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BIBLE STUDY on the Gospel of Mark
Theme: Plan to put Jesus to death; Jesus at supper in Bethany; Judas makes a bargain to betray Jesus; the Passover; the Garden of Gethsemane; the arrest of Jesus; the trial of Jesus; Peter’s denial.
This is the longest chapter in the Gospel of Mark; having seventy-two verses. This is really a chapter of action, although Jesus is not the One performing the action. He is being acted upon by others . . . both His friends and His enemies. Many times we are told in Scriptures that His hour was not yet come (Lk.4:29-30; Jn.7:30,44; 8:20,59; 10:39). BUT . . . now, His time had come and He would not run away from it. He would be delivered up to His enemies. His earthly ministry is concluded in the fulfillment of prophecy. "He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter..." (Isa.53:7). In reality, He is delivering Himself into the hands of men.
We shall see Mary anoint Him, Judas betray Him, Peter denies Him, and the Sanhedrin arrests Him. He delivers Himself into the will of the Father.
As we come into the shadow of the cross, our heart and mind must realize that we are on holy ground. There will be canyons that have not been probed and heights that have not been climbed. I think one of those deep canyons is the anguish and agony of His soul in the Garden of Gethsamane. His hour has now come!
This outline may help:
- Chief priests and scribes plan to kill Jesus (verses 1-2)
- Mary of Bethany pours ointment upon the Head of Jesus (verses 3-9)
- Judas makes plans to betray Jesus (verses 10-11)
- Jesus prepares for last Passover and first Lord's Supper (verses 12-16)
- His Betrayal Predicted (verses 17-21)
- The Lord's Supper Instituted (verses 22-25.
- Desertion and Denial Foretold (verses 26-31)
- Jesus’ Agony in Garden of Gethsemane (verses 32-42)
- Jesus placed under arrest (verses 43-52)
- Jesus on trial before the great Sanhedrin (verses 53-65)
- Peter denies Jesus (verses 66-72)
Plot To Put Jesus To Death (Mark 14:1-2)
Mark 14:1 After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death. (KJV)
After two days was the feast of the Passover . . . two days after Christ Jesus had delivered the previous discourse concerning the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem (chapter 13), was the feast of the Passover; which was kept in remembrance of God's passing over the houses of the Israelites (Ex.12:13,23), when He destroyed the firstborn of Egypt, and made way for the deliverance of the children of Israel from there: and which was kept by eating the Passover lamb; and which is the feast of the Passover:
And of unleavened bread . . . which was the same feast as the other, called so from the unleavened bread which was then eaten; but with one difference, the Passover lamb was only eaten on the first night, but unleavened bread was eaten for seven days.
And the chief priests and Scribes sought how they might take him by craft . . . that is, Jesus,
And put him to death . . . they had assembled together in Caiaphas the high priest's palace, and there took counsel together how to accomplish it. (Mat.26:2-4).
During this time the people ate unleavened bread, and hence the festival was sometimes called the feast of unleavened bread (Ex.12:18; Lev.23:5-6). On the evening of the fourteenth day, all the leaven or yeast in the family homes was removed with great care, as it is to the present time; a condition to which the apostle indicates (1 Cor.5:7). On the 10th day of the month the master of a family separated a year old lamb or a goat from the flock (Ex.12:1-6), which he killed on the 14th day, before the altar (Deut.16:2,5-6). The lamb was usually slain at about 3 p.m. The blood of the paschal lamb was, in Egypt, struck upon the doorposts of the houses; afterwards it was poured by the priests at the foot of the altar (Ex.12:7). Not a bone of the lamb was to be broken, a circumstance strongly representing the sufferings of our Lord Jesus, the Passover slain for us (Jn.19:36; 1 Cor.5:7). The lamb was roasted, and served with wild and bitter herbs.
They decided they would not do it on the feast day . . . meaning during the Passover season, which is the Feast of Unleavened Bread and which extended for seven days. At the end of that seven days the people would begin to leave Jerusalem and then they would reach out and put their hands on Him. The reason they did not want to do anything to Him during the feast days was that they feared an uproar or a riot. The crowds were in Jerusalem for the feast and the people held Jesus in high esteem. The common people heard Him gladly. He fed and healed them.
Mark 14:2 But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people. (KJV)
But they said not on the feast day . . . the feast of the Passover and of unleavened bread was nigh at hand, two days away, when there would be a great multitude of people from all parts to keep it. Because of this, they decided not to seize Him, and put Him to death at that time,
Lest there should be an uproar of the people . . . or among them, for most likely, they would rise up in his favor, and rescue Him out of their hands. These chief priests and Scribes had absolutely NO fear of God in their minds or their hearts. They were afraid of the people, because many of them believed in Christ, and even though some did not, yet they had a great honor for Him, having seen His miracles, and received favors from Him. (Mat.26:5).
The Anointing at Bethany (Mark 14:3-9)
Mark 14:3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. (KJV)
And being in Bethany . . . it was a town about two miles from Jerusalem, where Jesus retired after He left the Temple, and had predicted its destruction. It was a place He often went to, having some good friends there, such as Lazarus, and his sisters, Martha and Mary, and the person next mentioned by Mark.
In the house of Simon the leper . . . Simon the leper Simon who had been a leper. It was unlawful to eat with persons that had leprosy; and it is most likely that this Simon had been healed, possibly by the Lord Jesus Himself.
As he sat at meat . . . the ancients did not sit at their meals, but reclined at length on couches. A Roman dining room was called a triclinum because it contained three couches, set around a table in the middle. The table was a low block with couches around it on three sides. There would a single couch in the middle, where the host would sit, and one couch to his left, and one to his right, opposite each other. The side opposite the host would be left open for people to bring food to the table. The couches would be covered by a cushion, or a cushion would be provided for the guest to lean on. The guests came to the table from behind the couches, then reclined on their left side, supporting their head on their left elbow, leaving their right hand free to take the food. A normal Roman triclinum would seat nine people, three on each couch. At the last supper there were thirteen people present. They either used larger couches, or laid on cushions on the floor, or were closely squashed together as particularly intimate friends.
Their feet would stretch out behind them, away from the table. This would make it quite easy for Jesus to go round and wash the disciples' feet without them having to move (Jn.13:1-17), and for Mary come in and anoint Jesus’ Feet (Jn.12:3). A man’s head would be in line with the chest of the person reclining to his left, so it would be easy for that person to lean back and speak to the person on his left without anyone else hearing what is said. In John 13, some of the words spoken by Jesus were heard by all twelve apostles (verse 21), while other words were private (verse 26). Mary most likely came up behind Him, as He lay reclined at the table, bending down over the couch, poured the ointment on His Head and His Feet. She probably knelt at His Feet, and wiped them with her hair.
There came a woman . . . this woman was probably Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha (Jn.12:3), although some think it was Mary Magdalene.
Having an alabaster box . . . alabaster is a type of marble, well-known for being light, and of a beautiful white color, almost transparent. It was much used by the ancients for the purpose of preserving various kinds of ointment in. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/1056-alabaster
Of ointment of spikenard very precious . . . meaning the ointment was of much value, and that it was rare and hard to find. (Mat.26:7; Jn.12:3). Ointment of spikenard comes from an herb growing in the Indies, chiefly gotten from the root, but also from the bark. It was liquid, so it would flow easily when the box or vial was open, and was famous especially for its good smell (Song 1:12). The ancients were much in the habit of anointing or perfuming their bodies, and the spikenard was valued as one of the most precious perfumes. John says there was a pound of this (Jn.12:3). That there was a large quantity is farther evident from the fact that Judas says it might have been sold for three hundred pence (about 50 dollars), and that the house was filled with the odor of the ointment.
And she brake the box, and poured it on his head . . . they mainly anointed the head or hair. John says that she poured it on the Feet of Jesus, and wiped them with her hair (Jn.12:3). I really do not think that there is a contradiction here. She most likely poured it both on His Head and His Feet. Matthew and Mark recorded this event, John wrote his Gospel partly to record events omitted by them, and relates that the ointment was also poured on the Feet of the Saviour. To pour ointment on the head was common. To pour it on the feet was an act of distinguished humility and attachment to the Saviour, and therefore deserved to be particularly recorded.
Mark 14:4 And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? (KJV)
And there were some that had indignation within themselves . . . John says that it was Judas that expressed indignation. Probably some of the others felt resentment, but only Judas vented his feelings. The reason why Judas was angry and indignant was that he had the bag (Jn.12:6), or the purse, or the source of articles given to the disciples and to the Saviour. He was a thief, and it seems he took out or put in according to Judas! The leading feature of Judas' character was avarice, greed! No opportunity went by without his attempting by corrupt and wicked means, to make money. If we use Judas as an example, we see that a greedy man may learn the true nature and the effect of that groveling and wicked passion. It led Judas to commit the horrendous crime of betraying his Lord to death. It will ALWAYS lead its possessor to guilt. A huge part of the sins of the men of the world can be traced to greed! Consider this: many are the times, since the days of Judas, has the precious Lord Jesus been betrayed among His professed friends by the same vile tendency. BEWARE!
And said, why was this waste of the ointment made? . . . they, or he, considered it loss or destruction of property. Judas, and probably some of the others, could see no use in it, and they therefore supposed it was lost. (Mat.26:8).
Mark 14:5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. (KJV)
For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence . . . Mark and John say for 300 pence; that is about 50 dollars, which to them, was a large sum.
And have been given to the poor . . . which was thought by him or them, to be a much better way of disbursing it, than by pouring it on the Head or Feet of Christ.
And they murmured against her . . . there was also an implied murmuring against the Saviour for allowing it to be done. The murmuring was without cause. It was the property of Mary, and she had an absolute right to do with it as she pleased. She was NOT answerable to them, but to God. They had NO right to complain that it had been wasted. (Mat.26:8-9).
Mark 14:6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. (KJV)
And Jesus said, Let her alone . . . Jesus knowing the secret resentment of some of His apostles, and their private murmurings at the woman.
Why trouble ye her? . . . why do you grieve her, by charging her with wastefulness and extravagance, as if she is guilty of a great crime? She is far from that!
She hath wrought a good work on me . . . she has done a great honor to Me. She has expressed her faith in me, and shown her love to me, and she should be praised, not criticized.
