Where the world comes to study the Bible

Mark 14


The Plot to Kill Jesus The Plot to Kill Jesus Jesus' Death The Plot Against Jesus The Conspiracy Against Jesus
14:1-2 14:1-2 14:1-2 14:1-2 14:1-2
The Anointing at Bethany The Anointing at Bethany   Jesus Is Anointed At Bethany The Anointing at Bethany
14:3-9 14:3-9 14:3-9 14:3-5 14:3-9
Judas' Agreement to Betray Jesus Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus   Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus Judas Betrays Jesus
14:10-11 14:10-11 14:10-11 14:10-11 14:10-11
The Passover with the Disciples Jesus Celebrates the Passover with His Disciples The Last Supper Jesus Eats the Passover Meal with His Disciples Preparations for the Passover Supper
14:12-21 14:12-21 14:12-16 14:12 14:12-16
      14:16 The Treachery of Judas Foretold
    14:17-21 14:17-18 14:17-21
The Institution of the Lord's Supper Jesus Institutes the Lord's Supper   The Lord's Supper The Institution of the Eucharist
14:22-26 14:22-26 14:22-25 14:22 14:22-25
    Gethsemane 14:23-25 Peter's Denial Foretold
    14:26-31 14:26 14:26-31
Peter's Denial Foretold Jesus Predicts Peter's Denial   Jesus Predicts Peter's Denial  
14:27-31 14:27-31   14:27-28  
The Prayer in Gethsemane The Prayer in Gethsemane   Jesus Prays in Gethsemane Gethsemane
14:32-42 14:32-42 14:32-42 14:32-34 14:32-42
The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus Betrayal and Arrest in Gethsemane   The Arrest of Jesus The Arrest
14:43-50 14:43-50 14:43-50 14:43-44 14:43-52
The Young Man Who Fled A Young Man Flees Naked   14:50  
14:51-52 14:51-52 14:51-52 14:51-52  
Jesus Before the Council Jesus Faces the Sanhedrin Jesus Before Caiaphas Jesus Before the Council Jesus Before the Sanhedrin
14:53-65 14:53-65 14:53-65 14:53-56 14:53-54
      14:65 14:65
Peter's Denial of Jesus Peter Denies Jesus, and Weeps   Peter Denies Jesus Peter's Denial
14:66-72 14:66-72 14:66-72 14:66-67 14:66-72

READING CYCLE THREE (from "A Guide to Good Bible Reading")


This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects. Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Third paragraph

4. Etc.



A. The plot to kill Jesus in Mark 14:1-2 is paralleled in Matt. 16:1-5 and Luke 22:1-2.


B. The anointing at Bethany in Mark 14:3-9 is paralleled in Matt. 16:6-13 and John 12:2-8 (possibly another anointing in Galilee in Luke 7:36-39).


C. Judas' agreement to betray Jesus in Mark 14:10-11 is paralleled in Matt. 26:14-16 and Luke 22:3-6.


D. The Passover with the disciples in Mark 14:12-21 is paralleled in Matt. 26:17-25, Luke 22:21-23, and John 13:21-30.


E. The institution of the Lord's Supper in Mark 14:22-26 is paralleled in Matt. 26:26-29 and Luke 22:17-20 (cf. 1 Cor. 11:23-26).


F. Peter's denial foretold in Mark 14:27-31 is paralleled in Matt. 26:31-35.


G. Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane in Mark 14:32-42 is paralleled in Matt. 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-40, and John 18:1.


H. The betrayal and arrest of Jesus in Mark 14:43-50 is paralleled in Matt. 26:47-56, Luke 22:47-53, and John 18:2-12.


I. Jesus before the Sanhedrin in Mark 14:53-65 is paralleled in Matt. 26:57-68 and John 18:12,19-24.


J. Peter's denial of Jesus in Mark 14:66-72 is paralleled in Matt. 26:69-75, Luke 22:54-62, and John 18:15-18,25-27.



 1Now the Passover and Unleavened Bread were two days away; and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to seize Him by stealth and kill Him; 2for they were saying, "Not during the festival, otherwise there might be a riot of the people."

14:1 "the Passover and Unleavened Bread" Originally these were two separate feasts commemorating the same event, the last plague that caused Pharaoh to allow the Hebrews to leave Egypt. The requirements for the Passover meal are found in Exod. 12:1-14,21-28,43-51. The procedures for the seven day feast of Unleavened Bread are found in Exod. 12:8,15-20 (cf. Num. 28:16-25, Deut. 16:1-8, and Josephus' Antiquities 3.10.5).

▣ "two days away" Because there were two feasts combined, the Jews sometimes referred to the whole period as "the Passover." Therefore, it is uncertain whether the "two days" means (1) two days before the eight-day feast or (2) two days before the Passover itself.

John 12:1-8 states this occurred on a different day; verses 3ff may be a flashback. The chronology of the last days of Jesus' life are recorded differently by the four Gospel writers. In my opinion the early church realized the discrepancies among the four Gospels, but did not try to reconcile them. The differences are caused by (1) the eyewitness nature of the writings and (2) the theological/evangelistic purposes of each individual writer. They each had the freedom (under inspiration) to select, adapt, and arrange Jesus' teachings and actions to fit their purposes and target groups (cf. Gordon Fee and Doug Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, pp. 126-129).

▣ "priests and the scribes" Matthew adds "elders," which is the full designation for the Sanhedrin. See Special Topic at Mark 12:13.

▣ "to seize Him by stealth and kill Him" This was nothing new (cf. Mark 3:6; 11:18), but Jesus' actions in accepting the crowd's affirmations during the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem and His cleansing of the merchants from the Court of the Gentiles sealed His fate with both the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

14:2 "there might be a riot of the people" Jesus was very popular in Galilee. During the Passover Jerusalem grew to three times her normal population with pilgrims from all over the Mediterranean area, many of whom were from Galilee. The possible "riot" is mentioned in Matt. 26:5 and 27:24.

 3While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head. 4But some were indignantly remarking to one another, "Why has this perfume been wasted? 5For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor." And they were scolding her. 6But Jesus said, "Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. 7For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me. 8She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. 9Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her."

14:3 "Bethany" A city on the ridge known as the Mt. of Olives, not far from Jerusalem, was a popular place for pilgrims to sleep during the three annual mandatory feasts. Every Jewish family who lived close to Jerusalem was culturally obligated to open their homes to pilgrims.

▣ "Simon the leper" In the OT leprosy was a sign of God's displeasure. It had terrible social ramifications. This man had apparently been cured, possibly by Jesus. Leprosy in the ancient world incorporated many different kinds of skin diseases (cf. Leviticus 13-14), not just our modern leprosy.

The parallel in John 12:2-8 implies that this was the home of Lazarus and that Mary, his sister, was the woman. Could it be that Simon was their father whom Jesus had previously healed?

▣ "reclining at the table" They did not use chairs, but reclined at three low tables forming a horseshoe-shape, on their left elbow with their feet behind them.

