it.

They are absolutely shocked. Let me ask you something. Why do we have all this information from four different gospels about this one incident or this one event?

Why do we do that? I tell you, there are a lot of things that I would like to know more about. Scripture just doesn't tell us. I'd like to know more about the creation than we have. I'd like to know more about the relationship that Jesus had with Joseph, his earthly father.

I'd like to know more about the second coming and what's going to happen, what we can look for. I'd like to know about what God did before he created this earth and in eternity past. What was God doing then? We're not told. The Scripture doesn't give us that, so we don't have even the right to try to guess what he's doing. We just have to accept that. But here in this story, we are told all kinds of things about this particular incident, that we know that the servant of the high priest was attacked by Peter, that Peter chopped off his right ear, that it was a right ear, that his name was Malchus, and that he know Jesus healed him.

Why all that information? Well, think about it. Malchus went home after that arrest, didn't he? Where did Malchus live? He lived at the home of Caiaphas. And so they were bringing Jesus back after they had arrested him. They're bringing him back to the home of Caiaphas. I can imagine Caiaphas walking out of the door when he hears all the people coming.

And so Malchus comes, I mean, Caiaphas comes to the door. He looks at the huge group, and he says, Well, and the sergeant's there, and he said, Well, we got him. You arrested him.

We did exactly what you told us to do. Here he is. Here's Jesus. And Caiaphas says, Was there any trouble? Well, yeah, a little bit. What kind of trouble? And the sergeant looks around and looks right at Malchus. I can imagine Caiaphas saying, Malchus?

You? Well, what happened? And Malchus said, Sir, you won't believe it. He said, One of the disciples of Jesus got mad, and he took his sword, and he whacked off my ear. And he said, My ear fell down on the ground, and Jesus reached down, and he picked my ear up because it was hurting, and it was bleeding, and it was awful, and I couldn't hear. And he took my ear, and he put it back on my head. And when he did, it was perfectly well.

It was like nothing ever happened. And Caiaphas said, Come here, boy. Come here, boy. Let me feel that ear. I can see him just kind of tugging on that ear a little bit, pulling on that ear. He said, Boy, ain't nothing wrong with your ear.

What are you talking about? And he said, You're right. There's nothing wrong now.

I said, But you should have seen it about two hours ago. Said it was bleeding like crazy. See all this blood on my toga? And said it was just bleeding. It was absolutely awful. The pain was horrendous.

I couldn't hear. And then Jesus took that ear. He put it back on my head, and I'm completely, and I'm totally well. And when Jesus touched me, something went on in my heart that I've never experienced before. He said, Caiaphas, are you sure we got the right man? Then I can imagine the sergeant who had been knocked down off his feet and who had been put in that prostrate position right before Jesus, and he couldn't get up. I think he probably turned around to Caiaphas and said, Yeah, Caiaphas, are you sure we got the right man? Caiaphas goes over to Malchus one more time, pulls on that ear a little bit, smiles, turns around to the sergeant, and he said, Yeah, we got the right man.

This is the one. I want to see his dead, broken, bloody body hanging from the cross. I want him dead. I believe this was the last sermon that Caiaphas was ever, ever forced to respond to. Just like Judas, Caiaphas took unquestioned truth and spit on it.

I point for the dark hour. Look at Mark 14, verse 52 through 53. And Jesus said to them, Have you come out as against a robber with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me, but let the scriptures be fulfilled, and they all left him and fled. I want you to consider the irony of this event. Just minutes before Jesus said this, all these soldiers were laid out prostrate before him in a position of worship right before Jesus, and they were paralyzed.

They couldn't do a thing about it. Jesus let them up. Didn't have to, but he did. Then he says, You guys came out to me today with weapons, and you came to arrest me like I was a criminal. Said, I've been in the temple every day. You never thought to arrest me before.

Why are you doing this? Jesus could have destroyed them all right then and there. He could have called 12 legions of angels, and they would have taken him back to glory and destroyed them.

He didn't do that. So the question is why didn't he? Because it was the will of God for him to be betrayed, arrested, and crucified. I want to close with the statement that Philip Ryken made because I think it's important to realize that Satan is not the one here who's calling the shots. God is.

I like what Martin Luther said. He said, We need to remember that the devil, even the devil, is God's devil. In 1 Corinthians 2, 9, it was Paul who said, If the princes of this world had known what they were doing, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory.

Boy, isn't that true. Ryken said it this way. When Jesus said, This is your hour, he was not referring to 60 minutes on the clock, but to the short, definite period of time when evil men would have their way. This was the hour when Jesus would give his treacherous kiss and the leaders of Israel would make their unlawful arrest.

This was the hour when angry men would call for blood and cruel soldiers would carry out their terrible torture. This was the hour when the Son of Man would suffer unto death. In other words, this was the hour when Satan would triumph. There is deeper encouragement for us in this, however, that even the dark hour that seemed to be under Satan's power was really God's hour. The very fact that Jesus told the forces of darkness which hour was theirs showed that he was Lord of that hour and every hour. Even the dark hour of betrayal was under the greater power of God and of his Christ. All the things that seemed at that time like victories for Satan, including Judas and his nefarious kiss, actually fulfilled the prophecies of God. Jesus allowed Satan to have this hour of power only because he knew it would help to accomplish our salvation.

By suffering this betrayal and everything else that happened to him on his way to death, Jesus was paying the price for our sin, purchasing our salvation. Therefore, the hour of Satan's power was at the same time the day of our redemption. What comfort and courage this gives to us in every dark hour. It is true that our present trials will not last forever. Soon we will enter the eternal light of our salvation. But even this present darkness, whatever it is for us, is under the power of God. If God was at work, even during the dark hour of our Lord's betrayal, then whether we can see it or not, we may believe with hope that he's also at work right now in our own dark trials. I've talked to so many Christians lately who were just horribly discouraged. Churches that once stood for truth have now become woke churches that have compromised their convictions and compromised the scripture in order that they might fit into the culture.

Preachers who quit preaching the truth of God's word because they wanted to not be faithful to the gospel, to be faithful to what they call social justice. Yeah, that hurts. And it's discouraging. But folks, we need to make no mistake about it. Jesus Christ is still on the throne. The providences of God are still absolutely certain.

And God is just as sovereign now as he ever has been or as if he ever will be. And we need to remember that. Don't fear. Don't quit.

Don't compromise. Just be faithful and that will glorify God. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, we read a passage like this or we read it and we want to rejoice and we want to weep at the same time. Lord, we are amazed at the depth of your love and the power of your grace. May we leave this place today more sold out to you than we have ever been before. And it's in Jesus' precious and holy name that we pray. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-16 14:39:55 / 2023-04-16 14:54:05 / 14

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