Mark 14:7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. (KJV)
For ye have the poor with you always . . . (Deut.15:11). They would afterwards have many occasions to show their regard for the poor.
And whensoever ye will ye may do them good . . . by feeding them when hungry, clothing them when naked, and supplying them with the things needed in life.
But me ye have not always . . . (Jn.14:19; 17:11). He is referring to His dying, and His going away to Heaven. He would be their Friend and their Saviour, but He would not be bodily present with them always, and they would have no more opportunity of showing Him any such outward respect personally. (Mat.26:11).
Mark 14:8 She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. (KJV)
She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. . . I do not think that Mary clearly understood that He was about to die very soon, because the apostles did not fully comprehend it. I do not think that Mary intended it for His burial; but she did it simply as an act of honor and love, to show her regard for her Lord. She did it for my burial . . . He said that it was a proper preparation for His burial. In ancient times, bodies were anointed and embalmed for the purpose of the sepulcher. Jesus said that this was really a preparation for that burial, as preparing Him in a proper manner for the tomb. I think that quite possibly the amount of the precious ointment she had, when poured on His Head, ran down all over His Body.
Mark 14:9 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her. (KJV)
Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her . . . God’s people do things without the least thought of making them famous. There was no way that Mary could have foreseen what Jesus here declares concerning her, and the future fame which would attach to her and her simple act of love. He tells them, that wherever this Gospel would be preached, and what she had done would be told to her honor and praise, for a memorial of her. Without love, if a man give all his goods to the poor (1 Cor.13:3), it means nothing; but if there be love in the heart, it makes the gift acceptable. Consider this: Men, who do NOT know our hearts, may be ready to blame us for actions which God will highly commend and reward.
Now take notice that after this lovely thing she did, and the light and the love of it; we have the plans of wicked Judas to betray our Lord.
Judas plans to betray Jesus (Mark 14:10-11)
Mark 14:10 And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them. (KJV)
And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve . . . Judas was an apostle of Christ, and it was he that was the main person that had anger and resentment for the woman, and murmured against her for the “wasting” of the ointment. Mary and Judas . . . light and darkness! (Jn.1:5). Mary and Judas . . . a child of God and a child of the devil. 1 John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. (KJV)
Went unto the chief priests . . . as soon as Jesus had defended the woman's conduct to his shame and silence, Judas immediately went out of the house, where they were, and set out from Bethany to Jerusalem. He must have known that the chief priests were consulting together at Caiaphas's house, on how to capture Jesus, and put Him to death. He went directly to them. They had not sent for him, and they certainly had no thought of an apostle of Jesus coming to them.
To betray him unto them . . . Luke says that Satan entered into Judas (Lk.22:3), meaning that Satan tempted or prompted him to do it. Dear friends, Satan has not changed! He is still out to get anyone to go against God in any way and sin in any way! BEWARE!!! Satan probably tempted Judas by appealing to his greed, to the lust and passion that ruled him, suggesting a favorable opportunity to make money fast, by selling his Lord.
Judas was provoked and infuriated by this action of the woman, and Christ's defense of it, and because the ointment was not sold, and the money put into his hand. He was wide open to Satan’s temptations.
Mark 14:11 And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him. (KJV)
And when they heard it, they were glad . . . they hated Jesus, and had failed to make Him look bad in front of the people. They wanted to get rid of Him. Judas’ appearance that day was an opportunity they had never considered. That such an opportunity was offered, and from such a one as this, one of His own apostles, astounded them. Now it could be done more secretly and effectively, and with less blame on them.
And promised to give him money . . . any sum he would ask. What was agreed upon was thirty pieces, or shekels of silver.
And he sought how he might conveniently betray him . . . after this promise, and upon this agreeing on the 30 pieces of silver, Judas looked for the most fitting opportunity, and the best time of betraying his Master into the hands of these evil men. This was Judas’ main problem, to deliver Jesus into the hands of the priests so it was not known by the people, for he did not want to excite turmoil. The opportunity that he wanted, was one where the multitude would not see Jesus, or would not be able to rescue Him. The arrest had to take place when Jesus was alone . . . when the crowds were gone. Judas waited for just such a time, to betray him. Betray means to deliver into the hands of an enemy by treachery or breach of trust; and to do it while pretending to be a faithful friend. All this took place in the case of Judas. The deed of Judas Iscariot is dark and dastardly when compared to Mary's act of true, heart-felt love. Judas did the lowest and vilest thing anyone could do when he betrayed One to whom he should have been loyal.
Betrayed! Delilah betrayed Samson to the Philistines (Judges 16:16-21), Absalom betrayed David, his father (2 Sam.15:10-16), Jehu betrayed Joram and killed him (2 Ki.9:14-27). Officials betrayed Joash and killed him (2 Ki.12:20-21), and Judas betrayed Jesus (Mat.26:46-56). Scripture records a number of occasions on which a person or group was betrayed. The tragedies caused by these violations of trust are a strong lesson to us, about the importance of keeping our commitments.
The Last Passover and First Lord's Supper (Mark 14:12-16)
Mark 14:12 And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover? (KJV)
And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover. . . not the first of the seven days during which they ate unleavened bread, but the day when they performed the first act of preparing for the feast, the slaying of the paschal lamb in the evening, and called the first day on this account (Ex.12:14-20). Of unleavened bread . . . so called because during those eight days, no bread made with yeast or leaven was eaten. The word in the original, translated Passover, commonly means, not the feast itself, but the lamb that was killed on the occasion (Ex.12:43; Num.9:11; Jn.18:28). Christ is our Passover (1 Cor.5:7), and is said to be slain for us; our Paschal Lamb, so called because of His innocence, and His being offered as a Victim, or Sacrifice, for our sins.
His disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover? . . . ancient masters used to give their servants orders to get ready the Passover for them; and which was expressed in much the same language as this. It was now Thursday morning, and the Passover was to be slain after the middle of the day, between the two evenings, and eaten in Jerusalem at night. They were now at Bethany, about two miles from Jerusalem. It was usual for servants to get ready the Passover for their masters. (Mat.26:17).
Mark 14:13 And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him. (KJV)
And he sendeth forth two of his disciples . . . Peter and John, as it appears from Luke 22:8.
And saith unto them, Go ye into the city . . . the city of Jerusalem; for it was only there that the Passover might be eaten. (Deut.26:2).
And there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water . . . a servant of the master of the house that was sent for water, to mix with the wine for the Passover.
Follow him . . . into the house where he goes.
Mark 14:14 And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? (KJV)
And wheresoever he shall go in . . . into whatever house he enters, go in after him.
And say ye to the good man of the house . . . the owner, and master of it, who might possibly be Nicodemus or Joseph of Arimathea or some man of wealth in Jerusalem, that might have some knowledge of Christ, and faith in Him, although he did not openly profess Him, since by only saying what follows, he would at once, as he did, direct them to a suitable and convenient room;
The Master saith, Where is the guest chamber . . . a guestchamber was an unoccupied room for guests and friends. Although it is not stated, it was understood by the goodman of the house to be the master of the family; which confirms the above conjecture, that this man was a secret disciple of Christ. Master was the Name by which Jesus was most likely known among the apostles, and the one which He told them to give the goodman (Mat.23:8,10). It means teacher. . . opposed to the disciple which is a learner. It is not the master, as opposed to the servant or slave. The fact that they used this Name as if the man would know Whom they meant, and made no inquiries about Him, shows that he was acquainted with Jesus, and was probably himself a disciple. Matthew adds: My time is at hand . . . meaning that the time of His death is near.
Where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? . . . NOT with the man and his family, but with Jesus’ disciples, who were a family, and a society of themselves, and were a sufficient number to eat the Passover together. (Mat.26:18).
Mark 14:15 And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us. (KJV)
And he will show you a large upper room . . . a room in the highest part of the house, large enough for thirteen persons, which was the number of Christ and His apostles.
Furnished and prepared . . . with a table, and a sufficient number of couches to sit or lie upon, and with all proper vessels necessary on such an occasion:
There make ready for us . . . the Passover.
Mark 14:16 And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. (KJV)
And his disciples went forth . . . Peter and John set out from Bethany to Jerusalem right then.
And came into the city . . . the city of Jerusalem,
And found as he had said unto them . . . a man carrying a pitcher of water, whom they followed to the house he went into, and spoke to the master of the house, just as Jesus had told them to do. The upper room was very roomy and fit for the purpose, just as Christ had said; and which is considerable proof of the foresight of Christ.
And they made ready the passover . . . they bought a lamb; they had it killed in the Temple, according to rule; and they brought it to the house, where they were to eat, and roasted it, and provided unleavened bread, and wine, and bitter herbs, and everything that was proper for the feast. (Mat.26:19).
The Betrayal Predicted (Mark 14:17-21)
(Mat.26:20-25; Lk.22:21-23; Jn.13:21-30)
Mark 14:17 And in the evening he cometh with the twelve. (KJV)
And in the evening he cometh with the twelve . . . it is reasonable to believe, Christ Jesus set out from Bethany with the other nine apostles, and came to Jerusalem, where they were joined by Judas, who had agreed with the chief priests to betray Jesus, and by Peter and John, who had been sent before to prepare the Passover. And when it was night, when the second evening had taken place, He went with all twelve of them to the house, where the provision to eat the Passover together was made for them. (Mat.26:20).
Notice that He came in the evening. The Passover begins at sundown, and I think He came in under cover of darkness. He is not going to force their hand until He is ready, but at the proper time He will deliver Himself into their hands and they will crucify Him. It will not be according to THEIR schedule but according to HIS schedule. He ate the Passover with them in a relaxing and informal way.
He ate the Passover supper here with them, and the next meal that He would had with them would be breakfast on the shores of the Sea of Galilee after His resurrection (Jn.21:9).
Mark 14:18 And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me. (KJV)
And as they sat and did eat . . . or "as they lay along", for such was their position at the eating of the Passover.
Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, one of you which eateth with me shall betray me . . . He means to the chief priests and Scribes, who would condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles to be mocked, scourged and crucified. He had told them this before (Mat.20:18-19), although He did not tell them as now, that it should be done by one of them. He had indeed indicated this two days before, in Bethany, but none seemed to understand whom He meant, so He mentions it again to them, and in the most solemn manner, stating it as a certain and undoubted truth. The account contained in these verses is also recorded in: Mat.26:20-25; Lk.22:21-23; Jn.13:21-30). John says, that before Jesus declared that one of them should betray Him, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, meaning that the greatness of the crime that Judas was about to commit, wore heavily on His Heart. He felt deeply, and anticipated with much feeling the sufferings that He was to endure. OH! What a Saviour we have! He left the peace and security of Heaven, to come to Earth to suffer, bleed and die on a horrendous cross . . . for sinners like us! It is no wonder that the Father is provoked to wrath when someone rejects His only begotten Son! (Mat.26:20-21).
Mark 14:19 And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I? (KJV)
And they began to be sorrowful . . . and were so, all but Judas, at this saying of Jesus.
And to say unto him, one by one, Is it I?. . . each one wanting to know who would betray Jesus.
And another said, is it I? . . . Only Judas kept silent, and was the last to make the inquiry. This proved:
#1. His guilt was slow to show itself.
#2. Guilt shrinks away from the light.
#3. Judas was determined to conceal his intention.
The guilty always, as much as possible, conceal their crimes, while the innocent are ready to suspect that they may have done something wrong. Their feelings are tender, and they inquire whether there may not be something in their hearts unknown to themselves, that may be leading them away from right feelings.
Judas’ betrayal meant that Christ Jesus would be betrayed into the hands of His enemies, He would be horribly abused, ill-treated, scourged and victimized. That such an abominable action should be done, and by one from among His own; they could not comprehend which one of them could be guilty of such a disgraceful sin.
Mark 14:20 And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish. (KJV)
And he answered and said unto them . . . in order to relieve their minds, and point out the particular person,
It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish . . . this most likely refers to the dipping of the unleavened bread, or bitter herbs, or both, into the sauce called "Charoseth", which was made of figs, nuts, almonds, and other fruits; to which they added apples; all which they bruised in a mortar, and mixed with vinegar; and put spices into it, cinnamon and calamus (Ex.30:23; Song 4:14; Eze.27:19), in the form of small long threads, in remembrance of the straw; and it was necessary it should be: thick, in memory of the clay. He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish . . . this refers to a particular action done by Judas, just at the time Christ spoke these words; and who might sit near Him, and dip into the same dish Jesus did. Since there were thirteen of them, there might be more dishes than one; and two or three might have a dish to themselves, it was possible for Judas to dip in the same dish with Christ. (Mat.26:23).
Mark 14:21 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born. (KJV)
The Son of man indeed goeth . . . out of this world by death,
As it is written . . . in the Scriptures of the Old Testament;
But woe to that man by whom the son of man is betrayed! . . . his sin will not be excused, nor will it be lessened by fulfilling the decrees of God, and by accomplishing the prophecies of the Bible.
Good were it for that man if he had never been born . . . so provoking will be his crime, and so terrible will be his punishment. (Mat.26:24). I think that Judas Iscariot left the others at this particular time. I wonder just HOW he felt.
It was Judas Iscariot who had made the decision to betray Him. The responsibility of Judas could not be calculated, for he had had the privilege of being with Jesus for three years. The psalmist wrote: "Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me" (Ps.41:9), which pointed to Judas Iscariot.
Jesus instituted a new feast on the dying embers of the old, the Passover feast. The Passover had looked forward to Christ Coming as the Passover Lamb, and now the Lord's Supper looks back to His death on the cross. The bread speaks of His Body that was broken, (remember that not a bone in His body was broken, Ps.34:20; Jn.19:36), and the wine speaks of His precious Blood (1 Cor.11:25).
The Lord's Supper Instituted (Mark 14:22-25)
(Mat.26:26-29; Lk.22:19-20; 1 Cor.11:23-25)
Mark 14:22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. (KJV)
And as they did eat . . . the paschal lamb, and the unleavened bread, just at the conclusion of that feast,
Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it . . . beginning and instituting a new feast, to be kept afterwards, in remembrance of His sufferings and death, which were now very near at hand. And gave to them . . . the apostles,
And said, Take, eat: this is body . . . since nothing but unleavened bread was eaten during the Passover supper, the bread which is here spoken of must have been unleavened, and that unleavened bread should still be used in the Lord's Supper (Communion) today.
This is my body . . . See: John 6:53-58. The Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation means these words are to be understood literally, and that the bread, therefore, was transformed into the actual body of Jesus. I cannot go along with this! NO way!
There is a way to settle this. Let us put ourselves in the position of the apostles to whom the words were first spoken. If, as Jesus spoke the words, "this is my body," He had abruptly disappeared, and the apostles had seen nothing but the bread, they would have understood that His body had been miraculously transformed into the bread. BUT . . . since His Body was still there with them, and the loaf which He held in His Hands was also there; and since His Body still remained there with them AFTER the loaf had been broken, and passed around and eaten, it is IMPOSSIBLE that they could have understood Him to mean that the loaf was REALLY His Body. And it was also impossible that He could have intended that to be so. This is an end of the controversy as far as I am concerned! The language used declares that the bread was a SYMBOL of His Body, and it is the usual way of expressing such an idea.
It is as if Christ had said, you have had "the body" of the lamb set before you, and have eaten of it, in remembrance of the deliverance out of Egypt, and as a type of Me, the True Passover, soon to be sacrificed. This ceremony of eating the body of the paschal lamb is now to stop; and I do, here by this bread, in a symbolic way, set before you "my body", which is to be given to obtain spiritual deliverance, and eternal redemption for you. Do this in remembrance of me. You and all my followers in succeeding generations, are to take and eat of it, until I come. The words, "take, eat", show that Christ did NOT put the bread into the mouths of the apostles, but they took it in their own hands and ate it; which states the taking and receiving of Christ by the hand of faith, and feeding on Him in a SPIRITUAL manner. (Mat.26:26).
Mark 14:23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. (KJV)
And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks . . . for it, by blessing it,
He gave it to them . . . His apostles,
And they all drank of it . . . it seems this may have taken place before Judas left, they all drank of it. (Mat.26:27).
Mark 14:24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. (KJV)
And he said unto them . . . Not after they had drank of it, but before, and as he gave it to them: This is my blood of the New This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many . . . Matthew adds, "for the remission of sins".
The red wine represents His Blood; it is a SYMBOL of His Blood . . . just as is the bread is a SYMBOL of His Body. Luke and Paul say this a little differently, adding what Matthew and Mark have omitted. "This cup is the new testament in my blood." By this cup, He meant the wine in the cup, NOT the cup itself. As He lifted it, He probably said, "This wine represents my Blood about to be shed." The phrase, "new testament," should have been better rendered new covenant, referring to the covenant or contract that God was about to make with men through a Redeemer. The old covenant was that which was made with the Jews by the sprinkling of the blood of sacrifices. Exodus 24:8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words. (KJV) . . . In reference to that, Jesus says, this cup is the NEW covenant in His Blood . . . the meaning is ratified or sealed and sanctioned by His Blood. In ancient times, covenants or contracts were confirmed by slaying an animal; by the shedding of its blood; and cursing was the same as vengeance if either party failed in the contract. My friends, Jesus says the covenant which God is about to form with men, the new covenant, or the Gospel agreement, is sealed or ratified with His precious Blood (1 Pet.1:18-19), which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But dear ones, in order that your sins may be remitted or forgiven, you MUST accept God’s One and Only Way of salvation (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12), and that is JESUS . . . for this is the One and Only prearranged Way by which God will pardon sins.
That Blood alone is effective for the pardon of sin, because His Life was given for sinners. He died in the place of sinners, as their Substitute! By believing God (1 Jn.5:10-13), and accepting Jesus’ death on the cross, the eternal death or punishment in Hell, that is owed to sinners, is removed and their souls are saved. Jesus endured so much suffering, bore so much agony, that God was pleased to accept it in the place of the eternal torments of all the redeemed. Eternal death: (Pro.8:36; Jn.3:18,36; 8:24; Mat.25:41,46; Mk.9:43-48; 16:16; Acts 4;12; Rom.1:18; 4:15; 5:9; Gal.3:10; Eph.5:6; 1 Thes.1:10; 5:9; Heb.2:3; 10:26-29; 12:25; Rev.6:16-17; 20:10,15).
For articles on Hell, see:
God’s justice, and the honor and stability of His government are as secure in saving them by believing in faith, as if the suffering were inflicted on them personally in Hell. When God the Father gave His only begotten Son (Jn.3:16), to die for sinners, He revealed His infinite hatred of sin. According to Him, nothing else would show its evil nature, except the awful sufferings of His own Son. That Jesus died in the place of sinners, is abundantly clear from the following Passages: (Isa.53:10; Jn.1:29; Eph.5:2; Heb.7:27; 1 Jn.2:2; 4:10; Rom.8:32; 2 Cor.5:15). (Mat.26:28).
Mark 14:25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God. (KJV)
Verily I say unto you . . . this seems to have been said after the eating of the Passover, according to Luke 22:18, but was, in reality, not until after the Lord's supper was ended, and the last cup was drank.
I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine . . . that is, wine. The literal use of wine is not here meant; for Jesus does not actually drink wine with His disciples in the Kingdom as it now is, nor will He do so in the eternal Kingdom. The term drink, for that reason, is used symbolically for that relationship which Jesus has with His apostles while they are drinking the wine of the Lord's Supper. The term new is most naturally understood as modifying wine, but as the wine of the supper is not necessarily new wine, I think it rather indicates the new method of drinking wine just indicated. See here that Jesus still calls the wine "the fruit of the vine" after He had said of it, "This is my blood" . . . clear proof that it was STILL wine, and had NOT been changed into His actual Blood.
Until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God . . . in a symbolic and spiritual sense; by which are meant the joys of Heaven.
In the kingdom of God . . . the Kingdom of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, upon the general resurrection of the dead (Dan 12:1-2), when the Kingdom of the Mediator will be delivered up, and there will be no distinction of government . . . but God: Father, Son and Spirit, will be all in all, and shall reign with the saints, to all eternity. (Mat.26:29).
Desertion and Denial Foretold (Mark 14:26-31)
(Mat.26:30-35; Lk.22:31-38; Jn.13:36-38)
Mark 14:26 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. (KJV)
And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the Mount of Olives . . . Christ Jesus and His eleven apostles; for Judas now was gone from them, to the chief priests to inform them where Jesus was going, and where they might apprehend him. The hymn they sang was the Hallell, which is a Jewish chant of praise consisting of Psalms 113 through 118, used during Passover and on certain other holidays. (Mat.26:30).