▣ "came a woman" Luke 7:36-50 records a very similar anointing experience in the same place, but by a sinful woman. John 12:3 names this woman as Mary, Lazarus' sister, but Mark gives no name. Mark, writing so early, possibly was afraid to identify her as a follower of Jesus, while John, writing much later, felt free to name her (cf. Lenski's St. Mark's Gospel).

This is surely a wonderful loving act which symbolized Jesus' soon to be burial.

NASB"an alabaster vial"
NKJV"alabaster flask"
NJB"alabaster jar"

This was a sealed container of white opaque stone from Alabastron, a city in Egypt. Once opened it could not be resealed. John 12:3 tells us it contained a whole pound. This could have been her marriage dowry. It was obviously an act of extravagant love and devotion.


NASB"costly perfume of pure nard"
NKJV"very costly oil of spikenard"
NRSV"very costly ointment of nard"
TEV"very expensive perfume made of pure nard"
NJB"very costly ointment, pure nard"

Nard was made from the root of a Himalayan plant. It had a very strong fragrance. The word "pure" is from pistikos, which implies a trustworthy quality (i.e., "genuine" or "unmixed," cf. John 12:3).

The term "nard" is probably from Latin (cf. A. T. Robertson Word Pictures in the New Testament vol. 1 p. 380). Mark's Gospel has more Latin words and phrases than any other Gospel. Apparently it is targeted to Romans.

▣ "over His head" John's Gospel tells us the nard was poured on His feet (cf. John 12:3). Probably both are true because a whole pound would have been too much for just His head, but would easily anoint His whole body.

It is possible that being anointed on the head would have reminded these Jews of the anointing of a King (cf. 1 Sam. 10:1; 2 Kgs. 9:3,6 and implied in 1 Sam. 16:13). This may be a royal Messianic symbol as well as a burial procedure/prophecy (cf. Mark 15:46; 16:1; Luke 23:56; John 19:39-40).

14:4 "some" John 12:4-5 identifies the questioner as Judas Iscariot. Apparently Jesus's disciples were discussing this among themselves (cf. Mark 9:10; 10:26; 11:31; 12:7; 16:3).

▣ "were indignantly remarking to one another" This is an imperfect periphrastic. The disciples were talking among themselves and deploring the woman's extravagance. They were angry, even indignant. This term is used of Jesus' attitude in Mark 10:14 about the disciples keeping the children away.

▣ "'might have been sold for over three hundred denarii'" Modern monetary equivalents are not helpful because of the changing purchasing power of money. A denarius was the daily wage of a soldier or laborer; therefore, this was almost a year's wage.

14:5 "'the money given to the poor'" Giving money to the poor during Passover was an important religious requirement of the rabbis (cf. John13:29). It was called almsgiving.


14:6 "'Let her alone'" This is an aorist active imperative. Jesus defends this loving, gracious act. He saw it as a prophetic act of preparation for His rapidly approaching death and burial (cf. Mark 14:8).

14:7 "'For you always have the poor with you'" This is not a disparaging comment about the poor (cf. Deut. 15:4,11), but an emphasis on the uniqueness of Jesus and His special time on earth.

14:8 "'she has anointed My body beforehand'" Could she have understood what the disciples did not? The same type of perfume was used in burial preparations (cf. John 19:40).

14:9 "'Truly'" This is literally "amen." See Special Topic at Mark 3:28.

▣ "'whenever the gospel is preached'" The gospel refers to the message that Jesus taught about God, about humanity, about sin, about Himself, about salvation, and about the afterlife. Jesus revealed these truths to the inspired writers of the NT through the mediation of the Spirit. They are revelatory, not human discovery. It is primarily the revelation of a person and a relationship with that person, not only a creed or a system of doctrines about that person. It involves a personal relationship with Christ by faith and understanding of who He is and why He came, which leads to Christlike living in light of this new relationship with God and a totally new world view.

▣ "'in the whole world'" Jesus expected the gospel to permeate the entire globe (cf. Mark 13:27 and Matt. 28:19-20; Luke 24:46-47; Acts 1:8).

▣ "'what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her'" Jesus does not forget acts of kindness and devotion. This one is recorded in Scripture, but many others are kept in the heart of God and will be revealed on that great day (cf. Gal. 6:7-9; 1 Tim. 5:25; Rev. 14:13; also 2:1,19; 3:8).

 10Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went off to the chief priests in order to betray Him to them. 11They were glad when they heard this, and promised to give him money. And he began seeking how to betray Him at an opportune time.

14:10 "Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve" There are several theories concerning Iscariot (the word is spelled differently in various Greek manuscripts). It could refer to

1. a man of Kerioth, a city of Judah

2. man of Kartam, a city of Galilee

3. the bag used to carry money

4. the Hebrew word for "strangling"

5. the Greek word for assassin's knife

If #1 is true he was the only Judean in the Twelve. If #4 or #5 is true he was a zealot like Simon.

There has recently been released an interesting, but highly speculative (depreciates John's Gospel), book that interprets Judas in a positive light. The book is entitled Judas, Betrayer or Friend of Jesus? by William Klassen, Fortress Press, 1996.

▣ "who was one of the twelve" He was a member of Jesus' hand-picked disciples. He was part of the mission trips and present at Jesus' teaching sessions, miracles, and the Last Supper.

This phrase has the definitive article "the one." There have been several suggestions as to the meaning of this: (1) Judas was a leader of the Apostolic group. He kept the money for the group and he had the seat of honor at the Last Supper or (2) it refers to the murmuring in Mark 14:4.

▣ "went off to the chief priests" Luke 22:4 adds and "temple police." Judas asked how much they would give him (cf. Matt. 26:15). It was the price of a gored slave (cf. Exod. 21:32; Zech. 11:12).

Matthew 26:16 tells us it was "thirty pieces of silver." This fulfilled the prophecy of Zech. 11:12-13 (cf. Matt. 27:9-10). Jesus was the rejected "Shepherd." The Gospel writers quote chapters 9-14 of Zechariah as a prophetic source or typology in relation to Jesus' ministry.

1. Matt. 21:4-5 quotes Zech. 9:9

2. Matt. 24:3 quotes Zech. 12:10

3. Matt. 26:15 quotes Zech. 11:12-13

4. Matt. 26:31 quotes Zech. 13:7

5. Matt. 27:9-10 quotes Zech. 11:12-13


▣ "betray" This is the Greek term "to give over" (paradidōmi). The English Bibles always translate it "betray," but this is not an established meaning. It can have a positive meaning of "entrust" (cf. Matt. 11:27) or "restore" or "command" (cf. Acts 14:26; 15:40), as well as negative sense of "to hand someone over to the authorities" or "to put someone in Satan's hands" (cf. 1 Cor. 5:5; 1 Tim. 1:20), or for God to abandon someone to his own idolatry (cf. Acts 7:42). It is obvious that context must determine the meaning of this common verb. Betrayal fits Judas' actions.

14:11 "they were glad" It does not say they were surprised. Judas' motivation has always been a source of speculation. These religious leaders would have seen his defection from the Apostolic group as vindication of their murderous scheming!

