Big reveals capture our attention. Couples have found creative ways of revealing that they are expecting a child or the gender of the baby. Companies make big productions when revealing new products or improvements to current products. Sports teams make the most of the opportunity when revealing new uniforms. Movie trailers give us just enough information to make us want to know the rest of the story. In Mark 14, we find several big reveals and will focus on four of them.
Reveal #1: The Woman – Devotion
Mark does not tell us who the woman was or why she anointed Jesus with the expensive imported perfume. We don’t know how she got the jar or what she was saving it for. What we do know is she revealed her devotion to Jesus. No doubts exist about the woman’s devotion to Jesus and in the process she reveals her allegiance in a very public way. This was a public declaration for all to see. Jesus had challenged the crowds to count the cost of following Him (Mark 8:34-38) and here she demonstrated that she believed Jesus was worthy of forsaking all else to follow Him by pouring a years’ worth of wages over his head!
Reveal #2: The Disciples – Disconnection
In contrast to the woman was the response of the disciples. Mark noted that some of the disciples were indignant but does not tell us which ones (John identified Judas, but mark implies that Judas was not alone in expressing displeasure). Their response revealed their lack of understanding where they stood in history. Jesus was just days away from His crucifixion. He had told His disciples several times that He would be put to death with Peter even rebuking Jesus for even saying it (Mark 8:31-32). If anyone should have understood what was about to happen it should have been these twelve men. They revealed their concern for earthly issues (the poor), missing the greater redemptive purpose of Christ. Before we go to hard on them, we are just as guilty as the disciples. We focus on the temporal instead of the eternal, the seen and not the unseen, and the physical needs and not the spiritual. Like the disciples we fail to look at life through a redemptive lens.
Reveal #3: Judas – Hypocrisy
Judas finally reveals his true colors in the narrative. He had patiently waited for Jesus to step up and be the messiah everyone was expecting. For whatever reason, the act of the woman and Jesus’ response put him over the edge. When he approached the religious leaders about betraying Jesus, he revealed his true colors to them. Can you imagine the thoughts and emotions that ran through their minds as Judas initiated this betrayal? Judas was also finally revealing his true colors to himself at this moment. He had given three years of his life to following Jesus with hopes and dreams of greater days. His view of a greater day was different from what Jesus was declaring and Judas finally was honest with himself. He acted true to who he was, a pretender with ulterior motives.
Reveal #4: Jesus – Heart
In contrast to Judas, Jesus also revealed His true character. We see His compassion as He addressed the woman and the disciples. He commended the woman for her actions, realizing the extravagant nature of her actions. He also interpreted her actions in terms of His redemptive purposes, of her preparing Him for burial. We also see His heart as He prayed in the garden in Mark 14:32-36. His compassion and commitment to the redemptive purposes or God are demonstrated by His willingness to go to the cross. We see Jesus as the true Son of God, with a single focus–the redemption of humanity.
Do you identify more with the woman, the disciples, or Judas? Explain.
What other big reveals do you see in Mark 14:3-11,32-36?