It was now two days before the Passover- for which Christ would be the final sacrifice. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest him by stealth- They were fearful of the people, for Jesus had healed them, taught them, and loved them more then the priests and scribes could understand.
He was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper- Here was Jesus again, associating with outcasts. For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii[b] and given to the poor- After all Jesus has said, they are still quick to judge her for this action. Righteous acts, such as aiding the poor, are not the way to heaven, Jesus is. Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? Jesus defends those who honor him. To give glory to Jesus is a testimony and should not be criticized. For you will always have the poor- all the more reason to give glory to Jesus, for he is the poor’s greatest advocate. Poverty has never been, and never will be eradicated from earth. But you will not always have me- Physically. Jesus would be taken and killed soon, and after his resurrection he would ascend. What she has done will be told in memory of her- As an example to follow, for all believers.
Then Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them- For money! What a sharp contrast to the woman mentioned above.
I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered- And this would be the plan of the Chief Priests, to kill Jesus would scatter his followers, and once and for all end this obstruction. They had not anticipated the actual result.
The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples- We should be ready to provide for Jesus whatever he requests, whenever he requests it. Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me- A revelation of betrayal, that cause the disciples to ask him, Is it I? Were they so unsure of themselves, that they could not say for sure that it would not be them? I think this reflects an understanding of the disciples that Jesus could see further into their hearts then they could themselves.
My soul is very sorrowful, even to death– This was a dark time, when Jesus would be taken and crucified by the world. It was a dangerous time, not only physically but spiritually. Keep watch! Jesus says, for those of us who are willing to follow Jesus will be subject to great temptation. And he came and found them sleeping- When we our eyes our closed to the influences of the world, we are apt to strain our relationship with Jesus.
Judas came, one of the twelve and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders- How awful is this? A teacher man betrayed by his own student, a peaceful man seized by an armed crowd, a prophet of God to be tried by the priests.
The young man who followed Christ was so scared for his life, he ran off naked.
The priests could find no testimony, except for some false witnesses, there was no agreement in their words. You can not testify against truth, unless it is with lies. Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? – This was the question that would determine the fate of Jesus. I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven– Jesus testifies of himself, knowing well the sentence it carries. Should we not follow Christ, by testifying of him, knowing we may suffer?
This next part in particular is very sad to me. The crowd becomes bullies here. they hit Jesus and spit on him, and mock him. Who better to understand the plight of victims of bullying then Jesus?
Even though they all fall away, I will not – It is very easy to make statements of honor and commitment, but much harder to follow them when we are tempted by the world and put to the test. Jesus knows Peter better then Peter does. Peter loved Jesus. After Jesus was taken and led away, Peter followed him, not because he was curious about what would happen, but because he loved him. Yet, when pressed to the task of acknowledging his Lord or keeping his life, he denied Jesus. He wept at his weakness, his lack of faith, his denial of the Christ, and more simply, his denial of a friend. Our relationship with Christ must be steadfast, our else we feel the bitter guilt Peter does.