▣ "at an opportune time" Luke 22:6 adds "apart from the crowd." They were afraid of Jesus' popularity with Galilean pilgrims present in Jerusalem for the feast (cf. Mark 11:18; 12:12; Matt. 26:5; 27:24).

 12On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was being sacrificed, His disciples said to Him, "Where do You want us to go and prepare for You to eat the Passover?" 13And He sent two of His disciples and said to them, "Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him; 14 and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, 'The Teacher says, "Where is My guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?"' 15And he himself will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; prepare for us there." 16The disciples went out and came to the city, and found it just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover.

14:12 "first day of Unleavened Bread" There is a great problem as to which day the Lord and His disciples ate the Last Supper, Nisan 13th or 14th. John seems to imply 13th (cf. Mark 18:29; 19:14,31,32), while the Synoptic Gospels state the 14th. Possibly the difference is related to

1. the use of the Roman calendar versus the Jewish lunar calendar

2. the different ways to start a day, i.e., evening for the Jews vs. morning for the Romans

3. the evidence that the Dead Sea community, following a solar calendar, had the Passover a day earlier as a symbol of rejecting the priestly leadership in Jerusalem

The four Gospels are eyewitness accounts written for theological and evangelistic purposes. The authors had the right, under inspiration, to select, adapt, and arrange the life and words of Jesus. This accounts for most of the perceived difficulties in the Gospel accounts (cf. Fee and Stuart's How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, pp. 126-129). The very fact that they are different speaks of their genuineness. The early church accepted the four versions without trying to unify them (except for the Diatessaron of Tatian in the late second century).

Hermeneutically the Gospels need to be interpreted in light of their own context (their author's intent) and not compared to other Gospels, just to get more historical information.

14:13 "two of His disciples" Luke 22:8 says it was Peter and John. From rabbinical sources we know that only two from each household were allowed in the temple to offer the lamb with the help of a priest.

▣ "'and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water'" It was highly unusual in this culture for a man to carry water and especially to carry it in a pitcher. If men were needed to carry large amounts of water they used sheep or goat skins, not clay pitchers. This is another eyewitness account of Peter.

14:14 "'say to the owner of the house'" Many believe that this was John Mark's (the compiler of Peter's sermons in Rome into the Gospel of Mark) home, the probable location of the Last Supper and post resurrection appearances. John Mark was Barnabas' cousin and a participant in the initial part of the first missionary journey of Barnabas and Saul (i.e., Paul). He was also Peter's companion and apparently the author of the first Gospel, using Peter's memories or sermons. This seems to be a prearranged event, not a prediction.

14:15 This was also the location of Jesus' post-resurrection appearances (cf. Acts 1:12). This room became the Jerusalem headquarters for the disciples.

 17When it was evening He came with the twelve. 18As they were reclining at the table and eating, Jesus said, "Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me—one who is eating with Me." 19They began to be grieved and to say to Him one by one, "Surely not I?" 20And He said to them, "It is one of the twelve, one who dips with Me in the bowl. 21For the Son of Man is to go just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born."

14:17 "When it was evening" The Jewish day begins at twilight (cf. Gen. 1:5,8,13,19,23,31). This was the Passover meal because usually Jewish evening meals were in late afternoon. Only the Passover meal was eaten after 6:00 p.m.

14:18 "reclining" Originally the Passover was eaten standing because of Exod. 12:11. The Jews of the first century did not use chairs, a custom which they learned from the Persians (cf. Esther 1:6; 7:8). They ate at low cushions, usually three in number, at a table in the shape of a horseshoe (so servers could bring food easily), reclining on pillows on their left elbow with their feet behind them.

▣ "'Truly'" This is literally "amen." See Special Topic at Mark 3:28.

▣ "'that one of you will betray Me—one who is eating with Me'" This is an allusion to Ps. 41:9. This was a cultural way of accentuating Judas' guilt (cf. John 13:18). Table fellowship was a significant cultural symbol of friendship and commitment. To betray someone with whom you had eaten would be appalling to an easterner.

14:19 "one by one, 'Surely not I'" Each disciple thought it might be himself. This shows that at this point in time, none of them suspected Judas. Each of them was unsure of his own standing.

14:20 "'who dips with Me in the bowl'" This was a special dish of gray colored fruit dip, which resembles brick mortar. Judas was sitting right next to Jesus in the place of honor! Jesus was still, even at this late hour, trying to spiritually reach Judas.

14:21 "'but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born'" John 13:27ff implies that Judas left after the third cup of blessing before the institution of the Lord's Supper. Judas is an enigma. His motives for betraying Jesus are never revealed. Some see him as a noble Jewish patriot (i.e., zealot) trying to force Jesus to act militarily against Rome. Others see him as a committed Jew who was upset with Jesus' rejection of the Oral Tradition and His fellowship with the outcasts and sinners of Jewish society. The Gospel of John depicts him as a thief from the beginning, someone who was driven by his love of money. However, Judas' actions after Jesus' arrest do not fit this characterization. Whatever the true motive or rationale, whatever the involvement of Satan, whatever the foreknowledge involved in predictive prophecy, Judas is responsible for his actions, as are all of us (cf. Gal. 6:7).

 22While they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it, and gave it to them, and said, "Takeit; this is My body." 23And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24And He said to them, "This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25Truly I say to you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."

14:22 "took some bread" Notice it was not the Passover Lamb (nor bitter herbs), but the unleavened bread (azumos, cf. Mark 14:1). The Greek term here is artos, which is usually used to denote regular bread (cf. Mark 3:20; 6:8,16,36,37; 7:2,5,27; 8:4,14,16,17). But it also is used of unleavened bread in the parallel of Matt. 26:26; Luke 22:19. Probably the lamb had too much of a nationalistic connotation. For all the historical connections between the Passover and the Last Supper, there is a purposeful theological distinction.

If there is a sustained typology between the Exodus and Jesus, which seems to be true, then the bread takes on a special relationship to "manna" (cf. Exod. 16), given by YHWH during the wilderness wandering period. This provided a stable life-giving diet to God's people. Now YHWH gives the "true" bread of heaven, provides the "real" life-giving provision, sends the "perfect" leader, and inaugurates the new Passover from sin and death. The NT authors often used Christological typology in their presentations of Jesus as prefigured in the OT.

Wine in the OT was known as the blood of the grape and was often used in a judicial sense (i.e., the grapes of wrath). Now it is the sacrifice which brings eternal life. The imagery is clearly seen in John 6.

▣ "after a blessing" There was a set procedure for the Passover meal. In all probability the symbolism of the broken bread and wine occurred at the point in the ritual called "the third cup of blessing" (cf. 1 Cor. 10:16).


▣ "Take it; this is My body" John 6:22ff and 1 Cor. 10:16 show the strong theological imagery of this ritual. Jesus' words about His body and blood would have shocked these Jews. Cannibalism and the consumption of blood would be violations of Lev. 11. These statements are obviously symbolic, but still startling.

Jesus was symbolizing the crucifixion by breaking the bread. As the color of the wine was similar to blood, the color of the bread was similar to human flesh. Jesus was the true Bread of Life (i.e., manna, cf. John 6:31-33,51), the true Passover, the new Exodus!


