About Jesus Steve Sweetman
This Section - Chapter 14
verses 1 and 2 we see it is still Tuesday night when the Jewish leaders
decide not to arrest Jesus at that point because the Passover was only 2
days away, thus we know it was Tuesday night. The leaders were in fear of
the large crowd that was in Jerusalem
because of the yearly Passover events and they didn’t want to cause a
verse 3 onward Mark describes a meal that was made for Jesus in the house
of Simon the leper. Both Matthew and Mark comment on this meal but if you
want to learn more you can read John.
One thing we learn from John is that this event happened 6 days
before the Passover, so that would make this event on the previous Friday
to the events that Mark has been describing in the last couple of
chapters. Therefore this would
have taken place before Jesus overthrew the money changers tables in the
verse 3 we see Jesus reclining at the table.
We should remember that in those days people did not sit on chairs
at a table as we do today. They
sat down, or reclined on cushions.
tells us of a woman who anoints Jesus’ head with expensive perfume.
He and Matthew skip over much of the details, but John tells us
that this woman was Mary.
in verse 3 we see that in this jar was a perfume called “nard”.
This nard was poured over Jesus’ head. Nard is from a certain
plant that is grown in the middle east and especially in India. When it was poured over Jesus’ head, because of its nature, it would
have evaporated quickly. It’s
not an oily substance that would have stained clothing or taken long to
dry, but it did leave a sweet smell on His body for a long while.
learn from John that this nard was in an alabaster jar, meaning a
semi-transparent type of jar that had to be broken in order for the nard
to be released. This was
something very special and only for a special occasion would a woman break
the jar and remove the nard.
verses 4 through 6 we see that some people did not like the idea of Mary
wasting this perfume, as they put it.
We know from John that most of the complaining came from Judas. The
perfume would have been worth a years salary so the complaint was instead
of wasting it by pouring it over Jesus, she should have sold it and given
the money to the poor. Well,
you might think that was not a bad idea, but Jesus had other thoughts.
and the others “rebuked” Mary sharply Mark says.
Most likely the tone of their voice along with what they were
saying caused an immediate reaction in Jesus and He did not let the
subject drop away.
verse 6 Jesus sharply rebukes the complainers by telling them to “leave
her alone” and to “stop bothering her”.
Mary doesn’t appear to defend herself, Jesus does that for her.
And this is often the case. We
don’t always have to defend ourselves.
saw what Mary did in a much different light than the complainers, and of
course, Judas being the number one complainer was more interested in money
than feeding the poor or honouring Jesus.
Jesus viewed this as a “beautiful” jester on the part of Mary.
She willingly gave up something extremely expensive for Jesus, and
Jesus was greatly honoured.
verse 7 Jesus says “the poor you always have with you and you can help
them at any times”. Then He
says that they won’t always have Him.
In fact within the week He’d die on the cross then He’d come
back for a few short weeks until He returned to Heaven.
might wonder about what Jesus says here.
Is He being selfish? Should
not have He agreed that a whole years worth of income could have helped
the poor immensely? Seemingly
Jesus didn’t think this way at all, and it’s not that He has no
interest for the poor. As a
matter of fact He did and the number one complainer had no interest for
was defending Mary’s act of honour, and sometimes honouring Jesus, if
not all times, comes before helping the poor.
We do help the poor and we should not neglect the poor but what
Jesus is saying here is that He comes first.
We first honour Him and then we honour the poor and do those things
which He has asked us to do concerning the poor.
Without honouring Jesus first, and without spending time with Him,
our works of service don’t count much in the eyes of God.
They may indeed help the people you’re serving, but such serving
is outside the sphere of faith.
reading this verse I often think of Watchman Nee’s little book called
“Why This Waste”. He
speaks of lives given totally to Jesus and His service, lives that could
have been very productive in a worldly sense but aren’t because
they’ve dedicated themselves to Jesus and spend their lives on Him. The
world looks on such people as missionaries and sees a waste of
lives, while Jesus looks on them and sees those wasting their lives
for Him, which is far from a waste.
verse 8 Jesus says that “she did what she could”.
This means that at that moment she did the most honourable thing
that she could possibly do. All
the complainers could do is complain, something that is far from
in verse 8 Jesus states the reason why Mary did this.
He says that she anointed His body ahead of His burial.
