Mark Chapter 14 Second Continued
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.”
“The word “Gethsemane” means oil press. We already know that olive oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. We know this garden then, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and the garden filled with olive trees on a slope is referring to the Mt. of Olives.
Jesus frequented this spot with the disciples when He wanted to get away from the crowds to pray (John 18:1-2; see note on Matt. 26:34).
We see here, the need for everyone to pray. If the Lord of the whole world needs to pray, you can see how important it is for us to pray.
Mark 14:33 “And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;”
“Peter and James and John” (see note on 5:37). Jesus likely had them accompany Him into the garden because they were the leaders of the 12 and had to learn an important lesson to pass on to the others (verses 34-42).
“Amazed” and “heavy”: The sense is that Jesus is deeply distressed as He contemplates the coming hours. The weight of the prospect threatens to pull Him under. The Greek word refers to a feeling of terrified amazement. In the face of the dreadful prospect of bearing God’s full fury against sin, Jesus was in the grip of terror (see note on Matt. 26:38).
This heaviness was of His heart. Notice He took the three He always took with Him. The three He felt that He was the closest to. We know that God the Son dwelt in a body of flesh while He was here on this earth. This body would feel pain as any man.
Mark 14:34 “And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.”
“Sorrowful unto death”: Jesus’ sorrow was so severe that it threatened to cause His death at that moment. It is possible for a person to die from sheer anguish (Luke 22:44; see note on Matt. 26:38)
Jesus left the three disciples about half way between where He was to pray and where He had left the other eight disciples.
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.”
“If … possible”: Jesus was not asking God if He had the power to let the cup pass from Him, but if it were possible in God’s plan. Christ was to soon partake of this cup in the cross as God’s only sacrifice for sin (Acts 4:12).
“The hour”: The time of His sacrificial death as decreed by God. It included everything from the betrayal (verse 41), to Jesus’ trails, the mockery, and His crucifixion.
The flesh of Jesus was crying out. It was bad enough to be nailed to the cross and have all the pain associated with it, but the agony of dread was terrible. I really believe that Jesus praying for this to pass and then submitting to the will of God is a lesson for us.
Many times in the flesh the work that God has called us to do is not pleasing, but we must learn a lesson from Jesus here. We must learn to say with Jesus, “I may not like the work, but I will submit to your will, O Lord.” Our flesh many times is weak, but we must allow the spirit to rule over the flesh.
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.”
By the word “Abba,” Jesus addresses God with the household term for Father. This was unheard of in Palestinian Judaism at that time. It points to Jesus’ unique relationship to God. An endearing, intimate Aramaic term that is essentially equivalent to the English word “daddy” (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6).
This was the only place in the Bible where Jesus called the Father, “Abba”. There are two other mentions of the name, one (in Romans 8:15), and one (in Galatians 4:6). In Romans and Galatians, it is the Christian calling the Father, “Abba”. They call Him, “Abba”, because they have received the spirit of adoption.
All things are possible to God. If the cup were to pass, all of humanity would be lost. As I said in the previous paragraph, Jesus was teaching here that if He is to be our Lord, we must get to the point that we can say, “Not my will, but Thine be done.” In Jesus, the will of the flesh submitted to the will of the Spirit.
“Cup”: This was the cup of divine wrath referred to in the Old Testament (Psalm 75:8; Isaiah 51:17; Jer. 49:12). Christ was to endure the fury of God over sin, Satan, the power of death, and the guilt of iniquity (see notes on Matt. 26:39; Luke 22:42; John 18:11).
“Not what I will, but what thou wilt”: This reveals Jesus’ total resolution and resignation to do the will of God. He came into the world to do God’s will and that remained His commitment while here (see notes on Matt. 26:39; John 6:38-40).
Mark 14:37 “And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour?”
“Simon”: Jesus’ use of “Simon” may have implied that Peter was not living up to the significance and meaning of his new name, “Peter” (see note on Matt. 16:18).
“One hour”: This suggests that Jesus had spent an hour praying, a duration in which Peter had been unable to stay awake.
We see quickly here, that Peter’s bragging that he would stand by Jesus to the end would not even pass this very first test. These three disciples who loved Jesus so dearly had succumbed to the weariness of the flesh.
Mark 14:38 “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly [is] ready, but the flesh [is] weak.”
“Watch”: This Greek word means “to keep alert.” Jesus was encouraging Peter, James and John to discern when they were under spiritual attack. They were not to let their self-confidence lull them to sleep spiritually.