14:23 "given thanks" The Greek term for "thanks" is eucharistē, from which we get the English name for the Lord's Supper, the Eucharist.

14:24 "This is My blood of the covenant" The color of the wine resembled the color of human blood. This phrase has three possible OT origins.

1. Exod. 24:6-8, the inauguration of the Book of the Covenant by covenant blood

2. Jer. 31:31-34, the only text in the OT which mentions "new covenant"

3. Zech. 9:11, which is in the literary unit 9-14, the source of many prophecies (i.e., Christological typology) of Jesus' life

There are two variants in the Greek manuscript traditions.

1.  "the covenant" following Matt. 26:28, which is found in the Greek manuscripts א, B, C, D2, and L (and also D* and W with slight change). The UBS4 gives this shorter reading an "A" rating (certain).

2.  "the new covenant" following Luke 22:20 and 1 Cor. 11:25, which is found in MSS A and E and the Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, and Armenian translations (cf. NKJV). This probably was an addition to relate Jesus' words to the "new" covenant of Jer. 31:31-34.

In all of this discussion one thing is obvious. Jesus' death was crucial to the restoration of fallen mankind to fellowship with the Father (cf. Mark 10:45). Jesus came to (1) reveal the Father; (2) give us an example to follow; and (3) die in our place for our sin. There is no other way for redemption (cf. John 10,14). This was the central aspect of God's eternal plan (cf. Acts 2:23; 3:18; 4:28; 13:29).


▣ "'which is poured out for many'" Jesus' death, symbolized by His poured out blood, was a sacrifice for sin (cf. Mark 10:45; Matt. 26:28; 1 Cor. 15:3; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 9:11-15). The term "many" does not refer to a limited group, but is a Hebraic (or Semitic) metaphor for "all who would respond." This can be seen in the parallelism of Rom. 5:18 and 5:19 as well as Isa. 53:6 "all" compared with 53:11-12, "many." See note at Mark 10:45.


14:25 "'I will never again drink'" The Passover liturgy involved four cups of blessing. The rabbis established this procedure based on Exod. 6:6-7. The third cup symbolized redemption. This is the one that forms the basis of the Lord's Supper. Jesus refused to drink the fourth cup of blessing because it symbolized the consummation. Jesus related this to the end-time Messianic banquet (cf. Isa. 25:6; 55; Matt. 8:11; Luke 13:29; 14:15,24; 22:30; Rev. 19:9,17).

▣ "'until that day'" This obviously refers to a future coming of Jesus in glory and power so different from His current situation in which He faced shame, pain, rejection, and death! The two comings of Jesus differentiate His tasks as redeemer (i.e., vicarious, substitutionary atonement) and victor/judge. This two-fold coming surprised the Jews. It was probably Jesus Himself, perhaps on the road to Emmaus, who showed the full significance of the key OT passages (i.e., Gen. 3:15; Ps. 22; Isa. 53 and Zech. 9-14).

▣ "'the kingdom of God'" See Special Topic at Mark 1:15c.

 26After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

14:26 "singing a hymn" This Greek verb is the source of the English word "hymn." This was probably part of the Hallel Psalms (i.e., Ps. 113-118, cf. Matt. 26:30), which was the last part of the Passover ritual. These psalms were expressions of joy and gratitude for YHWH's redemption. They are recited or chanted in whole, or in part, at all major feast days, except the Day of Atonement. Psalms 113-114 are chanted early in the Passover meal and 115-118 towards the end of the meal.

▣ "the Mount of Olives" Jesus and the disciples must have regularly used this as a campground or place of prayer during the Passover period (i.e., eight days).

 27And Jesus said to them, "You will all fall away, because it is written, 'I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.' 28But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee." 29But Peter said to Him, "Even though all may fall away, yet I will not." 30And Jesus said to him, "Truly I say to you, that this very night, before a rooster crows twice, you yourself will deny Me three times." 31But Peter kept saying insistently, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!" And they all were saying the same thing also.


NASB, NJB"You will all fall away"
NKJV"All of you will be made to stumble"
NRSV"You will all become deserters"
TEV"All of you will run away"

This is a future passive indicative. This is another evidence that Jesus knows and controls future events. The passive idea is captured in the ASV translation "all ye shall be offended" (i.e., skandalizō, which was used of baited trap sticks). There is a second future passive, "will be scattered," from Zech. 13:7. This same terminology of unbelief (i.e., "fall away") was used for others rejecting Christ (cf. Matt. 11:6; 13:21,57; 24:10; 26:31). The disciples' faith will fail! Peter's denials were only exemplary of all their fears.

▣ "'it is written'" Literally this is "it has been written," which is a perfect passive indicative. It was a characteristic phrase (i.e., Hebrew idiom) referring to the inspired OT.

▣ "'I will strike'" This is a quote from Zech. 13:7. It was the Father's plan that Jesus should give His life as a sacrifice for sin (cf. Isa. 53:4,6,10; Mark 10:45; Luke 22:22; Acts 2:23; 3:18; 4:28; 13:29; 2 Cor. 5:21).

14:28 Jesus told the disciples several times that He would meet them on a mount in Galilee (cf. Matt. 26:32; 28:7,10,16). This special meeting was the occasion for the Great Commission (cf. Matt. 28:16-20), which is probably the post-resurrection appearance spoken of in 1 Cor. 15:6. This does not refer to the ascension, which took place from the Mount of Olives forty days after the resurrection (cf. Acts 1:12).

This was a prediction of His resurrection, but they did not perceive its significance. This phrase is an excellent opportunity to show that the NT often attributes the works of redemption to all three persons of the Godhead.

1. God the Father raised Jesus (cf. Acts 2:24; 3:15; 4:10; 5:30; 10:40; 13:30,33,34,37; 17:31; Rom. 6:4,9; 10:9; 1 Cor. 6:14; 2 Cor. 4:14; Gal. 1:1;Eph. 1:20; Col. 2:12; 1 Thess. 1:10)

2. God the Son raised Himself (cf. John 2:19-22; 10:17-18)

3. God the Spirit raised Jesus (cf. Rom. 8:11). This same Trinitarian emphasis can be seen in Mark 14:9-10. See SPECIAL TOPIC: THE TRINITY at Mark 1:11.


14:29 "'Even though'" This is literally "even if" (cf. NKJV and NJB). It is a first class conditional sentence, which is assumed to be true from the author's perspective or for his literary purposes. Peter could imagine the others fleeing, but not himself!

▣ "'yet'" This is the strong adversative alla. Peter was making the emphatic assertion that he would never leave Jesus (cf. Luke 22:33; John 13:37-38). Peter was publicly proclaiming an allegiance he would not, could not fulfill! His desire superceded his ability!

14:30 "this very night, before a rooster crows twice, you yourself will deny Me three times" "You, yourself" is emphatic! This is a future middle indicative. Luke's account is longer (cf. Mark 22:31-34). The detail that the rooster crows twice is an eyewitness memory of Peter. It is only recorded in Mark's Gospel.