Normally one would anoint a dead body with perfume to take away the
bad odor, but Mary anoints Jesus’ body before He dies.
question is always asked. Did
Mary really know that Jesus was going to die?
Some say she didn’t. She
unconsciously did this. But if
she didn’t think Jesus was going to die, why would Jesus say this.
I think Mary knew what was going to happen.
As a matter of fact, they all should have known because Jesus told
them many times of His death but many just didn’t clue in, but Mary did.
verses 10 and 11 we learn that this was the event that motivated Judas to
go to the Jewish leaders and make a deal with them to betray Jesus into
their hands. The whole event
was over money. We know that
Judas was a thief from the beginning.
We know all he was interested in was money, and when he saw this
apparent waste, that triggered him to give into Satan’s attempt to use
him against Jesus. He would
thus be paid to hand Jesus over to the Jews.
section ends with Judas going out to find the Jewish leadership so he
could make a deal with them to arrest
Jesus. This might be
the reason why this section seems to be out of place. The chapter opens on
Tuesday, but suddenly switches to the previous Friday.
Yet this add section is linked together by verse 1 and verse 14.
Verse 14 states that Judas went to find the Jewish leadership to
help them arrest Jesus. Verse
1 tells us that they weren’t prepared to do that quite yet.
verse 12 we see that Mark now jumps forward to the “first Day of the
Feast of the Unleavened Bread”. This
would be on Thursday. What
Jesus did on Wednesday is unknown. Neither
of the four gospel writers comment on what Jesus did on Wednesday
words “first day of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread” is in reference
to the eight days that Jews would bake and eat bread with no leaven in it.
This also was the Day of Passover when Jews would kill and eat the
verse 12 also we see some of the disciples asking Jesus where He wanted to
eat the Passover, so they could go and prepare the meal.
Thus we see that it doesn’t appear that Jesus helped make the
verse 13 Jesus tells two of the disciples “to go into the city”.
There’s not really any dispute among scholars to what city Jesus
is talking about here. He
wants these two men to go into Jerusalem.
instructions that Jesus gives these two men are that they will see a man
carrying a jar of water. They
are to ask him that the Teacher requires a room to eat the Passover in
with His disciples. That man
will have an upper room that is all ready and furnished for this meal.
doesn’t tell us, but Luke tells us that the two men that Jesus sent was
Peter and John. The question
is asked, did either Peter or John, or even Jesus know this man.
We may not know the answer for sure.
It is clear to me that Jesus at least new the man, or knew of him
and his room through the Spirit, one or the other.
is also unlikely that Peter and John returned to
16 simply tells us that Peter and John did as Jesus told them and
everything was exactly as Jesus said it would be.
17 says that “when evening came Jesus arrived with the Twelve…”
Peter and John most likely prepared the meal and met up with Jesus
and the other ten men at some pre-arranged place and then they all went to
the upper room.
note that the Passover meal was in the evening. This would be our Thursday
evening, but Jews begin their day at sundown. So our Thursday evening
would be their Friday.
goes into greater detail than does Mark and the other gospel writers about
this meal. If you want
to see more details you can read John and my commentary on John.
Mark simply says here that the Twelve and Jesus recline at the
table and Jesus tells them that He will be betrayed by one of them that
eats with Him. How difficult
this must have been for Jesus. I
don’t think that this was a joyous occasion for Jesus and for
Passover meal consisted of a fixed order in the ceremony.
1 – first cup of wine with its blessing, 2 – eating of bitter
herbs that would recall the bitter life in Egypt, 3 – eating of the
unleavened bread and the roasted lamb, 4 – the head of the house dips
the bitter herbs into a sauce and prays and then the rest follow him, 5-
drinking of water and wine mixture while he explains the meaning of the
meal, 6 – a Psalm is sung with a drink from a cup of wine, 7 – the
father washes his hands, takes 2 cakes of bread,
breaks one and lays it on the unbroken one, blesses the bread,
wraps a broken piece of bread in herbs, dips it in a sauce and eats it
along with a piece of lamb, 8 – all join in eating. It was at this point
that the exposure of Judas was made. 9 – the father would eat the last
pieces of the lamb and then came the third cup of wine. 10 – another
Psalm was sung along with fourth and sometimes fifth cup of wine.
is interesting to note that concerning Judas, Jesus doesn’t mention him
by name. Jesus doesn’t say that Judas will betray Him.