John is the only writer who mentions the departure of Judas, saying that he went out immediately after the conversation about the betrayal (Jn.13:30). This would tell us whether the Last Supper was instituted before or after this conversation. John says nothing about the institution of the supper, while Luke mentions it before the conversation in question. Matthew and Mark both mention it after the conversation, but none of them give any record of time by which we can determine the chronological order of the two events. Compare: Mat.26:20-25; Lk.22:21-23; Jn.13:21-30.
Mark 14:27 And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. (KJV)
And Jesus saith unto them . . . most likely as they were going to the Mount of Olives.
All ye shall be offended because of me this night . . . the words are spoken to the eleven apostles; for Judas was now gone to the high priests to tell them where Jesus was going that night, and to obtain from them a band of men and officers to capture Jesus. This could be what Jesus meant by all the rest of the apostles being offended, for they would see their Master betrayed by one of them, and the officers seize and bind Him, and lead Him away like He were a criminal. The Lord here suggests, that they would be filled with such fear and dread, that every one of them would forsake Him and run away, seeking their own safety. They would be so stunned at this unexpected event, that they would begin to stagger and stumble in their minds, whether He was or was not the Messiah. They would be ready to fall away from Him: and their faith in Him would have failed, had He not prayed for them. And indeed within an hour or two after, this prediction of Christ's had its accomplishment, and which He confirms by a prophetic testimony. See: (Mk.14:38).
For it is written . . . Zechariah 13:7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. (KJV)
I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered . . . shall stumble because of Me. This is literal and accurate. "Stumble" is used symbolically for their partial fall when they fled from the danger, confused at His voluntary and unexpected surrender to the guards who arrested Him.
Mark 14:28 But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee. (KJV)
But after that I am risen . . . for their comfort, He assures them of His rising from the dead, which, though they would be offended and discouraged at the seizing, and condemning, and crucifixion of him, He would rise again!
I will go before you into Galilee . . . the place of their birth, and where He had often talked with them.(Mat.26:32).
Mark 14:29 But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. (KJV)
But Peter said unto him . . . being greatly moved at what Christ had said, that all of them would be offended with Him that night, and run away from Him, and be scattered from him, and one another: although all shall be Although all shall be offended, yet will not I . . . although all the rest of the ten apostles would be offended and turn and run away, Peter said he would never do that. Poor Peter . . . this is a lesson for us . . . never say never! (Mat.26:33).
Mark 14:30 And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. (KJV)
And Jesus saith unto him . . . as confident as thou art of standing by me, and abiding with me; that this day,
which was then begun; for the Jews reckoned their days from evening, as in (Gen.1:5). Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night . . . before this very night is past, this night of the Passover, before it is past,
Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice . . . there was a first and second cock crowing, one at midnight and the other near day break, which is properly the cock crowing. (Mat.26:34).
Only in this expression is there anything in Mark's account so different from Matthew's as to call for a remark. All the other writers report Jesus as saying, "before the cock crow thou shalt deny me thrice," or, "the cock shall not crow" before thou shalt deny me thrice, while Mark says "before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice." This is just a time where Mark reports with more accuracy of speech that the other writers who report in terms less definite, BUT, having in effect the same meaning.
Mark 14:31 But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all. (KJV)
But he spake the more vehemently . . . more loud, more violent, with more spirit and impatience. in a more definite and secure way. Peter greatly resented the words of Jesus, so he expressed himself in stronger terms, and in more definite and self-confident language.
If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise . . . Peter flatly denied that he would deny his connection with Jesus, or that he knew Him. All the disciples said the same thing, BUT . . . they all fled at the approach of danger, forsaking their Master and Friend, and practically denying that they knew Him (verse 50). (Mat.26:35).
Simon Peter pledges his allegiance to his Master. I think that he really was very sincere, BUT . . . he did not know just how weak he was. My friend, this goes for many of us! We simply believe we are much stronger than we are. I think the only place that you can really see yourself clearly is in the Word of God. That is the only mirror that you have.
None of us know the depths of the human heart. ONLY the Holy Word of God allows us to see what vile sinners we really are. Any time anyone takes the emphasis away from the Word of God, people go from one problem to the next one. The last estate of the man is worse than the first. The only solution to any problem is the Lord. You do not solve the problem so that you are enabled to go to the Lord, quite the opposite . . . you give it to the Lord in prayer and let Him handle the problem for you. But we have a Saviour who loves us, and we can go to Him. How wonderful it is to have Someone to go to.
My friend, the Lord will stand by you in times like this. He will be there in our most desperate and dastardly hour. He certainly was with this man Peter.
Jesus Agony in Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-42)
(Mat.26:36-46; Lk.22:39-46; Jn.18:1)
Mark 14:32 And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. (KJV)
And they came to a place which is named Gethsemane . . . at the foot of the Mount of Olives, where the olives, which grew in great plenty on the mount, were pressed for their oil, and where the Lord Jesus began to be pressed and bruised, for our sins.
And be saith to his disciples . . . to eight of them.
Sit ye here while I shall pray . . . some distance from where Jesus would go to pray. (Mat.26:36).
The Garden of Gethsemane must have been a familiar spot to which they came quite often. Whether it is the "Garden of Gethsemane" as it is known today we do not know. The location is really not important. Since they came here rather frequently, it was a place that Judas knew. I do not think the Lord Jesus ever spent a night inside the city of Jerusalem. He often went out to this place for solitude and prayer. Gethsemane: (Mat.26:36-50; Mk.14:32-46; Lk.22:39-49; Luke 22:39-49; Jn.18:1-2)
Mark 14:33 And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; (KJV)
And he taketh with him Peter, and James, and John . . . on two other occasions He had favored these three apostles in a special way; allowing them to go with Him to witness His power and glory: at the healing of the ruler's daughter, (Lk.8:51; Mk.5:37-40), and at His transfiguration on the mount (Mat.17:1). Now the same three are with Him now in this time of His deep sorrows in the garden.
And began to be sore amazed . . . to be in great sadness and bewilderment. Could it possibly be at the sight of all the sins of His people that would come upon Him? Or the huge black storm of fury and wrath that was gathering over Him? Or was it the sword of justice that was wielded against Him; and at the curses of the righteous Law, which were like thunderbolts of vengeance all directed at Him? It is no wonder Mark adds,
and to be very heavy: both with sin and sorrow;
(See Gill on Matthew 26:37).
I think that Jesus faces here a struggle of soul that was as great, if not greater, than the suffering of His Body on the cross. Did He face the tempter again here in the garden? I think the answer is YES! He did. There are mysteries in the garden that we simply CANNOT understand. I think it is stupid and actually borders on blasphemy for people to sing, "I'll go with Him through the garden." I know for a fact that I could NOT go with Him through the garden. I am far too weak and stumbling for something of that magnitude. I could NOT go with Him through the garden, but I could stand at the edge and watch Him pray, but then, I too would be like the weak apostles, I would fall asleep as I prayed. He asked us to watch and pray so that we enter not into temptation.
Mark 14:34 And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. (KJV)
And saith unto them . . . to the above three apostles.
My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death . . . sorrowful means deeply affected with grief. Matthew adds very heavy . . . the word in the original is much stronger than the one translated sorrowful. It means, to be pressed down, or overwhelmed with great anguish and suffering. WHY? Because He knew what was coming. He had to be anticipating His great sufferings on the cross when He would make atonement for the sins of men. His soul was troubled because of this same account six days before (Jn.12:27), but now He was extremely sorrowful. He was a man of sorrows all His days, and acquainted with grief (Isa.53:3), being reproached and persecuted by men. But here and now, a new scene of sorrows has opened up wide. Before He was afflicted by men, but now He is to be bruised, and put to grief by His Father. These horrible, deep inflicted sorrows now just beginning, would end on the cross. He had had sorrows before, but they were very mild compared to what was to come. They were indeed very heavy, as appears from His own account of them; His passionate cries to His Father; His bloody sweat and agony; and the assistance He desperately needed from an angel; and the comfort and strength He received from him in His human nature.
Tarry ye here, and watch . . . Matthew adds "with me". (Mat.26:38).
Mark 14:35 And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. (KJV)
And he went forward a little . . . about a stone's cast, according to Luke 22:41.
And fell on the ground, and prayed . . . have you ever fell face down to the ground in prayer? If so, you must have been in supreme sorrow, as Jesus was here.
That, it were possible, the hour might pass from him . . . the “hour” had come! Matthew says: If it be possible, let this cup pass from me . . . meaning not only the hour or cup, the present time of His agony and distress, but all His future sufferings and death, which were close at hand. Included in His suffering was bearing the sins of His people, enduring the curse of the law (Gal.3:10,13), and the wrath of God, all which were parts in this dreadful bitter cup. Wrath of God: (Jn.3:36; Rom.1:18; 2:5; Eph.5:6; Jam.1:20; Rev.14:10,19; 15:1,7; 16:1,19; 19:15). The Lord Jesus is asking the Father that IF it might pass from Him without His having to endure them, IF there were any possibility of excusing Him, and IF His people could be saved without Him having to endure this. As we know, there was NO other way!
We must understand that our precious Lord and Saviour was NOT asking to escape the Cross, but He was praying that IF there were “another” way possible to gain salvation for us, He would like to go that route . . . BUT . . . there was NO other way! The justice of the Law must be fulfilled or satisfied, and NO human can do this! Only Jesus fulfilled the complete Law (Mat.5:17; Heb.10:1-12). It is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE for us to understand the full meaning of Gethsemane, but my friend, it was there on His Knees, that the victory of Calvary was won. There is clearly no doubt that He was tempted by Satan in Gethsemane, just as He was in the wilderness. In Mat.26:42: "He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done." For those who say that the Lord Jesus was trying to evade going to the Cross is absolutely NOT true. His humanity wanted to avoid the awful horror of having the sins of the world placed on Him, and He reacted by the prayer . . . BUT . . . He DID commit Himself to the Father 100%, because He came to do the Father's will. If it be possible . . . meaning that IF the world can be redeemed; IF it be consistent with justice, that men could be saved without this extremity of sorrow, let it be done. My friend, there is no doubt that IF it had been possible, it would have been done! The FACT that these sufferings were not removed from Jesus, that the Saviour went forward and bore them shows that it was not consistent with the justice of God. We MUST believe God (1 Jn.5:10-13) and accept Christ as our Saviour (Jn.3:15-16,36; 14:6), or we are doomed to the fires of Hell (Mat.5:22; Mk.9:47; Jam.3:6; Rev.20:14).