NASB"kept saying insistently"
NKJV"spoke more vehemently"
NRSV"said vehemently"
TEV"answered even more strongly"
NJB"repeated still more earnestly"

This term (perisseia) for excess or extreme degree is used often in its various forms in the NT (cf. Matt. 5:20; 27:23; Acts 26:11; Phil. 1:9; 1 Thess. 4:1). The intensified form with its ek prepositional prefix is only found in Mark. It is probably from Peter himself! He remembered how vehement his denial was!

▣ "'Even if'" This is a third class conditional sentence which means potential action. Literally "even if it must be."

▣ "'I will not deny You'" Peter truly felt this way. With all his heart and will power he was determined to stand by Jesus! As David's sins and subsequent forgiveness function to encourage later believers, so too, Peter's assertions and failures. Sinful, weak humans want to do the right thing (cf. Rom. 7), they just find themselves incapable! Jesus can deal with failure, but not unrepentant unbelief.

 32They came to a place named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, "Sit here until I have prayed." 33And He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled. 34And He said to them, "My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch." 35And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by. 36And He was saying, "Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will." 37And He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? 38Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." 39Again He went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him. 41And He came the third time, and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough; the hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!"

14:32 "Gethsemane" "Gethsemane" means "oil press" in Hebrew. It apparently was a private garden just outside the city limits of Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives. It was illegal to have gardens within the city because the manure needed for the plants made the city ceremonially unclean. Apparently Jesus came to this garden quite often. It is even possible that during Passion Week He bivouacked here with His disciples. Judas knew the place well.

▣ "'Sit here until I have prayed'" In the parallels in Matt. 26:41 and Luke 22:40 Jesus asks them to pray that they would not enter into temptation.

14:33 "He took with Him Peter and James and John" This was the inner circle of leadership among the disciples. They were present with Jesus on several special occasions when the other disciples were not. Apparently this led to both special training and jealousy on the part of the other disciples. Exactly why Jesus had an inner circle is uncertain. The list of the Twelve is always in four groupings of three. The groups never change. It is possible that the groups formed a rotating schedule for the disciples to go home periodically and check on their families. See Special Topic at Mark 3:16.

NASB"began to be very distressed and troubled"
NKJV"he began to be troubled and deeply distressed"
NRSV"began to be distressed and agitated"
TEV"Distress and anguish came over him"
NJB"he began to feel terror and anguish"

Jesus was in a deep state of anxiety! These are strong terms in Greek. As modern readers we are on very holy ground here in the garden as we see the Son of God in what may have been His most vulnerable human moment. Jesus must have related this account to His disciples after His resurrection. Apparently it was meant to be helpful for those who face temptation and for those who seek to understand the agony and cost of Jesus' Calvary experience.

▣ "'My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death'" This is an astonishingly emphatic statement of concern, fear, and grief on Jesus' part. Although the text itself does not provide the reason, it seems that what Jesus feared was the disruption in the intimate fellowship He had always known with the Father. This is characterized by Jesus' words in Mark 15:34. This is one of the most human moments we are allowed to witness in Jesus' struggle of faith.

This was an Old Testament idiom (cf. Ps. 42:5) which expressed the tremendous intensity which was involved in the redemption of sinful mankind. All of Psalm 42 reflects Jesus' experience of rejection and death as does Psalm 22. Something of the struggle can be seen in the parallel of Luke 22:43-44 (although the UBS4 rates their omission "A" [certain]) , which records that an angel came to minister to Him and He sweat great drops of blood. The victory over the evil one was won here in the garden. The insidiousness of Satan's temptation in Matthew 4 and of Peter's supposedly helpful, but extremely destructive, comments in Matt. 16:22, are fully revealed in this passage.

"'remain here and keep watch'" This is an aorist active imperative followed by a present active imperative. They were on guard duty watching for Judas and the mob, but they fell asleep!

14:35 "fell to the ground and began to pray" These are two imperfects. Usually this tense means continual action in past time, but it is obvious this cannot be what is meant here. The other typical usage of this Greek verb tense is the beginning of an action in past time. Praying prostrate shows the intense emotion.

14:35 "'if it were possible'" This is a first class conditional, which is assumed to be true from the author's perspective. Jesus knew YHWH was able to do anything (cf. Mark 14:36, "all things are possible for You!").

"the hour"


"the hour might pass Him by" This is an aorist active subjunctive. Jesus is asserting that YHWH is able to do anything and Jesus is hoping that He might be spared the cross (cf. Mark 14:36). This was exactly Satan's temptations in the wilderness, cf. James Stewart's The Life and Teaching of Jesus Christ, pp.39-46). From Matt. 26:39,42 and 44 and Mark 14:39 and 41 we learn that Jesus prayed this same prayer three times, which was a Jewish way of showing intensity.

14:36 "'Abba'" This is Aramaic for the familiar term that children call their fathers at home, dad, daddy, pop, papa, etc. Jesus knew family intimacy with YHWH (cf. Heb. 1:2; 3:6; 5:8; 7:28). His death will provide this intimacy to us.

This context is the only time the Aramaic word Abba is used (i.e., in the Greek text) by Jesus. Jesus reveals the intense struggle He faced in this moment of fleshly temptation (i.e., He describes His intense emotions; He fell on the ground; He prayed three times). Here He played His trump card, His best chance of changing the Father's mind about Calvary. He calls YHWH by the most intimate family term! But still every prayer was concluded with "not my will, but Thine." God the Father demonstrates His love for fallen humanity by not responding to Jesus' expressed will. There needed to be an ultimate sacrifice for sin, but it was not easy or without great cost, emotionally and physically, for Jesus and for the Father!

Jesus knows us because He knows all the temptations of humanity (yet without sin). Fear and terror and discouragement and disillusionment are not sin! The victory was won at Gethsemane.

"'Father'" The Gospel of Mark often uses Aramaic words and phrases (cf. Mark 3:17; 5:41; 7:34; 14:36;15:34). Aramaic would have been the spoken language of Jesus and the disciples. Mark translates each of these, which shows he was not writing for Jewish readers, but Gentile readers, probably Romans because of all the Latin terms and phrases found in Mark. See Special Topic: Father at Mark 13:32.

▣ "'this cup'" This was an OT metaphor for one's destiny (cf. Ps. 16:5; 23:5; Jer. 51:2; Matt. 20:22). It was usually used in a judgmental (i.e., negative) sense (cf. Ps. 11:6; 75:8; Isa. 51:17,22; Jer. 25:15-16,27-28; 49:12; Lam. 4:21; Ezek. 23:31-33; Hab. 2:16). This idiom is often associated with drunkenness, which is another OT metaphor for judgment (cf. Job 21:20; Isa. 29:9; 63:6; Jer. 25:15-16,27-28). Jesus wants out! Fear is not sin. He faced fear with faith; so must we!

▣ "'yet not what I will, but what You will'" The pronouns "I" and "You" are in the emphatic position in the Greek. This was Jesus' continuing submission to the Father's will. In this context the true humanity and faith of Jesus shines forth! Though His human nature cries out for deliverance, His heart is set on fulfilling the will of the Father in substitutionary atonement (cf. Mark 10:45; Matt. 26:39).