He simply says that the one who dips bread with me will betray me,
making the whole event much more dramatic.
Can you possibly think of how everyone would feel when they saw
Judas dip his piece of bread in the sauce with Jesus.
At that point everyone would know Jesus’ betrayer without Jesus
mentioning his name. What a
solemn moment that was.
19 says that everyone was “saddened and one by one they said, ‘surely
not I’”. Everyone just
knew that they’d never betray Jesus their Lord, but we know better.
Judas of course betrayed Jesus to His death. Then many of the
others betrayed Jesus as well, though their betrayal was not as serious.
I’m reminded that Jesus told Peter that He’d pray for him so
his faith would not fail after Peter’s denial.
We all deny Jesus from time to time in many ways, but what Jesus is
most concerned about is our faith, or our trust in Him.
Though we deny Him from time to time, we are to trust Him to our
verse 20 we see Jesus with the specific words stating the one who dips
bread with Him would betray Him. We note that Jesus didn’t just come out
and say that Judas would betray Him. The
way in which this event unfolded was much more dramatic.
If Jesus had of simply said, “Judas will betray me”, there
would have been no suspense and would be far lass dramatic. I don’t
think that Jesus intended to overly dramatize this, but it turned out to
be so, and I also believe it was part of Jesus place in connection with
the battle that was now raging in Judas’ heart and mind.
Jesus was saying these things the other eleven men were wondering who the
betrayer was, yet with Judas, the devil was sitting on his shoulders
enticing Judas to give into Him as Jesus spoke.
What was really gong on here was a battle between Jesus and satan.
No one in the room could see this battle, only Jesus and Judas.
may wonder about Judas. Did he repent upon his suicide?
Will he be in Heaven? I
don’t think so. In verse 21
Jesus tells the Twelve that He will go as the Scriptures say, but wow to
the one who betrays Him for it would have been better if he had never been
born. To me this is the clear
answer. Judas will not be
found in Heaven.
wonder what Judas might have thought when he heard these words from Jesus.
I think that the Holy Spirit always spoke through Jesus and I
don’t think these words were any exception.
I think Judas’ heart must have been pricked with these words. And
as John tells us, satan had already entered Judas.
It was too late for him to change his mind, or so I think at
verse 22 Jesus took some bread, gave thanks, broke it in pieces and gave
the pieces to the disciples. Most
scholars feel that this took place during the eight step in the Passover
meal. What Jesus does here
seems to be an addition to what would have normally happened in this step.
This is one reason why scholars believe what Jesus was really doing
here was instituting a new Passover meal, which we call the Lord’s
Supper. This would replace the Passover and would be for New Testament
thing to remember about the bread that Jesus broke is that it wasn’t a
loaf as we would know it. Remember
there was no leaven in the bread to make the loaf rise.
It was just a very thin flat piece of bread.
people point out the fact that Jesus “broke the bread” and say this
symbolizes Jesus body being broken on the cross.
But we need to remember is that no bones were broken in Jesus’
body. Some liturgies actually
say, “take and eat for this is my body broken for you”.
By saying this, you’re saying that the breaking of the bread by
Jesus symbolizes His broken body on the cross.
It just might be that there is no symbolism.
Jesus had to break the bread to distribute it to twelve men.
In reference to the bread He just said, “take it, this is my
body”. No words about being
Jesus passes out the broken bread He says, “take it, this is my
body”. Luke records a few
more words. Luke adds “given for you”.
Note it’s not “broken for you”. The words “this is my
body” have caused more trouble and debates between theologians over the
years than most other words found in the Bible.
is the question. Did Jesus
offer these men a piece of bread, or a piece of His body?
He hands them bread, but He calls it His body.
He did not say that this piece of bread represents His body. He
says that it is His body.
doctrine teaches that this bread became the body of Jesus once it was
digested into the stomach of the Twelve.
Most Protestant believe the bread was purely symbolic even though
Jesus said it was His body.
question is hard to answer. I tend to believe that the bread was symbolic
and Jesus didn’t have to say it was symbolic for it to be symbolic.
It could have been simply understood based on simple logic, even
though I’m not convinced the Twelve did understand.
verse 23 Jesus took a cup of wine and gave thanks and offered it to the
Twelve as well. In verse 24 we
have the same wording as above. Jesus
says, “this is my blood…”
Again, if I believe the bread was symbolic, I’d have to believe
the wine was symbolic.
says that “this (the wine) is the blood of the covenant”.
