Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part LVII: Drawing Encouragement From God's Final Outcome While Under Persecution
(Mark 14:53-65)
  1. Introduction
    1. When a believer takes a stand for what is upright, and is not understood or believed and suffers unjust persecution as a result, the believer can be tempted to wither and cower under the mistreatment.
    2. However, there is a way of standing boldly and courageously in the midst of such a reaction by drawing great encouragement from God in it all, and Jesus exampled that for us in Mark 14:53-65:
  2. Drawing Encouragement From God's Final Outcome While Under Persecution, Mk. 14:53-65.
    1. On the surface, the trial Jesus faced before the hostile religious leaders was terribly intimidating and injurious to His humanity, Mark 14:53-65.
      1. The trial was before a hostile group of religious leaders whom Jesus had been taught since childhood to respect deeply and reverently as unto the Lord, Mark 14:53. This would have been humanly dreadful.
        1. Jesus was tried before the priests, elders and scribes, including the High Priest, 14:53-54, 60a.
        2. The High Priest atoned for the nation's sins annually, and he along with these other leaders was to be honored according to the commandment of God in the Mosaic Law, Exodus 22:28.
      2. These leaders tried to find false witnesses to accuse Jesus, an effort that would have been humanly painful to say the least, Mark 14:55a,b.
      3. However, when the required two agreeing witnesses couldn't be found, even witnesses who tried to incriminate Jesus on a partial truth (14:55c-59), the high priest himself tried to intimidate Jesus into speaking so he would incriminate himself, Mark 14:60. This was painful as well.
      4. When Jesus answered the question of the High Priest if He was the Messiah and quoted Daniel 7:13 to refer to Himself, the Son of man as also being the Son of God as God Incarnate to back up this claim, the High Priest tore his clothes, charging Him with blasphemy by His admitting to such an idea of Incarnation, and the whole council condemned him to death, Mark 14:60-64. This would have been humanly excruciating both emotionally and mentally.
      5. Afterwards, Jesus was spat upon, beat upon and mocked, a very humiliating and draining experience to say the least in connection with the former mistreatment, Mark 14:65.
    2. However, beneath the surface, Jesus was drawing strength from the Scriptures about the blessed, final outcome to handle the present crisis (cf. also Hebrews 12:2b,c):
      1. When asked if He was the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed God by the High Priest, the passage Jesus quoted in Daniel 7:13 spoke of the final triumph of Messiah over apostate human rulers:
        1. Jesus quoted that section in Daniel 7 that pictures Messiah, the Son of man or human being brought up to the Ancient of Days, or God the Father, Dan. 7:13.
        2. This event follows the prediction of the Gentile domination of Israel since the Babylonian Exile up to the vile dominion of antichrist in the Great Tribulation Period, Dan. 7:4-8, Ryrie St. Bib., KJV fnts.
        3. After those wicked rulers are all removed and judged by God (Dan. 7:9-12), this seating of Messiah occurs so to initiate his reign over all the Gentiles who had dominated Israel for centuries, Dan. 7:14.
        4. This reign of Messiah will be the supreme one as His kingdom will not be destroyed, Dan. 7:14b.
      2. Thus, Jesus was mindful of the day when the High Priest before Him and all evil rulers like He would be subject to Jesus and acknowledge that He WAS indeed honored of God, Mk. 14:62. As Hebrews 12:2b,c says, He was focusing on the joy set before Him in order to endure the cross.
Lesson: If facing unjust persecution by intimidating persons or circumstances, our triumph comes in following Christ's example in remembering that the persecutors will one day have to acknowledge that we were right, and that they were stepping out against the will of God, cf. 2 Thess. 1:3-10. In so doing, we can handle what they dish out without becoming intimidated or demoralized!

Application: Get to know and so we can focus on those Scriptures that counter the tragedy of the moment with the final victory while undergoing persecution for righteousness sake. Knowing the Word is real power in this case, and real trium ph, cf. 1 John 2:14; 2 Tim. 3:16-17.