14:37,40 "found them sleeping" These disciples had also fallen asleep during the Transfiguration (cf. Matt. 26:43 and Luke 9:32). They were not evil or even thoughtless, but human! Before we are too quick to condemn the disciples, let's note that in Luke 22:45 the phrase "they were asleep from sorrow" describes that they were unable to bear the pain of Jesus' prophecy about His own death and their subsequent scattering. Though Jesus longed to have human fellowship and intercession at this time of ultimate crisis in His life, He had to face this moment alone, and He faced it for all believers!

14:37 "'Simon'" This is the only time Jesus calls him "Simon" since He renamed him in Mark 3:16. The rock (i.e., Peter) was anything but stable, sure, and trustworthy. Peter must have remembered this "reverse" name change with great pain. I am sure that he got the message!

14:38 "'Keep watching and praying'" This is a Present active imperative and a present middle (deponent) imperative. The following context reveals the enemy.

▣ "'that you may not come into temptation'" There have been several theories as to what "temptation" refers to in this context:

1. Jesus' immediate prophecy in Mark 14:27

2. to the disciples sleeping instead of praying, Mark 14:37,40

3. to the disciples desertion of Jesus in Mark 14:56

4. to Peter's denial in Mark 14:69-75

5. to governmental or religious trials (cf. Matt. 5:10-12; John 9:22; 16:2)

The term "temptation" (peirasmos) had the connotation of "to tempt or try with the goal of destruction" (cf. Matt. 6:13; Luke 11:4; James 1:13). It is often contrasted with another Greek term for test (dokimazo) which had the connotation of "to try or tempt with a view toward strengthening." However, these connotations are not always present in every context. Theologically it can be said that God does not test or tempt His children to destroy them, but He does provide opportunities for spiritual growth through trials (cf. Gen. 22:1; Exod. 16:4; 20:20; Duet. 8:2,16; Matt. 4; Luke 4; Heb. 5:8). However, He always provides a way through (cf. 1 Cor. 10:13). See Special Topic: Greek Terms for Testing at Mark 1:13.

▣ "'the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak'" This may be a comment on Peter's and the other disciples' words in Mark 14:29,31. Jesus understands this tension completely (cf. Mark 14:36).

The use of "spirit" in connection with mankind's human spirit speaks of our inner life and thoughts (cf. Ps. 51:10,12,17).

In Paul's writings "spirit" is often contrasted with "flesh" (cf. Rom. 8:1-11).

14:40 "they did not know what to answer Him" They had no explainable reason (cf. Mark 9:6) except the weakness of the flesh (cf. Luke 9:32).

14:41 "'Are you still sleeping and resting'" It is hard to interpret this Greek idiom. Is it a question? Is it irony? Is it a statement? Although the meaning is uncertain, it is obvious that Jesus has won the victory and He now stands erect, ready to face the night trials, the morning beatings and the crucifixion.

▣ "It is enough" This term caused several scribal changes in the Greek manuscript tradition. Does this phrase refer to the disciples' sleep? It can be translated (1) "it is enough"; (2) "it is settled"; or (3) "it is over" (cf. NJB "it is all over"). It was used in the Koine Greek papyri found in Egypt of something paid in full (cf. Moulton and Milligan, The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament, pp. 57-58). This, then, would be something of a parallel to John 19:30, "it is finished" or "it is paid in full." Possibly it refers to Judas and his betrayal, which must have weighed heavily on Jesus. Jesus won the spiritual victory in Gethsemane!

14:41c-42 These staccato statements are emphasized by having no conjunctions or connectors (asyndeton) between them. The events were unfolding just as Jesus had predicted. The hour had come.

▣ "the hour has come" See Special Topic at Mark 14:35.

▣ "'betrayed'" This term (paradidōmi) normally means "delivered into the hands of" (cf. Mark 9:31), but its connection with Judas in most English translations intensify the meaning of "betray." See fuller note at Mark 14:10d.

 43Immediately while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, came up accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs, who came from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44Now he who was betraying Him had given them a signal, saying, "Whomever I kiss, He is the one; seize Him and lead Him away under guard." 45After coming, Judas immediately went to Him, saying, "Rabbi!" and kissed Him. 46They laid hands on Him and seized Him. 47But one of those who stood by drew his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear. 48And Jesus said to them, "Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me, as you would against a robber? 49Every day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize Me; but this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures." 50And they all left Him and fled.

14:43 "Immediately" See note at Mark 1:10.

▣ "a crowd" John 18:3,12 says a Roman cohort was present. Luke 22:52 says representatives from the Sanhedrin were in the crowd, which implies the temple police. The reason for so many soldiers was because it was the Passover season and the authorities were afraid of a riot (cf. Mark 14:2; Matt. 26:5; 27:24).

▣ "swords and clubs" This term "swords" referred to the short sword worn by the Roman soldiers in their belt. "Clubs" refers specifically to the weapons of the temple police.

▣ "the chief priests and the scribes and the elders" This referred to the Sanhedrin. See Special Topic at Mark 12:13.

14:44 "seize Him" This is an aorist active imperative.

TEV"lead Him away under guard"
NKJV"lead Him away safely"
NJB"see that he is well guarded when you lead him away"

This is the Greek term sphallomai ( "to fall or stumble") with the alpha privative, which negates it. This term is metaphorical for "to be secure, firm, steady." Judas was afraid Jesus would do something to thwart His arrest. This reveals Judas' fear. He had seen Jesus' miracles and knew His power.

14:45 "saying, 'Rabbi!' and kissed Him" Kissing on the cheek or forehead was the normal greeting in this culture (especially between rabbis). Read Jesus' comments on Judas' actions in Matt. 26:50; Luke 22:48. This sign shows that it was probably Roman soldiers because the temple police would have recognized Jesus.

14:47 "But one of those who stood by drew his sword" From the parallel in John 18:10 and Luke 22:50-51, we know that this was Peter and the servant who was wounded was Malchus. The disciples had previously been admonished to buy swords (cf. Luke 22:36-38), but obviously, they had misunderstood Jesus' true meaning concerning this issue. It must be said on Peter's behalf that he was fully willing to die for his Lord at this point. In the face of great odds, he drew one of two swords. But, again, the inappropriateness and impulsiveness of his actions characterized his personality.

▣ "the slave of the high priests" John 18:10 names him Malchus.

▣ "cut off his ear" In Luke 22:51, Jesus put it back!


NASB, NKJV"a robber"
NRSV, NJB"a bandit"
TEV"an outlaw"

They are treating Jesus as a criminal, not a blasphemer. They were doing to Jesus what should have been done to Barabbas (for whom the same word is used, cf. John 18:40).

14:49 "'Every day I was with you in the temple teaching'" This was addressed to the members of the Sanhedrin or temple police. Jesus exposes their secret agenda.

"'But this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures'" In Mark 14:50 "all His disciples forsook Him" (cf. Mark 14:27, which quotes Zech. 13:7 and Matt. 26:31). One wonders how John 18:15-16 fits this prophecy. It seems that John accompanied Jesus through all the trials and was present at the crucifixion (cf. John 19:26-27).