Some manuscripts say “new covenant”.
If Jesus actually said the word “new” then the idea that He is
presenting is clear. Yet even if He didn’t put the word “new” before
covenant, I believe it is understood to be new.
saying this is the blood of the new covenant, Jesus is now introducing to
the Twelve the truth that the Old Covenant as seen in the Old Testament is
now coming to an end, and a New Covenant will now replace the old one.
lot could be said about covenant here, but I won’t get into all the
details. What I would like to
say is that God never made the
Old Covenant or the New Covenant with man.
He made it with Himself. God
simply agreed with Himself to bless men and women with salvation if they
so chose to receive this blessing.
says that His blood would be poured out for many.
It is my thinking that the “many” spoken of here are the many
that will receive salvation. It’s
not the “many” that God predestined.
I will not speak further on this topic. You can read my commentary
on Romans chapter 8 to see my thinking.
body wasn’t broken on the cross, but His blood was literally poured out
of His body. We should note that point.
somewhat simple little event within the Passover meal has now turned into
one of the sacraments of the church. Some
denominations make more of this than others.
It does appear to me that Jesus was adding a new part to the
Passover for particular reasons. But it also appears that He wanted us to
partake in like fashion as a testimony to the cross.
In 1 Cor. 11 Paul speaks of the Lord’s Supper as if it was a
regular and accepted tradition in the early church. Also, the way Paul
speaks of this meal tells me that it was Jesus’ thinking for us to
remember the cross with this tradition.
verse 25 Jesus tells the Twelve that He will not drink of “the fruit of
the vine” until He drinks it anew in the Kingdom
Jesus says that He would not drink wine until He drank it again anew in
second question is, “when does the
the disciples denying Jesus, we first think of Judas, and then we might
think of Peter’s denial. But
here in verse 27 Jesus clearly says that they “all will fall away”,
not just Peter and Judas.
Greek word translated as “fall away” means “to be trapped” as a
fisherman would catch a fish with a hook. They were so overwhelmed by what
happened to Jesus that they fell into satan’s trap.
says that these men will be trapped because “it is written” in Zech.
13:1. Jesus quotes, “I will
strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered”. It is always
interesting to see how Jesus interprets the Old Testament , especially its
prophecies. Does Jesus
take this verse from Zechariah and say it is speaking to the event that
will soon take place with Jesus’ death and the disciples entrapment, or
is He using this verse as an example of what happens when a shepherd is
stricken? It’s hard to say
for sure, but it would seem to me that He is saying this Old Testament
verse applies strictly to what is about to happen.
Yet at the same time, this is one point to suggest double meanings
to prophetic Scripture. It
seems to me, and to many well known scholars that Old Testament prophecies
have a double or even a triple meaning to them, meaning that their
fulfillment can be seen in more than one time in history.
the words “I will strike”. The
“I” refers to Yahweh God. He will strike the shepherd and the shepherd
is Jesus. This is what really
happened on the cross. It
wasn’t the Jews nor the Romans that really killed Jesus. It was God
Himself that killed Him.
verse 28 Jesus speaks of His resurrection again by telling them that after
He rises from the dead He will “go ahead of them into
is pretty clear that the disciples didn’t quite understand the talk of
the resurrection, or else they might have not been so devastated with His
see typical Peter once again in verse 29 when he says, “even if all fall
away, I won’t”. But in verse 30 Jesus answers Peter by saying,
“today, yes tonight before the rooster crows twice, you yourself will
disown me three times”.
the words “you yourself”. Peter
is confident that he will be the only one who will not fall away.
But Jesus stresses the point that he will fall away like the others
by saying “you yourself”. It’s
like saying “you, yes you Peter will deny me”.
else to note is that the others will fall away, but Peter will deny Jesus.
Peter’s denial seem one step further than falling away in my
thinking. He actually disowned
Jesus. He confessed with a lie that he did not know Jesus. He didn’t
merely sneak away and hide like the others. Peter actually disowned
knowing his Lord with a lie.
verse 31 Peter contradicted Jesus by saying he’d never disown Jesus.
It’s clear that Peter didn’t know or understand what he was saying.
He was actually telling the Lord of all there is that He was wrong.