“The flesh is weak”: Because willing spirits are still attached to unredeemed flesh, believers are not always able to practice the righteousness they desire to do (Rom. 7:15-23; see note on Matt. 26:41).
These words spoken to the disciples were teaching how to avoid temptation. It is just as current now as it was then. Their temptation would be to deny that Jesus was Messiah, because of their fear of crucifixion. Our temptation is to follow the ways of the flesh and avoid being sacrificed, as well.
The flesh and the spirit have always fought for the soul of man. Jesus Christ the Lord was willing, but the flesh that He dwelled in was weak. The disciples’ flesh was weak. Our flesh is weak as well. The only way to overcome temptation then and now is to listen to the spirit, and not the flesh. We are told over and over by Jesus to take up our cross and follow Him.
Mark 14:39 “And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words.”
This also is a lesson for us. God will not be angry with us, if we pray three times for the same thing. The Lord will allow us a space of time to get our flesh under subjection to our spirit. In Jesus’ case, very shortly the flesh yielded to the will of the Father.
Mark 14:40 “And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him.”
We see here that Peter, James, and John did not desire not to wait, but were overcome by the sorrow of what they were hearing. They succumbed to the flesh and slept.
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.”
“Sleep on now, and take your rest”: The 3 disciples remained indifferent not only to the needs of Christ at that moment, but their need of strength and watchfulness for the impending temptation that all 11 would face. The disciples needed to learn that spiritual victory goes to those who are alert in prayer and depend on God, and the self-confidence and spiritual unpreparedness lead to spiritual disaster.
“Son of man” (see note on 2:10).
Perhaps here, there was an interval of time before Judas came, and Jesus told them to take their rest before he got there. At any rate, there was no more need to watch, because He was through praying.
I believe He called Himself here “Son of man” to show that His flesh was in the hands of the sinners to destroy His body. The time was at hand. Jesus called the people who did this to Him sinners whether they were Gentiles or Jews.
Mark 14:42 “Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand.”
Jesus would not hide from them. He went forth to meet them in fact. When He had decided to do this, He went forth to get it done then. Of course, the Spirit within Him had known from the beginning that this was the purpose of Him being on earth. This was no surprise to Jesus.
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.”
“Judas, one of the twelve” (see notes on 3:19; Matt. 26:47). All the gospel writers refer to him this way (verses 10, 20; Matt. 26:14, 47; Luke 22:47; John 6:71); and in so doing, they display remarkable restraint in describing and evaluating Judas.
Especially in this context, such a simple description heightens the evil of his crime more than any series of derogatory epithets or negative criticisms could do. It also points out the precise fulfillment of Jesus’ announcement (in verses 18-20).
“A great multitude with swords and staves”: This ‘crowd” was a carefully selected group whose sole purpose was arresting Jesus so He could be put to death. A cohort (600 men at full strength), of Roman soldiers (John 18:3, 12), was in this crowd because the Jewish leaders (Luke 22:52), who organized the throng needed permission from Rome to carry out the death penalty and feared the crowds
The “swords” were the regular small hand weapons of the Romans, and the wood “clubs” were ordinary weapons carried by the Jewish temple police. The arresting party would have included not only Roman soldiers, but a mixture of Jewish police and other Jewish authorities.
“Chief priests … scribes … elders”: Although 3 distinct sections of the Sanhedrin (as indicated by the Greek definite article with each), they were acting in unity. These Jewish leaders had evidently for some time (see note on 3:6; 11:18), hoped to accuse Jesus of rebellion against Rome. Then His execution could be blamed on the Romans and the leaders could escape potential reprisals from those Jews who admired Jesus.
The Sanhedrin likely had hurried to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, to ask immediate use of his soldiers. Or perhaps acted on a prearranged agreement for troop use on short notice. Whatever the case, the leaders procured the assistance of the Roman military from Fort Antonia in Jerusalem.
We see here, that the religious people of the day were Jesus’ worst enemies. They came out to get Jesus with weapons like He was a common criminal. My own opinion of these chief priests, scribes, and elders is that they were afraid of losing the members of the synagogue to Jesus.
Jesus had a message of hope, and people with needs in their lives had their needs met in Him. They had no power in their message at all. Their jealousy caused them to do this to Jesus.
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.”
“Kiss”: In addition to being a special act of respect and affection, this kind of kiss was a sign of homage in Middle East culture.
Out of the varieties of this kiss (on the feet, on the back of the hand, on the palm, on the hem of the garment), Judas chose the embrace and the kiss on the cheek. The one that showed the closest love and affection, normally reserved for one with whom a person had a close, intimate relationship (such as a pupil for his teacher).