 51A young man was following Him, wearing nothing but a linen sheet over his naked body; and they seized him. 52But he pulled free of the linen sheet and escaped naked.

14:51-52 "young man. . .wearing nothing but a linen sheet over his naked body" Church tradition says this was John Mark, the compiler of this Gospel. He was an early missionary companion of his uncle, Barnabas (cf. Acts 12:25), and Saul (Paul) of Tarsus. Tradition strongly asserts that he was the scribe for Peter's recollections of Jesus' life (i.e., the Gospel of Mark). Tradition also says it was in his home that the Last Supper was held (cf. Acts 12:12).

It is uncertain why he was dressed like this. Possibly he was told while sleeping that Jesus was in the process of being arrested or maybe he tried to stay close to Jesus and the disciples and was sleeping close by in the garden.

 53They led Jesus away to the high priest; and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes gathered together. 54Peter had followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the officers and warming himself at the fire. 55Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, and they were not finding any. 56For many were giving false testimony against Him, but their testimony was not consistent. 57Some stood up and began to give false testimony against Him, saying, 58"We heard Him say, 'I will destroy this temple made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.'" 59Not even in this respect was their testimony consistent. 60The high priest stood up and came forward and questioned Jesus, saying, "Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?" 61But He kept silent and did not answer. Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, "Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?" 62And Jesus said, "I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven." 63Tearing his clothes, the high priest said, "What further need do we have of witnesses? 64"You have heard the blasphemy; how does it seem to you?" And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death. 65Some began to spit at Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him with their fists, and to say to Him, "Prophesy!" And the officers received Him with slaps in the face.

14:53 "They led Jesus away to the high priest" John 18:13a mentions Annas, but Caiaphas was High Priest from a.d. 18-36 (cf. Matt. 26:57). The Synoptic Gospels do not record the interrogation by Annas. He was the previous High Priest and really the power behind the office (cf. John 18:13b).

▣ "all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes" This phrase was used to designate the Great Council, the Sanhedrin (cf. Mark 14:55). See Special Topic at Mark 12:13.

14:54 This verse sets the stage for Peter's denials in the courtyard. Peter could not stay away, but would not/could not identify himself with Jesus. What irony!

NASB"he was sitting with the officers"
NKJV"he sat with the servants"
NRSV"he was sitting with the guards"
TEV"he sat down with the guards"
NJB"was sitting with the attendants"

This is a periphrastic imperfect middle (deponent) participle. It seems to imply that Peter tried to act like one of the servants/attendants. He wanted to melt into the group, but the light on his face and the Galilean accent gave him away. Peter remembers this night well!

14:55 This was not a legal trial; it was a sham trial (cf. A. N. Sherwin-White, Roman Society and Roman Law in The New Testament, pp. 24-47).

14:56 "For many were giving false testimony against Him" The imperfect tense (in this verse twice and in Mark 14:57 and 59) shows the repeated attempt at false testimonies, but no two agreed. This was a parade of bad liars!

▣ "their testimony was not consistent" In the OT it took the testimony of two witnesses to convict (cf. Deut. 17:6; 19:15). Also in the OT if someone bore false witness they were to bear the penalty of the accused.

14:58 "'I will destroy this temple'" This verse is a good example about Jesus' use of metaphors to describe upcoming events. The word "temple" stands for two things and two time frames.

1. Jesus' body (cf. John 2:19-22) crucified, but resurrected in three days (i.e., the sign of Jonah, cf. Matt. 12:39-40; Luke 11:29-32). This was to happen within hours.

2. Herod's temple in Jerusalem was going to be destroyed by the Romans in a.d. 70 and not rebuilt. This was a future judgment in about 40 years, but it reflects an eschatological judgment (i.e., 2 Thess. 2; and Revelation).

It is easy to see how Jesus' temporal, yet eschatological, kingdom and its ethics could be misunderstood by dogmatic, legalistic religionists, both then and now.

"'in three days'" This time reference (cf. Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:34) is linked to OT prophecy in 1 Cor. 15:3-4. The "three day" time frame is linked both to a "new temple" and the new resurrection body. Jesus intentionally merged these two. The temple of the new age is the believer, both individually and corporately (cf. 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19).

▣ "'I will build another made without hands'" This is an awesome prophecy of Jesus' death and resurrection. As the temple was central in OT worship, now it will be Jesus Himself. He is the rejected cornerstone! He is the new focus of worship!

He has the power to lay down His own life and pick it up again (cf. John 10:11,15,17,18). He is in total control of His life and death and resurrection.

14:60 "The high priest stood up and came forward and questioned" The High Priest was trying to get Jesus to incriminate Himself. This was illegal under Jewish law, as was a night trial and a trial and punishment on the same day.

14:61 "He kept silent" This may be fulfillment of Isa. 53:7 (cf. Matt. 26:63; 27:12-14; Mark 15:5; Luke 23:9; John 19:9).

▣ "Again the high priest was questioning Him" Matt. 26:63 adds that he put Him under an oath.

▣ "Christ" This is the Greek translation of the Hebrew term Messiah which meant "an anointed one." In the OT prophets, priests, and kings were anointed as a special symbol of God's choice and equipment for an assigned task. The term came to be used for the special royal "Son of David" (cf. 2 Sam. 7) who would redeem and restore Israel.

▣ "the Son of the Blessed One" "Blessed One" is a common Jewish title (i.e., circumlocution) for God. The Jews did not expect the Messiah to be God incarnate, but a gifted/empowered human, like the Judges. But Jesus used this family relationship to assert His fully equality with the Father (cf. John 5:18; 10:30,33; and also 1:1).

14:62 "'I am'" This may have been an allusion to the OT name of the Covenant God, YHWH, which was from the Hebrew verb "to be" (cf. Exod. 3:14; Deut. 32:39; Isa. 41:4; 43:10; 46:4; John 4:26; 8:24,28,58; 13:19; 18:5). See Special Topic: Names for Deity at Mark 12:36. This very straightforward answer is similar to Luke 22:70. Matthew records a much more cryptic response (cf. Matt. 26:64).

It is Mark's Gospel that depicts Jesus' self understanding from the very beginning as God's Son and Messiah (cf. Mark 1:1). The demons also recognized Him as such and verbally affirmed Him (cf. Mark 1:24,34; 3:11), but the disciples were slow to understand (cf. Mark 8:29) both Jesus' person and work. They still looked through first century, Jewish eyes (as did the High Priest).

▣ "'the son of man seated at the right hand of Power'" This is an allusion to Ps. 110:1. It was an anthropomorphic metaphor for the place of authority. The term "power" is a circumlocution reference to YHWH. Jesus (i.e., the Son of Man, cf. Mark 14:21,41,62) is asserting in eschatological terms which they would have understood that He was YHWH's Messiah. Even though Ps. 110:4 has a priestly connotation, this verse has a royal connotation (cf. Heb. 1:3).

It must be reiterated that the High Priest's understanding of the question in Mark 14:61 was different from Jesus' understanding (the same is true of Pilate's questions in Mark 15). The High Priest understood it as a threat to his power and authority and Rome's power and authority. The OT concept of the Messiah as a conquering King was equally shared by the Apostles (cf. Mark 10:37).