Mark 14:36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. (KJV)
And he said, Abba, Father . . . Mark is the only Gospel writer who uses this term. Abba Father is a very important name of God in understanding how He relates to people. The word Abba is an Aramaic word that would most closely be translated as “Daddy.” It was a common term that young children would use to address their fathers. It means a close, intimate relationship of a father to his child, also the childlike trust that a young child puts in his “daddy.” I don’t know about you, but I could never call Almighty God “daddy”.
All things are possible unto thee . . . it was physically possible, but morally impossible, and therefore God was not willing to let the cup pass. God could easily provide a lamb for a sacrifice, but since a mere lamb did not atone for sin so far, it was laid on God’s only begotten Son, for it was a job that only Jesus could do! So He submits to His Father, and to His sovereign will, as was previously planned.
Take away this cup from me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what thou wilt . . . this shows that the request of the Man Jesus was not sinful, nor did it oppose the piety to God, nor did He have less love to men. Christ Jesus’ human nature, simply reveals that His will, like ours, really wanted to omit the sorrows, sufferings and death that were about to come upon Him. It is quite difficult for us to comprehend that there are two wills in Christ, His human one and His divine one. Even though His human will may have been in some ways different from His divine will, it NEVER opposes it, for His divine will is ALWAYS the exact same as His Father's (Jn.10:30). Therefore, as Mediator, He promised to be the Lamb of God, and came down from Heaven for that purpose alone. Mediator, Christ as: (1 Tim.2:5; Heb.8:6; 9:15; 12:24) Lamb of God: (Jn.1:29,36; Rev.5:6; 7:17; 14:10; 15:3; 19:9; 21:22-23; 22:1,3)
We really must consider the prayer that our Lord prays. "This hour" or “this cup” unmistakably represents His cross, and the contents of that “cup” are the sins of the whole world (Jn.1:29; 4:42; 1 Jn.2:2; 4:4; 5:19; 2 Cor.5:18-21).
Something else that few people ever take into consideration: the terrible suffering leading up to the cross, the death itself and that horrible crucifixion. Precious Jesus, holy, harmless and pure was made sin for us. There on the cross the sin of ALL humanity was laid upon Him . . . NOT in some legal or imaginary way, but in reality. We cannot even begin to imagine the horror He felt when that sin was placed upon Him. It was a horrendous experience for this One who was completely without sin. Jesus, sinless: (Isa.53:9; Mat.27:4,19,23-24; Jn.8:46; Lk.23:41,47; 2 Cor.5:21;Heb.4:15; 7:26-27; 1 Pet.2;22; 1 Jn.2:1; 3:5). We must understand that He was NOT asking to escape the cross, but He was praying that IF there were “another” way, any other way possible to gain salvation, He would like to go that route . . . BUT . . . there was NO other way!
The justice of the Law must be fulfilled or satisfied, and NO human being anywhere can do this! Only Jesus could fulfill the complete Law (Mat.5:17; Heb.10:1-12).
Mark 14:37 And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour? (KJV)
And he cometh and findeth them sleeping . . . His three apostles, Peter, James, and John.
And saith unto Peter . . . mainly Peter, having so lately avowed with so much confidence, his love to Christ, and close attachment to him.
Simon, sleepest thou? . . . Jesus calls him by the name he first went by, and not by that which he had given him, Cephas or Peter, for now did not have that firmness and constancy, even though he boasted of it, which answers to that name (Mat.16:18). Sleepest thou? . . . see the singular number used by Mark, whereas the plural is used by Matthew.
Couldst thou not watch one hour . . . couldn’t you stay awake even for an hour? Peter should have been watching and praying, but he just went to sleep.
Mark 14:38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak. (KJV)
Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation . . . of denying Christ, and falling away from Him, which would quickly happen to them, when they would see Him captured, bound and led away. Watching and praying is the way for all of us to avoid temptation.
The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak . . . the mind is ready and willing to bear these trials, but the flesh, the natural feelings are quite weak because of the fear of danger. Your feelings will very likely lead you astray when the trial comes. Although they loved Jesus, and they may have thought they had strong faith, and they really do believe that they will NOT deny Jesus, yet all human nature is weak, and flutters and sways when trials come, because of this, they should seek strength from God. The Lord said the above words to stimulate them to be on guard, to watch, because the weakness of human nature would NOT be sufficient to hold them up in the hour of their temptation. What was the temptation? Who was going to tempt them? Satan! That Jesus wrestled with an unseen foe is quite obvious. BUT . . . He DID overcome the enemy there in Gethsemane. The victory of Calvary was won in Gethsemane.
Now notice that Jesus goes right back and repeats the first prayer.
Mark 14:39 And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words. (KJV)
And again he went away . . . to the same place, the same distance from them, as before.
And prayed and spake the same words . . . Christ prayed the same way as He did before, although not in the exact same precise words, as is clear from Matthew 26:39 & 42.
Mark 14:40 And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him. (KJV)
And when he returned, he found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy . . . they were roused and awakened to some measure, by what He had said to them; but as soon as He was gone, they fell asleep again, and when He came back to them, they were fast asleep, through fatigue and sorrow.
Neither wist they what to answer him . . . they were so sleepy, they did not how to answer Him after He had rebuked and then encouraged them the first time, because of confusion and shame, they did not know how to excuse themselves.
Mark 14:41 And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. (KJV)
And he cometh the third time . . . after He had prayed a third time, for the same purpose as before,
And saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners . . . they were overcome with sleep, that He could not even talk to them. Just as the Apostle Paul did, when under temptation, Jesus prayed three times that it might depart from Him (2 Cor.12:8). The severity of the struggle is seen in the fact that although at the close of His first prayer He was able to say, "Not as will, but as thou wilt," He returned to repeat the same prayer a second and yet a third time. Possibly His struggle may have been to some degree extended by the indifference of His apostles, whom He found asleep each time that He returned to them.
Sleep on now, and take your rest . . . some think that this should be translated as a question, rather than a command. "Do you sleep now, and take your rest? Is this a time, amidst so much danger, and so many enemies, to give yourselves to sleep?" This could be backed up by Luke 22:46: where the expression, "Why sleep ye?" clearly refers to the same point of time. Others think that His agony in Gethsemane being over, and the necessity of watching with Him is now passed, He kindly permitted them to seek rest until they would be aroused by the coming of the traitor. Sleep on now and take your rest . . . clearly there is an interval of time between this and the next verse. He did not tell them to go to sleep and in the next breath tell them to get up. There was time for their nap, and they needed this rest. Notice how the Lord pays attention to the needs of their bodies. After they had slept awhile, He said . . .
Mark 14:42 Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand. (KJV)
Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand . . . NOT to run away from the enemy, but instead to meet him. I think this was said, partly to awaken His sleepy apostles, and partly to show His never-ending love to His Father, and His total submission to His will. I think it also states the strength of His mind as a Man, because He now had no fears, and was free from the agony and dreadful anxiety of things, that He was just a little while ago possessed of. He was willing to be captured, and willing to suffer and willing to die, in the place of His people. What awesome love the Lord Jesus has for His people! He is at hand that doth betray me . . . this reveals His omniscience. He not only knew, as He did from the beginning WHO would betray Him; but He also He knew WHEN he would do it. He also knew exactly where the betrayer was, that he was about upon Him, to deliver Him into the hands of sinful men. (Mat.26:46).
Betrayed by a Kiss!
Jesus placed under arrest (Mark 14:43-52)
(Mat.26:47-56; Lk.22:47-53; Jn.18:2-14)
Mark 14:43 And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. (KJV)
And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve . . . while Jesus was still speaking to His apostles, before the last words, he is at hand that doth betray me, were out of His mouth. Such was the precise knowledge that Christ had of every movement of Judas, of what he was doing and where he was. He is described by his name Judas Iscariot (verse 10), for there was another Judas among the apostles. Some versions read, Judas the betrayer, to distinguish him from the other: and also by his office, "one of the twelve" apostles. One of His own betrays Him! Judas was an apostle, and yet a devil! One of the twelve, one of His select company, and close friends, and yet a traitor!
And with him a great multitude, with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders the people . . . Judas was at the head of them, going before them to show them where Christ was, and to deliver Him into their hands. Judas had not been asleep, he had been with the chief priests, and made them aware of the opportunity he had of making good his agreement. Judas had gotten the band of soldiers, and other persons together, in order to make sure it would work.
In this we see how hardworking wicked men are to accomplish their evil plans. Judas is here described by his company; he who just a few hours ago was at table with the Lord Jesus and the rest of the apostles. Now he is at the head of band of Roman soldiers, and other troublemakers, and blood thirsty scoundrels, intent upon the death of his Master. They may well be called a "multitude", because they were made up of various kinds of persons, and many of them were of Roman soldiers, the officers and servants of the chief priests; even the chief priests themselves, captains of the Temple, and elders of the people, who were so eager to capture Jesus, that they could not stop from joining the company. And a great one it was. It has been said that there may have been about a thousand men. All this mob to take a single, innocent Person, and who had none around Him except His eleven apostles, although the Jews falsely claimed that Jesus had 2000 men with Him: and who came at them with swords and staves, or clubs.
The Roman soldiers did have with swords, and the servants of the chief priests did have clubs. Was there a reason for this? Yes! They feared the people, who, should they be alarmed, and have any clue of their plan, might rise and make an uproar, and attempt to rescue Him.
Mark 14:44 And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely. (KJV)
And he that betrayed him had given them a token . . . Judas gave them a sign. He told them how they might know Whom to apprehend.
Saying, whomsoever I shall kiss, the same is he, take him, and lead him away safely . . .
Jesus of Nazareth; who was to be delivered to them,
with care and caution, lest He should get out of their hands, and make His escape, as He had sometimes done. (Mat.26:48).
Saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast . . . John 18:4-8 tells us, that Jesus, knowing all things that should come upon Him, when they approached Him, asked them whom they sought? and that they replied, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus informed them that He was the Person they sought. They, when they heard it, intimidated by His Presence, and smitten with the consciousness of guilt, went backward, and fell to the ground (Jn.18:6). He again asked them whom they sought. They made the same declaration . . . Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus then, since they professed to seek only Him, Jesus claimed the right that His apostles should be allowed to go . . . "that the saying might be fulfilled which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none," (Jn.18:9). John 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. (KJV)
Mark 14:45 And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him. (KJV)
And as soon as he was come . . . as soon Judas appeared, before the rest came, for Judas went before them, as Luke says, and as their guide, directed them to the Person they wanted, to the place where Jesus was:
He goeth straightway to him; and saith, Master, Master; and kissed him . . . just as Joab asked Amasa of his health, and took him by the beard to kiss him, and smote him under the fifth rib (2 Sam.20:9). The salutation he gave him was wishing him all health, prosperity, and happiness.
The word "Master" is repeated, this being usual in the salutation, and was used by Judas under a presence of doing Him the greater honor, and of showing the highest respect, and strongest affection for Him. This deceitful scoundrel still addresses Jesus as his Master, even though he was now serving Jesus’ most hardhearted enemies; and wishes Him all peace and joy, when he was going to deliver him into the hands of those that sought to kill Him; and on top of all this, kissed Him, as a token of his friendship and the sincerity of it. It was usual for masters to kiss their disciples, mainly on their heads; but NOT for disciples to kiss their Masters . . . but I do not think that Judas did this out of open contempt and ridicule; but instead out of a pretense of respect and love.
Mark 14:46 And they laid their hands on him, and took him. (KJV)
And they laid hands on him, and took him . . . the multitude, the Roman soldiers and the captains and officers of the Jews, when Judas had given the sign . . . BUT . . . not until Jesus had given them an example of His power, in striking them to the ground (Jn.18:6); to let them know, that Judas could never have put Him into their hands, nor could they have laid hold on Him, had He not wanted to surrender Himself to them.
Mark 14:47 And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. (KJV)
And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear . . . neither Matthew, Mark or Luke name the person. Only John does. John 18:10 Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus. (KJV) . . . it seems Peter had a sword by his side . . . why, is not told to us. But here it says that Peter drew his sword and cut off the ear of a servant of the high priest. (Jn.18:10; Lk.22:49-51; Mt.26:51)
Mark 14:48 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me? (KJV)
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out as against a thief, with swords and with staves, to take me? . . . to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and elders, as Luke says (Lk.22:52). After Jesus had rebuked Peter for his impulsive action, He turned and spoke to these men. They had come against harmless Jesus as if He were a thief, a robber, in such a way as they would have to take a criminal of desperate character, armed to defend his life. This only adds to the deepness of His humiliation, that He consented to be taken in this way, and to be treated as if He were the worst of mankind.
Matthew 26:53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? (KJV) . . . Jesus says Peter would not only endanger himself, but his resistance implied a distrust of the protection of God, and was an improper resistance of his will. If it had been proper that they should be rescued, God could easily have furnished far more efficient aid than that of Peter's one sword. God could have sent a mighty host of angels, twelve legions of angels. A legion was a main division of the Roman army amounting to from 3,000 to 6,000 men. Angels: (2 Ki.6:17; Dan.7:10; Mat.4:11).
Mark 14:49 I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled. (KJV)
I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled . . . His business on Earth was not thieving and stealing, but teaching the health-giving doctrine, which He, as Man, had received from His Father, and as the great prophet in Israel taught. He taught it with such power and authority, not as the Scribes and Pharisees did. The place where He taught, was the Temple; not a corner or a private place, but a place of public worship, and the time when He taught there, was the day. This multitude had NO need to take such extraordinary methods to capture Him, and to use one of His apostles to betray Him. To come in the middle of the night to take Him, and with such great numbers, and with swords and staves, when He was in the Temple every single day with them, was ridiculous.
But the Scriptures must be fulfilled . . . the Scriptures which foretold of Christ Jesus' dying for the world. That must be accomplished; and the time had come when, having finished the work which the Father given Him to do, He would humbly submit to a cruel death. This was no doubt said to comfort His apostles; to show them that His death was not a matter of surprise or disappointment to Him; and that they, therefore, should not be offended and forsake Him. (Lk.24:26,46)
IF Christ Jesus would make a request to His Father for angels to wipe out that multitude, and He should grant it, and a host of angels should be sent to rescue Him, HOW could the Scriptures, which speak of Christ's being taken, and led as a lamb to the slaughter, and of His various sufferings, and the conditions of them, have their fulfillment?
There are several parts of the sufferings of the Messiah that are foretold in the writings of the Old Testament. The spirit of Christ, in the prophets, testified of the following:
#1. He would be reproached and despised of men (Ps.22:6-8; Isa.53:3).
#2, He would be spit upon, smote, and buffeted (Isa.1:5-6; Mic.5:1).
#3. He would be put to death (Ps.22:15; Isa.53:12).
#4. That the death was on the cross (Ps.22:15-16; Zec.12:10).
#5. He would be buried (Isa.53:9).
#6. The selling of Him for thirty pieces of silver (Zec.11:12-13).
#7. His betrayal by one of His familiar friends (Ps.41:9).
#8. Seizing and apprehending Him, and which is mainly referred to here (Isa,53:7-8).
#9. His disciples forsaking Him (Zec.13:7).
#10. Even God, His Father forsaking Him (Ps.22:1).
#11. His suffering between two thieves (Isa.53:12)
#12. The parting of His garments, and casting lots on His vesture (Ps.22:18).
#13. Giving Him gall and vinegar when He was on the cross (Ps.69:21).
#14. None of His bones broken (Ps.34:20).
#15. His Resurrection (Ps.16:10).
For many more Old Testament prophecies and their fulfillment, see: http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_messianic_prophecies.htm
Mark 14:50 And they all forsook him, and fled. (KJV)
And they all forsook him and fled . . . fulfillment of: Zechariah 13:7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. (KJV)
Mark 14:51 And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him: (KJV)
And there followed him a certain young man . . . who this was, we have no way of knowing. That he was NOT one of the apostles is clear. He was most likely from one of the neighboring villages and was roused from sleep by the noise made by the mob, and came to see what was going on. Also, it is not known why this circumstance is recorded by Mark, for it is omitted by all the other Gospel writers. It may have been recorded to show that the plotters had instructions to take the apostles as well as Jesus; and supposing this young man to be one of them, they laid hold of him to take him to the high priest.
Having a linen cloth cast about his naked body . . . possibly either his shirt in which he slept, or one of the sheets, which he took and wrapped around himself. Among the many guesses which have advanced, one of the most reasonable is that that he could have been Mark himself.
And the young men laid hold on him . . . the Roman soldiers, who were commonly so called: so David's soldiers are called "young men", that were with him, (1 Sam.21:4-5), these attempted to lay hold on this young man, thinking him to be a disciple of Christ, and took hold of his linen cloth. Since the guards laid hold on none of the other apostles, it is probable that his loose dress, only "a linen cloth cast about his naked body," attracted their attention, and that they grabbed him, if only for mischief. When he slipped out of the cloth and ran away naked, it was sport for them.
Mark 14:52 And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked. (KJV)
And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked . . . in their hands, just as Joseph left his garment in the hands of his master’s wife (Gen.39:12).
Mark's account of the incident of Jesus’ betrayal is not as full as Matthew's, but he adds this one circumstance not mentioned by Matthew.
Jesus put on trial before the Sanhedrin (Mark 14:53-65)
(Mat.26:53-65; Lk.22:66-71; Jn.18:19-24)
Mark 14:53 And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes. (KJV)
And they led Jesus away to the high priest . . . Matthew says: led him away to Caiaphas, the high priest . . . the ones in the multitude who had seized Him; the captain, and the officers of the Jews (Jn.18:12).
Where the Scribes and elders were assembled . . . a council was held about a week before this, in which Caiaphas helped, and then gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient, that one man should die for the people (Jn.11:47,49-50). It is not known if this was held at his house, or elsewhere, but it is very probably it might have been (Mat.26:2-3), for it is clear from that two days ago, the chief priests, Scribes, and elders, were assembled together in his palace, to consult about putting Jesus to death; and here they were again together, waiting to have Him brought before them.
This was done, after they had taken Jesus and bound Him, and after they had had Him to Annas, who sent him bound to Caiaphas. (Jn.8:12-13,24).
And with him, were assembled all the chief priests, and the elders, and the Scribes . . . with the high priest Caiaphas, was the whole Sanhedrim, who met at Caiaphas's house, and were waiting there for Jesus.
Mark 14:54 And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire. (KJV)
And Peter followed him afar off . . . and John says: so did another disciple (Jn.18:15). These two must have recovered somewhat from their fright, turned back, and followed Jesus and the company that led Him away. They kept some distance back, that they might not be seen, and exposed to danger; and proceeded until they came to Jerusalem, and to the place where the Sanhedrim was convened. The other disciple went into the castle, but Peter stood at the door. Peter followed afar off. Dear one, there is great danger for anyone who follows Jesus afar off. John 18:15-16 tells us that another disciple had also followed Jesus and went in with Him. Peter also gained entrance to the courtyard. He waited there to "see the end" and it would be very soon that he would deny the Lord.
Even into the palace of the high priest . . . Peter was let in by her that kept the door, at the motion of the other disciple.
And he sat with the servants . . . as if he were one of them, and had no concern with Jesus.
And warmed himself at the fire . . . Peter warmed himself: (Mk.14:54,67; Jn.18:18,25).
Mark 14:55 And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none. (KJV)
And the chief priests, and all the council . . . especially the chief priests.
Sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death . . . the Sanhedrim cannot be thought to have done this in person, they sent their officers to look for such men, as could or would say anything against Him, and no doubt promised them a handsome reward. The Sanhedrim was the high council, the most powerful religious and political body of the Jewish people. Although the Romans controlled Israel's government, they gave the people power to handle religious disputes and some civil disputes, so the Sanhedrim made many of the local decisions affecting daily life. But a death sentence had to be approved by the Romans.
And found none . . . that would answer their purpose. (Mat.26:59).