The other ten followed Peter in his assertion that Jesus was wrong.
thing we note from Luke and do not see here is that none of this bothered
Jesus. He knew that all of
these men would fall away and He knew Peter would disown Him three times.
Luke tells us that Jesus told Peter that He would pray for him so
that his faith would not fail. So
in Jesus’ mind the falling away and the denial wasn’t the important
issue. The important issue was
their faith, their trust in Him. Trust in Jesus must stay in tact.
We all fall at times and we all even deny Jesus at times, but it is
our trust in Him that is important. Our
trust must stay in tact and be strengthened.
somewhat debatable but there is a general consensus that the word
the number one reason why Jesus took His disciples here was not that what
was to happen and the name of the place were related, but that He wanted a
quiet and secluded place to pray.
asks the Twelve to sit down and then He takes Peter, James and John with
Him a little ways off into the olive grove.
Once again we see this special relationship that Jesus seems to
have with these three men.
tells the nine remaining men “to sit here while I pray”.
The Greek word here for pray means
to pray with the intent to finish the prayer.
Of course the word “finish” is important in the next few days
of His life, because He is now in the process of finishing His work on
earth, and finishing what needs to be done to bring salvation to the
world. He would certainly
finish His prayer which in turn is a resolve to carry through with the
verse 33 Jesus began to be “deeply distressed and troubled”. We cannot
begin to even imagine how Jesus felt at this point in His life.
Only three men saw Jesus in the state that He was in.
An alternate translation
of these words could be “completely
upset and worried”. As Jesus
took a few extra steps away from Peter, James and John it appears that
Jesus was overcome with fear, dread, worry, and anxiety. These three men
would have never seen Jesus in this state.
It appears that He had lost His power, lost His strength, and lost
all that He had that made Him who He was.
verse 34 Jesus says that His “soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the
point of death”. This means
that Jesus came close to dying in this olive grove.
I can’t say for sure, but it might well be possible that Jesus
had a heart attack as He was in prayer.
in verse 34 Jesus tells the three men to stay where they are and to keep
watch. Some might say
that Jesus is telling the three to watch Him pray, but the word “keep”
seems to suggest to watch out for those who would come to arrest Him,
although they did not realize such a thing would happen.
is one of Jesus’ most dreadful hours of His life.
It might well be that He wanted these three men to see Him in this
hour and even perhaps bring some kind comfort to Him as He prays in agony.
But that didn’t happen. He
had to experience this alone. Man
let Him down as we seem to always do.
only my thinking, and I could be wrong, but when thinking of Restoration
Theology that says the church will reach such great heights of success
that Jesus will look down on us and say, “I just have to come back
now” seems too far fetched. I look at
35 tells us what Jesus was praying. He was asking His Father, that if it
was any way possible He’d prefer not to go through with His plan.
If there was any other way to do this, Jesus would have gladly
bowed out of this prearranged plan.
says that Jesus “fell to the ground”.
I don’t think Jesus calmly knelt down on His knees as you and I
would at a prayer meeting. I
think He actually fell. He
could not stand the weight of the pressure that was on His life. He simply
verse 36 we see Jesus pleading with His Father. He cries out,
“everything is possible for you. Take
this cup from me. Yet, not
what I will, but what you will”. Jesus
asks this of His Father based on the fact that God could do anything.
God could have changed His mind and worked out another plan.
Yet it seems to me that God’s love for us needed to be seen in
the death of Jesus. Yes, God
could have provided salvation for us in one of many ways, but this way
shows the whole universe that He loved us so much He was willing to kill
His own Son, which was really Himself in human form.
can see the intensity in Jesus’ prayer at this point.
He doesn’t ask if His Father could take this cup from Him.
He almost demands. He
says, “take this cup from me”. But
even if this is close to demanding, Jesus quickly continues by saying that
He is more than willing to follow through with God’s plan.
This is the fight between the human and divine nature of Jesus.
verse 37 Jesus returns to the three men and finds them asleep.
He actually had to wake them up.
He asks Peter, “could you not watch for one hour”.
So we know how long Jesus had been praying.
It is interesting that Jesus asked Peter this question.
Maybe because He saw Peter as their leader.