Jesus, however, saw His kingdom as future and spiritual (cf. John 18:36). This is why He quotes these eschatological passages from Psalm 110 and Daniel 7.

There is surely a paradox involved in the two comings, one as humble, suffering servant and one as glorified King and Judge. The OT presents both, but the Jews focused only on the second. This is the same theological tension as the Kingdom of God—inaugurated, but not consummated! It is so hard for us to imagine how difficult it was for Jewish people of Jesus' day to understand His message.

▣ "'coming with the clouds of heaven'" This is a quote from Dan. 7:13. It is a phrase that asserted the Deity of Jesus in very clear OT terms. No one rode on the clouds except YHWH, but now His "Son" does also (cf. Mark 13:26; Acts 1:9; Rev. 1:7).

14:63 "Tearing His clothes" This was a sign of a deeply disturbed spirit caused by the supposed blasphemy. The penalty for blasphemy from Lev. 24:15 was death by stoning. Jesus deserved to die on the basis of Deut. 13:1-3 and 18:22 if He was not the Coming One, the Messiah, the Son of God, the Savior of the world. There is no middle ground here. Either He is who He claimed to be or He is a blasphemer who deserved death (cf. Josh McDowell's, Evidence That Demands a Verdict).

14:64 "blasphemy" Speaking falsehood about YHWH deserved the death penalty by stoning (cf. Lev. 24:14-16).

14:65 "to spit at Him" This was an OT symbol of rejection (cf. Num. 12:14; Deut. 25:9; Job 17:6; 30:10; Isa. 50:6). Members of the Sanhedrin and the Roman soldiers (cf. Mark 15:19) spit on Jesus.

"to blindfold Him, and to beat Him with their fists, and to say to Him, 'Prophesy!'" They blindfolded Him, hit Him and then asked, "Who hit you?" They were mocking His claim to be God's prophet. The rabbis of Jesus' day had interpreted Isa. 11:3 that the Messiah could judge by smell, not just sight. This may or may not refer to this incident. It certainly relates to Isa. 52:14. The rabbis interpreted this verse by saying the Messiah would have leprosy, but I think this refers to these severe beatings by several different groups of soldiers.

Several Greek manuscripts expand this text in Mark to reflect Matt. 26:68 and Luke 22:64.

NASB"to beat Him with their fists"
NKJV"struck Him with the palms of their hands"
NRSV"to strike him"
TEV"hit him"
NJB"hitting him"

This account of Jesus' abuse uses the Greek terms kolaphizō, which means to beat with the fist, and hrapizō, which means to slap with the open hand (cf. Matt. 26:67). The slap with an open hand is an Oriental symbol of contempt (cf. Matt. 5:39; John 18:22; 19:3). These same terms refer to "beating with rods" in Acts 16:27.

Both the Sanhedrin and the Roman soldiers humiliated Jesus as well as physically abused Him (cf. Isa. 52:14; 53:4).

 66As Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came, 67and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, "You also were with Jesus the Nazarene." 68But he denied it, saying, "I neither know nor understand what you are talking about." And he went out onto the porch, and a rooster crowed. 69The servant-girl saw him, and began once more to say to the bystanders, "This is one of them!" 70But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders were again saying to Peter, "Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean too." 71But he began to curse and swear, "I do not know this man you are talking about!" 72Immediately a rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had made the remark to him, "Before a rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times." And he began to weep.

14:66 "one of the servant-girls of the high priest came" John 18:17 says that she was the gate keeper. Matthew, as usual, has two persons, while Mark only has one servant (cf. Matt. 26:69-71). Peter must have told John Mark this embarrassing story or he used it in one of his sermons in Rome and John Mark heard it.

14:67 "seeing Peter" It was a full moon (at Passover). She could clearly see Peter by the firelight (cf. Mark 14:54, 67; John 18:18,25) and the moonlight.

▣ "'Jesus the Nazarene'" The Jews who grew up in Galilee (cf. Matt. 26:69) had a distinct accent. This linked Jesus to his disciples (cf. Mark 14:70). See Special Topic at Mark 10:47.

14:68 "'I neither know nor understand what you are talking about'" The exact order of these three accusations differs from Gospel to Gospel. The fact that Peter denied Jesus three times with successive emphasis is common to all of the accounts.

▣ "And he went out onto the porch" Apparently Peter tried to leave. The ancient Greek uncial manuscripts are evenly divided over whether the phrase "and the rooster crowed" should be included at Mark 14:68 (MSS A, C, D as well as the Vulgate, Peshitta translations include it, while א, B, L, and W omit it). It clearly explains "the second time a cock crowed" of Mark 14:72. Some modern translations (cf. NASB, NIV) omit it, but several include it with a footnote (cf. NKJV, NRSV, TEV, NJB). The UBS4 cannot decide which is original.

14:70 "after a little while" Luke 22:59 has "about an hour."

▣ "Galilean" Either Peter's dialect or possibly his clothing gave him away.

14:71 "began to curse and swear" The term "curse" (anathematizō) originally referred to something devoted to God (anathēma), but came to refer to a curse (cf. Acts 23:12,14,21). It was a way of asserting the trustworthiness of a statement by calling down the judgment of God on oneself if not telling the truth.

Peter, in the strongest cultural ways (i.e., an oath and swearing) perjured himself before God! Judas did nothing worse than Peter! Peter denied His Lord in repeated, emphatic, and binding terms publicly (cf. Matt. 26:34,74).


"'I do not know this man'" It is possible the phrase "this man" was a derogatory Semitic idiom referring to Jesus.

14:72 "a rooster crowed a second time" Peter remembered Jesus' words (cf. Luke 22:31-32). Luke 22:61 says Jesus looked at him. Apparently Jesus was being moved from Annas' to Caiaphas' part of the High Priest's palace.

The phrase "a second time" is omitted in some Greek manuscripts. The problem scribes faced was that the other three Gospels (i.e., Matthew, Luke and John) only mention one rooster crowing, while Mark apparently has two (cf. MSS A, B, C2, D and W), so some manuscripts omit the phrase (cf. MSS א, C and L).

"And he began to weep" Peter was fulfilling prophecy in his denials and giving hope for all believers who have denied Jesus with their tongue, with their lives and with their priorities. There is also hope for anyone who turns back to Him in faith (cf. John 21).


This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought-provoking, not definitive.

1. Is there a contradiction between Mark and John as to the day on which the Lord's Supper occurred?

2. Why was Mary so extravagant? Why did Jesus allow it?

3. Does Mark 14:7 teach Jesus' lack of concern for the poor?

4. Why were the religious leaders trying to kill Jesus?

5. What about Judas, how are we to explain his actions?

6. How is the Lord's Supper related to Passover? What is the significance of the Lord's Supper?

7. Why is Gethsemane so paradoxical (i.e., Jesus wants the cup to pass, but also wants God's will)?

8. Why was the High Priest so upset by Jesus' quoting Ps. 110 and Dan. 7:13?


Report Inappropriate Ad