Mark 14:56 For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together. (KJV)
For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together . . . many bore witness against Him, accused Him, and laid many things to His charge, but all disagreed. They found none that were right for their purpose, whose testimonies were sufficient to put Jesus to death, which was what they were determined to do, for according to their law, a man must not die by the mouth of one witness only, but by the mouth of two or three witnesses agreed in a point.
At the last came two false witnesses . . . who agreed in a point, and whose testimonies were similar; or at least had a better form of truth and agreement than the rest.
Mark 14:57 And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying, (KJV)
And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying . . . false witnesses, (Mat.26:60), who stood up in court; where witnesses must stand, while they gave their testimony (Deut.19:17).
Mark 14:58 We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands. (KJV)
We heard him say . . . in a sermon of His (Jn.2:19).
I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands . . . Matthew says: And said, this fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days . . . Probably both forms of this was given in the testimony in the trial. Matthew recorded it as it was given at one time, and Mark at another; so that there is no contradiction. Mark adds, "But neither so did their witness agree together." That which they attempted to accuse Him of, is what He had said regarding His body, and their destroying it (Jn.2:19), "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." They perverted it, trying to show that He meant the Temple at Jerusalem. They did not state it as it was, they did not state correctly its meaning: neither did they agree about the words used. This was a very false testimony. Christ Jesus did NOT say He would destroy any physical Temple at all. (Mat.26:51).
Mark 14:59 But neither so did their witness agree together. (KJV)
But, neither so did their witness agree together . . . their witness did agree together, for they both witnessed the same thing; but NOT anything as to base upon it the charge of a capital crime against Him.
Mark 14:60 And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? (KJV)
And the high priest stood up in the midst . . . of the Sanhedrim, rose from his seat in great wrath, partly being angry that they could get no better testimony; and partly because of Jesus’ complete silence, offering no answer to the witnesses, as judging they deserved none; and which highly provoked the high priest, and therefore in passion said,
What is it which these witness against thee?. . . is it true or false, right or wrong?
Mark 14:61 But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? (KJV)
But he held his peace, and answered nothing . . . knowing that whatever He would say, would not fix His problem, because they were dead set upon His death, and the time was now come. Therefore He quietly submits, and says nothing in His own defense to prevent it.
Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? . . . although Jesus had said nothing . . . saying nothing was a way of speaking, frequently used by the Jews. Matthew say: I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God . . . (Mat.26:63), the high priest demanded that Jesus tell him if He was the anointed, that David speaks of in the second Psalm, and who is there said to be the Son of God (Ps.2:2,7), to which the high priest seems to respect; since there is no other Passage, in which both these characters meet; and which was understood by the ancient Jews to be the Messiah, and is also owned by modern ones. Jesus was the Messiah, and His disciples believed Him to be the Son of God, and He had declared Himself to be so. Therefore the high priest, exercising his priestly power and authority, puts Him upon His oath; or at least with an oath made by the living God, charges Him to tell the truth.
Mark 14:62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. (KJV)
And Jesus said, I am . . . Matthew says: Thou hast said . . . or you said it right. Jesus was the Christ, the anointed of God, Who was from everlasting Isa.63:16). He declared Himself to be the Messiah, the Son of God, yet He knew they would not believe. Jesus could have refused to witness against Himself, but He declined to take advantage of that privilege, and answered the question in the affirmative, in the Jewish way, "Thou hast said;" that is, thou hast said what I am.
And ye shall see the son of man sitting on the right hand of power . . . . the power of God (Lk.22:69). Nevertheless could be furthermore, for what follows is meant to explain and confirm what He had said. Sitting on the right hand of power . . . right Hand of God, called here the Power; equal to the Mighty, or the Almighty. It means dignity and majesty; for to sit at the right hand of a worldly prince was the chief place of honor. of God, who is all power, and the Lord God Almighty.
And coming in the clouds of heaven . . . meaning, you shall see the sign from heaven which you have so often demanded; even the Messiah returning Himself as the sign, with great glory, to destroy your city, and to judge the world (Dan.7:13; Jn.1:51; 1 Thes.4:16; Rev.1:7; 10:1; 14:14-16; 20:11). Christ's Coming will take vengeance on the Jewish nation. It is often called the coming of the Son of Man, and is described in this manner (Mat.24:27,30). Although this may also be understood of Christ's Second Coming to judgment at the last day; as when He went up to Heaven in a cloud, He will return, and come also in the clouds of Heaven (Acts 1:9,11; Rev.1:7). He will then be seen by the eyes of all, good and bad; and this Sanhedrim, before whom He now was, will see Him also, and confess that He is Lord and Christ, and the Son of God. There shall also be a time when Jesus shall come in the clouds, to take out His people, the church, at the Rapture (1 Thes.4:13-18).
Mark 14:63 Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses? (KJV)
Then the high priest rent his clothes . . . this is what they did when hearing blasphemy; which he now supposed this to be, or at least thought it so.
And saith, what need we any further witnesses? . . . why trouble ourselves to see any more witnesses?
The Jews were accustomed to tear their clothes, as a token of grief. This was done very often just as a matter of form, and consisted only in tearing a particular part of the garment reserved for this purpose. What hypocrisy! A double standard to say the least! In reality, it was not lawful for the high priest to rend his clothes (Lev.10:6; 21:10). But that was most likely intended for the robes of his priestly office. The garment which this priest tore was probably his ordinary garment, or the garment that which he wore as president of the Sanhedrim, not those in which he wore as high priest in the things of religion. This was done on this occasion to reveal the great grief of the high priest, that so great a sin as blasphemy had been committed in his presence.
The high priest was furious, saying that Jesus has, under oath, claimed to Himself what belongs only to God. Not only did Jesus declare that He was the Messiah, but also the Son of God; thus making Himself equal with God. Since He appeared to them to be just a mere man, they charged it as blasphemy against God, to assume such a character and relation to Himself. In claiming to be the Messiah; in asserting that He was the Son of God, and therefore equal in dignity with the Father; and that He would yet sit at God’s right Hand . . . He claimed what belongs to NO mortal man, and what is therefore a tremendous invasion of the Divine privilege. IF He had not been the Messiah, the charge of blasphemy would have been true. But the question was, did He not give evidence that He WAS the Messiah? Therefore, His claims were just. This was the only proper point of inquiry, which they never examined. They simply presumed that He was an impostor; and that every pretense to being the Messiah was, in their eyes, proof that He deserved to die.
Mark 14:64 Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death. (KJV)
Ye have heard the blasphemy . . . the "manifest" blasphemy, as some versions render it; “out of his own mouth" another version states, agreeing with Luke 22:71.
What think ye . . . what sentence is to be passed upon him?
And they all condemned him to be guilty of death . . . excepting Joseph of Arimathea, (Lk.23:51. See: (Mat.26:66).
What think ye? . . . of the words just now spoken by Him? Do we have a charge of blasphemy? and what punishment do you think ought to be inflicted on him? is He guilty of death, or not? This he asks, as being president of the court.
They answered and said, he is guilty of death . . . they were unanimous in their vote, only Joseph of Arimathea must be excluded, who consented not to their counsel and deed (Lk.23:51), and so must Nicodemus, if he was present; who seeing what they were determined to do, withdrew themselves before the question was asked, and so it passed unanimously. And IF Jesus had been guilty of blasphemy, as they charged Him, the sentence would have been right. He is guilty of death . . . this was the form used when a criminal was condemned to die. Jesus is found guilty of a crime to which the law demands death. This sentence was used before the Jews became subject to the Romans, when they had the power of inflicting death. After they were subject to the Romans, although the power of inflicting capital punishment was taken away, they still kept this form, when they expressed their opinion of the guilt of an offender. The law under which they condemned Him was that recorded in Lev.24:16, which sentenced him that was guilty of blasphemy to death by stoning. But, the chief priests, did not want to excite a popular tumult by stoning Him, so they decided to deliver Him to the Romans to be crucified, under the authority of the Roman name, and thus to prevent any excitement among the people.
Mark 14:65 And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands. (KJV)
And some began to spit on him . . . not the judges, not the members of the Sanhedrim, but the servants of the high priest, and the officers that had hold of Jesus, and were guarding Him (Lk.22:63). When they saw that He had been condemned as guilty of death, they thought they would insult Him for their pleasure. They used Him in the most indecent and cruel way; in a way of contempt and disrespect, spitting in His Face. Nothing was more contemptuous and disgraceful to the Jews, but here was yet another prophecy fulfilled (Isa.50:6), "I hid not my face from shame and spitting" . . . and together with His sweat and Blood from the flogging, His visage (appearance) was more marred than any man's, and his form than the sons of men (Isa.52:14; Ps.22:17).
And to cover his face . . .with a veil, or linen cloth, to blindfold: him, as a person unworthy to behold the light: or rather, in order to make big dirty game out of this.
And to buffet him . . . beat, pounded, struck Him with their double fists.
And to say unto him, Prophesy . . . who it is that has hit you? Who was it that gave the last blow?
And the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands . . . slapped Him on His Face with their open hands, or with rods. They struck Him with the rods and sticks that they had in their hands, and struck Him on the Head with the rods or staves they had with them. All of this was more to prophecy (Mic.5:1; Job 16:10; Lam.3:30). "They shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek". So many appalling indignities were done to Christ Jesus, that belong to us!
Peter Denies Jesus (Mark 14:66-72)
(Mat.26:69-75; Lk.22:55-61; Jn.18:25-27)
I have always had a soft spot for Peter. I can feel his pain when I read about his denial of Jesus. It makes me wonder what I would have done.
Peter had followed Christ afar off (Mat.26:58), to see what the end would be; and now he was in the large hall, where the council sat, and were examining and trying Jesus; although, as Mark says, "beneath in the palace" (Mk.14:66), in the great hall. In the middle the hall, the servants had made a fire. Peter had placed himself there, as he sat watching what would happen.
Mark 14:66 And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest: (KJV)
And as Peter was beneath in the palace . . . in the lower part of it; the part where Jesus and the Sanhedrim were, being upon an higher ground, with steps ascending to it. I think that the story which follows, Peter's denial of his Lord, is strongly connected to the sufferings of Christ Jesus. I feel sure that all the persecution, harassment and ill-usage Jesus met with from His enemies: their spitting in His Face, buffeting Him with their fists, smiting Him on the cheeks with their hands and rods, did NOT give Him as much pain and grief, as to be denied by His own beloved apostle. We were told:
There cometh one of the maids of the high priest . . . Matthew 26:58 says: And a damsel came unto him . . . one of the maids of the high priest, and according to the John, she was the one who kept the door, and had let him in (Jn.18:16-17).