Maybe because Peter was usually the first to speak.
then tells the three men to “watch and pray so they will not fall into
temptation”. There’s two
things here. We are to watch
and we are to pray. We’ve
seen these words before and one time where we’ve seen them was in
reference to the end of this age. We
are told by Jesus to watch and pray as the time of the end draws near, so
we won’t be asleep when Jesus returns.
Watching simply means to stay alert and active in the things of
God. Praying is what we should
be doing as we’re being alert. I
might add that praying in this respect doesn’t mean merely praying as in
intercession, but it also means being in communion with God as we live out
our lives wherever we are. It’s
this second aspect of prayer that is important as well.
Just the mere fact that Jesus places these two words together
suggests to me that He’s talking about communing or praying as we go
about our daily chores.
then admits that “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”.
This is something that these three men should have seen in Jesus
but may have missed since they fell asleep. Jesus Himself experienced
this. His spirit was willing,
while His flesh was weak at this moment.
But His flesh did not win the battle.
verse 39 we see that Jesus went back and continued to pray and then
returned to see the three men fast asleep again.
He must have only shook His head.
We certainly see the difference between Jesus and mankind in this
situation. They failed again, and as Mark says, “they did not know what
to say to Him”. The three
men were speechless. Even Peter had nothing to say.
What could they have possibly said anyways that would have meant
anything to Jesus at this point in time?
see in verse 41 that Jesus returns the third time from praying and sees
the men sleeping. We see the
number three here. Most
Biblical scholars who hold to the importance of numbers in the Bible say
that the number three is the number of completion. Jesus prayed in agony
three times, and at the end of the third time His prayer was complete as
we noted earlier with the Greek verb tense.
As the old Methodists used to say, “He prayed through”. He came
out the other end of His prayer with the resolve to do God’s will.
then says, “enough”. “That’s
it”, Jesus says. “It’s
all over now. Enough is enough”. Jesus
spent the last three years with these men, teaching, preaching and healing
the sick. He spoke to masses. He
debated with the Jewish leadership. And
now it was all over. Those
closest to Him were asleep, and as He says, “here comes my betrayer”,
who was also one of His, one of them.
the three men and the others were too much in a daze of sleep to catch
Jesus’ meaning here when He tells them that the Son of Man will now be
betrayed into the hands of sinners, of which Judas was one. But my guess
is that when the Eleven saw Judas standing with the Jewish leadership
their hearts fell to their knees in shock and despair.
see in verse 43 that while Jesus was actually saying the above words,
suddenly out of nowhere came Judas with a crowd of men carrying swords and
clubs. The Greek word for
“sword” implies a short sword which Roman soldiers would carry.
Clubs were carried normally by the
sure the Eleven were overwhelmed to see Judas with the soldiers.
What Jesus had prophesied at the Last Supper has now come to pass.
44 tells us that Judas had pre-arranged a signal.
The one who he would kiss would be Jesus, the one the soldiers
should arrest and take away with guards. You’d wonder, Judas had been
with Jesus for three years at this point. Did he really think that Jesus
would put up a fight? Although, on the other hand, Judas wanted to claim
the money promised him with the safe arrival of Jesus to the Sanhedrin.
If Jesus escapes, he’d get no money.
suggest that there could have easily been 200 Roman soldiers and 200 Temple
guards along with some bystanders who would have followed these soldiers
to the Olive Grove.
comes to Jesus and says, “rabbi” and kisses Him as if he is glad to
see Jesus, and in one since of the word he was.
The soldiers immediately arrested Jesus.
And Judas betrayed the Lord with an apparent affectionate kiss.
Of course, it was more devilish than affectionate.
in reality this kiss means nothing. John
tells us that even before Judas kissed Jesus that Jesus voluntarily handed
Himself over to the crowd. Judas
only carried through with His plan, even though Jesus pre-empted the plan
by willingly giving Himself up.
learn from Luke that the disciples had 2 swords with them at the request
of Jesus. (Lu 22:38)
Mark doesn’t tell us that it was Peter who drew the sword and cut
a soldiers ear off. Maybe
because Peter and Mark were close friends, he didn’t want to disclose
that information. And of course, who else would have done this but Peter.
Peter pretty well said that he’d let no one take Jesus away and
this was his impulsive attempt to stop Jesus from being taken away.
But could Peter withstand 400 men.