Judas could not have chosen a more despicable way to identify Jesus, because he perverted its usual meaning so treacherously and hypocritically.
A kiss was the greeting believers used in those days. Many times before, Jesus had vanished in the midst of them. This time He would not, because He knew that it was time.
Mark 14:45 “And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him.”
“Master” (see note on 9:5).
“Kissed him”: “Kissed” is an intensified form of the verb for “kiss” (in verse 44), and it denotes a fervent, continuous expression of affection (Luke 7:38, 45; 15:20; Acts 20:37). It was with intensity that Judas pretended to love Christ. The act was likely prolonged enough so the crowd had time to identify Jesus.
Disciples commonly greeted their rabbi in this way.
An enemy could not get this close, but this one who claimed to be Jesus’ friend betrayed Him with a kiss. He was not truly Judas’ Master.
Mark 14:46 “And they laid their hands on him, and took him.”
The “they” here was the mob with Judas.
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.”
“One of them that stood by”: Simon Peter (John 18:10), one of the two disciples who brought a weapon (Luke 22:38). Mark and the other synoptic writers do not identify Peter explicitly, perhaps because they wrote earlier than John, during the time when Peter would still have been in danger of Jewish revenge.
“A servant of the high priest”: Malchus (John 18:10). He was neither a soldier nor temple policeman, but rather was a high-ranking personal slave of Caiaphas, the High-Priest, probably sent along to observe Judas and report on the events of the evening.
The swordsman was Peter (John 18:10).
Peter was ready to fight to the death for Jesus, if necessary. Malchus was the name of the servant, and we read in Luke that Jesus healed the ear. Just this miracle alone should have told them who He was. They were blinded and could not see the Truth.
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?”
“As against a thief”: Jesus expressed a righteous resentment toward the crowd’s actions and attitudes. “Thief” was normally a highwayman or armed bandit who would resist arrest. The setting which the crowd orchestrated was completely inconsistent with His well-known ministry as a religious teacher.
John goes into greater detail in (18:4). Jesus told them who He was and asked them to let the disciples go. Read all of it.
Mark 14:49 “I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled.”
“Temple” (see note on 11:11). This was the most public place in Jerusalem.
“The scriptures must be fulfilled”: Entirely apart from the crowd’s sinful intentions against Jesus, God was sovereignly using them to fulfill prophecy (Isa. 53:7-9, 12), and accomplish His gracious purposes (see note on Matt. 26:54).
Jesus constantly looks to the Old Testament Scripture for strength and direction as He undergoes His last hours.
Jesus was saying here, you have no power at all over me, just as you did not when I was in the temple. This I allowed to happen to fulfill the Scriptures.
Mark 14:50 “And they all forsook him, and fled.”
“And fled”: The disciples found no comfort in Jesus’ reference to Scripture but instead their faith in Him collapsed as they realized He would not resist arrest and that they also might be captured.
The “all” here, means the eleven disciples. They all ran from fear.
Mark Chapter 14 Second Continued Questions
1. In verse 32, where did Jesus go?
2. What does the word mean?
3. Which three disciples did Jesus take part of the way with Him when He went to pray?
4. What was sorrowful about Jesus when He told the three to wait and watch with Him?
5. What did Jesus do when He left the three disciples?
6. What did He ask the Father to let pass?
7. What lesson did Jesus want us to learn by Him praying, but still submitting to God’s will?
8. In verse 36, Jesus calls the Father what?
9. What other two places in the Bible was this name used by believers?
10. If the cup were passed over, what would have happened to all of humanity?
11. Who did Jesus scold for not being awake when He went to them?
12. Why did Jesus warn Peter, James, and John to watch and pray?
13. He said, “The spirit truly is ready but the _________ is weak”.
14. What was the temptation of the disciples?
15. What two things have always fought for the soul of man?
16. What is the only way to avoid temptation?
17. How many times did Jesus pray to the Father to let the cup pass?
18. When Jesus went back to check on Peter, James and John, how did He find them?
19. Who did Jesus say He was betrayed into the hands of?
20. Why does the author believe Jesus called Himself “Son of man” in verse 41?
21. Who were classified as sinners in verse 41?
22. Who came with Judas to arrest Jesus?
23. What caused these religious people to do this to Jesus?
24. What name did Judas call Jesus that he did not mean?
25. How did Judas greet Jesus?
26. What did Peter do to the servant of the high priest?
27. What was the servant’s name?
28. “I was in the temple teaching daily”, was what Jesus said to them, so why did Jesus allow them to take Him then?
29. Which of the disciples left Him?