Mark 14:67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. (KJV)
And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him . . . knowing him to be the same person she had let in at the motion of one, that was known in the high priest's family; and suspecting him, by being a stranger, and by his looks.
And said, and thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth . . . Matthew says: thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. She called Him this, not to distinguish Him from any other of that name, but as criticizing, suggesting that He could not possibly be the Messiah, or that Prophet; since Jesus comes not out of Galilee, nor does any prophet arise from there. When she charges Peter with being "with" Him (Jesus), her meaning is NOT that he was with Him in the garden, when He was taken; where it cannot be thought she was to see him; nor with Him in the temple, or in any part of Jerusalem, where she possibly might have seen Him; but that Peter was an apostle of Jesus, one that believed in Jesus, embraced Him as the Messiah, had absorbed His values and doctrines, and was of His party. (Mat.26:69).
Mark 14:68 But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew. (KJV)
But he denied . . . that he was with Jesus, nor was he a disciple of His.
Saying, I know not; Jesus of Nazareth: neither understand I what thou sayest . . . about Him, and of being with Him. "Neither understand I", is omitted in some versions.
And he went out into the porch . . . adjoining the palace, to consider what to do, being surprised and confounded at what had happened.
And the cock crew . . . the first time, being about midnight, but he take notice of it, but he did not yet remember what Christ had just a few hours before had told him.
Mark 14:69 And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them. (KJV)
And a maid saw him again . . . the same maid as before, or possibly another, as in (Mat.26:71). And began to say to them that stood by . . . the fire, along with Peter, warming themselves.
This is one of them . . . this man is one of the disciples and followers of Jesus of Nazareth.
Mark 14:70 And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto. (KJV)
And he denied it again . . . that he was one of the disciples of Jesus.
And a little after . . . about an hour after (Lk.22:59).
They that stood by, said again to Peter, surely thou art one of them . . . one of the servants positively confirmed that Peter was with Jesus, and another said that he had seen him in the garden with Jesus (Lk22:59; Jn.18:26), and overall they were of the opinion, that he must be one of that sect, giving this as a reason,
For thou art a Galilean . . . as they supposed Jesus was; knowing that it was in Galilee He had mainly preached, and done His miracles, and had there a large number of followers.
And thy speech agreeth thereto . . . Peter used words and phrases characteristic to the Galileans, and pronounced as they did. (Mat.26:73). This clause is omitted in some versions.
Mark 14:71 But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak. (KJV)
But he began to curse and to swear . . . Peter was now very irritated. He could no longer resist the evidence that he was known. It had been repeatedly charged on him. His language had betrayed him, and there was a positive witness who had seen him. I do not think that Peter could ever call Jesus accursed (1 Cor.12:3; Gal.1:8-9), but he cursed himself; "he began to imprecate (curse) himself", as some versions render it, to wish the most dreadful things upon himself, and to swear by the living God.
Saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak . . . he now added to the sin of denying his Lord, the worsening of profane cursing and swearing; affirming what he knew was false, for he most certainly DID know the Man, Jesus. As he was swearing and cursing in this vile manner; as soon as the words were out of his mouth, and after he had three times denied that he knew Christ, or was ever with Him, or was a disciple of his . . .
Mark 14:72 And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept. (KJV)
And the second time the cock crew . . . Matthew says: and immediately the cock crew . . . the second crowing, or not far from three in the morning. Immediately, just as soon as he had so said and swore.
And Peter called to mind . . . as soon as he heard the cock crow a second time, he remembered,
The word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice . . .
as Peter now had done twice, to the maid or maids, and a third time to the servants that stood by the fire along with him. Peter’s denial: (Mat.26:69-75; Mk.14:30,66-72;Lk.22:54-62;Jn.18:17,25-27;1 Cor.10:12).
And when he thought thereon . . . on the words of Christ, and on his sin in denying Him, and on the aggravated circumstances of it, and Peter, through shame, and as a token of sorrow and mourning for his sin,
And he wept . . . as Matthew says, "bitterly" being fully convicted of his sin, and emphatically sorry for it. (Mat.26:75).
Peter just did NOT know how weak he was. Simon Peter loved Jesus, and he was sincere when he promised to be loyal to Him. But he did not know himself. He had not yet come to the place where he saw that there was no good in the flesh at all (Rom.7:18).
BUT, Peter could repent of his sin (1 Jn.1:8-9), and THAT is the real test of a genuine believer. His tears were real! His tears were of heartbroken repentance. Years later in his epistle he wrote, "Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Pet.1:5). Peter knew that the Lord Jesus had kept him!
Mark closes this chapter with Jesus in the hands of His enemies. His own are scattered. One has betrayed Him; another has denied Him. It is a dark night of sin!
Simon Peter was in the place of temptation. No alibi or excuse can be offered for his sordid denial. He was guilty of a heinous act. But, Peter DID repent and he DID come back into fellowship with the Lord whom he loved. In fact, Peter was the one to whom the Lord gave the privilege of preaching the first sermon after the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and three thousand people were saved!
We should consider some things in Peter's fall:
#1. The danger of self-confidence. "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall" (1 Cor.10:12). TRUE Christian confidence relies totally on God for strength, and feels secure only when we know that He is well able and very willing to keep us from temptation.
#2. The highest favors, the most exalted privileges, do NOT keep us from the ever present danger of falling into sin. Few men were ever favored as highly as Peter; and none ever so horribly departed from the Saviour.
#3. When someone begins to sin, the fall from one action to another is far too easy, and almost certain. At first Peter's sin was only simple denial; but it increased and worsened to a more violent declaration, and ending with open profaneness. BEWARE!!! That slippery, broad, downward road of sin is SO easy. When you give in to just one tiny sin, the way is open for a full flood to come upon you. The progress is NOT easily stopped, and soon the soul is overwhelmed in dreadful and frightening guilt. BEWARE!
#4. TRUE repentance is ALWAYS deep, heart-felt and bitter. Peter wept bitterly. It was sincere sorrow . . . sorrow equal to the nature of the offence he had committed.
#5. One quick glance from Jesus . . . a look mingled with affection, pity and reprimand . . . produced bitter sorrow for Peter’s sin. It is our precious Jesus we injure by our sin, and it is his tender look, when we err, that pierces the soul through with many sorrows (1 Tim. 6:10), opens fountains of tears (Jer.9:1), and leads us to weep with bitterness over our transgressions (Eze.27:31).
#6. Any time that we fall into temptation, we should back off from the world, seek a place of seclusion, and pour out our sorrowful heart before God. He will hear us, and He will pity His children; and He will receive them, just as He did desperate and weeping Peter, back to His arms again.
#7. TRUE Christians may at times go far astray, but they shall NEVER be cast away! Sometimes God has to show them their weakness and make them check their self-confidence, to produce total dependence on Christ Jesus. We need to be shown just how weak, feeble and rash we really are. Peter was a TRUE believer. Jesus had prayed for him that his faith would fail not (Lk.22:32). Any time that Jesus prayed, He was always heard (Jn.11:41-42). Peter's faith did not fail; his belief in Jesus, his real piety, his true attachment to Jesus did NOT fail! He knew, all during the entire transaction, that Jesus WAS the Messiah, and that Peter himself was well acquainted with Him. But he felt forced to declare that which he knew was not true because of his fear of mankind. Once a person is truly saved, they are ALWAYS saved.
Although a Christian may be tempted to go astray, and may fall into sin, we should remember Peter. When we sin, in any way, grab hold of yourself . . . realize you need to get back on track! Do not let indecision hold you back! Decide as soon as possible to get back into the grace of God. He that decides to sin, with the hope of repenting in the hereafter, CANNOT be a Christian . . . and is NOT a Christian. BEWARE!
Forgetfulness of God, of His works, of His words, and of His law, of His revealed mind and will, is often the cause of sin; and REMEMBERING is absolutely necessary for the recovery of a fallen or backsliding sinner . . . for he is fallen from the love, grace, kindness and mercy of God, which was formerly shown to him. He must also remember his evil ways and works he is fallen into, and of the Words and Truths of Christ that he has been very uncaring about and lukewarm to (Rev.3:16).
WE MUST NOT DENY HIM
In the early morn’, as the rooster crows,
I think of Peter, and his sorrow.
He was so sure, he’d not turn away,
But he denied Christ, fore’ the break of day.
“I know Him not” were words Peter said,
These four little words, caused him dread.
Not once, not twice, but three times he’d deny,
Our precious Lord, whom they would crucify.
“If I have to, I will die with You,”
Peter’s heartfelt words, he thought were true.
But those very words, he spoke that night,
Early the next morn’ would cause him fright.
When the cock crow’d, Peter was mortified,
What had he done? Christ he’d denied!
Great tears welled up, as he sobbed in grief,
It would be a while, ‘fore he found relief!
Peter did sob, uncontrollably,
His heart and soul, were in agony.
He was so sorry, for what he’d done,
He denied Christ Jesus, God’s own Son!
There are many ways, we too can deny,
Our precious Saviour, who was crucified.
Are you afraid, of what friends might say?
If you stood for Jesus, this very day?
We can’t deny Christ’s death, and be forgiv’n,
We can’t deny He’s alive, and access Heav’n.
We can’t deny, He’s God and He’s Man,
We can’t deny, God’s one and only Plan.
We need to stand close, to Jesus’ side,
This awesome Christ, who was crucified.
We need to follow Him, ev’ry day,
For He loves us and guides, in all right ways.
By: His servant, Connie Kramer Dec.23, 2002 # 931
Mat. 26:31-35, 69-75; Zec.13:7; John 3:15-18, 36; 14:6; 1 John 5:10-12
Gospel of Mark
ch.1 . . ch.2 . . ch.3 . . ch.4 . . ch.5 . . ch.6 . . ch.7 . . ch.8 . . ch.9. . ch.10 . . ch.11 . . ch.12 . . ch.13 . . ch.14 . . ch.15 . . ch.16