I don’t think so. Peter
acts out of emotion, not out of common sense.
verse 48 Jesus protests the way in which He was arrested, as if He were
some leader of an army Himself, ready to overthrow
this moment in time, when the soldiers took Jesus away nine of the eleven
fled and hid themselves. Peter
and John however followed them into
is hard to say why Mark includes verse 51 into his narrative.
Who was this young man who was only dressed in a blanket of linen?
Why was he following Jesus, and why would the soldiers want to
arrest him? Some scholars
believe this young man was Mark, but that’s pure speculation.
verse 53 we see that all the Jewish leadership met that night when the
soldiers brought Jesus to them. In verse 54 we note that Peter followed
the soldiers yet he was afar off so not to be seen.
gathering of the Sanhedrin took place at night as we know.
But for the Sanhedrin to gather at night was against their own law,
but at this point many of the Jewish leaders were so upset with Jesus that
they cared little about their own laws.
Jesus is inside being drilled by the Jews, Peter is outside in the
courtyard warming himself by the fire.
We know from John that the only reason why Peter got in the
courtyard was because John knew the gatekeeper.
Peter was apparently pretending to be part of the common folk who
happened to be there. This in
itself was somewhat hypocritical, because he was more than just an
ordinary guy in this context.
illegality to understand here is that Jesus was not arrested in proper
Jewish fashion. He was simply
arrested and brought to the Sanhedrin, without any proper indictment with
55 tells us that they could not find any real valid reason to put Jesus to
death and verse 56 tells us that the witnesses they gathered up all told
different stories. So there
was no foundation to carry on this procedure since there were no
Jews went as far as to find some “false witnesses” as verse 58 says.
They remembered the time when Jesus said that He’d destroy this
temple and then in three days raise it again.
Of course they were misinterpreting Jesus’ words, because Jesus
was speaking of the temple of His body, not the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The Sanhedrin was hoping to
get Jesus on this point concerning Him wanting to destroy their
this point the so-called trial should have been over.
There’s no real evidence to convict Jesus.
They should have just let Him go free.
But Caiaphas in verse 60 tries Himself to convict Jesus.
He first asks Jesus why He is being silent.
Jesus simply did not stand up for Himself and answer any of the
accusations, which would have been quite frustrating to the Jews.
was furious with Jesus. By
prodding Jesus he was most likely trying to make Jesus say something He
shouldn’t and thus the Jews would have something to convict Jesus on
that actually came from His mouth and they’d all be witnesses.
61 says that Jesus “remained silent”. He chose not to defend Himself
against all the false accusations.
He just stood there alone and silent before His accusers.
So Caiaphas asks Jesus outright if He was “the Christ, the Son of
the Most Blessed”. Of course
the “Most Blessed” refers to God.
asks Jesus a direct question, and although he did not believe that Jesus
was the Christ, Jesus could not let this question go unanswered.
This was an important question, and failing to answer this question
because it was based on the truth of who He was would be a mistake.
says Jesus replies by saying, “I am”.
Matthew tells us that Jesus said more than that.
Two simple words, “I am” confirms just who Jesus is.
He is the Son of the Most Blessed, and He has the job of being the
in verse 62 Jesus adds, “you will see the Son of Man sitting at the
right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of Heaven.”.
Matthew seems to suggest that the Sanhedrin would begin to see
these thing immediately because of the use of the words “and now”, as
in “now you will see…”. So
some interpret Jesus’ words
as meaning that they’d see the power of God in Jesus through His death,
resurrection, ascension, and even through the early church.
Yet others believe Jesus is speaking of His return at the end of
this age due to the fact that He speaks of “the clouds” which is often
in reference to His return At
the moment, I’m not sure what way to think.
verse 63 we see Caiaphas in a raging anger. He rips his clothes as a
demonstration of His disgust. He
as well as the rest of the Sanhedrin heard what Jesus said from His own
mouth. There need to be no
witnesses. Jesus had
blasphemed God with His words, claiming to be His Son. Caiaphas thus asks,
“what do you think”? He
asks his colleagues what they thought knowing most of them would be on his
verse 64 all of the Sanhedrin agreed with Caiaphas and said Jesus was
worthy of death.
was a criminal case in the eyes of the Jews, meaning the sentence of death
would be placed on Jesus. Yet
in criminal cases, once the Sanhedrin decided the accused was guilty they
had to come back and meet on another day, not the same day, and go through
a lengthy procedure before the accused would receive his verdict and
sentence. Yet with all these
proceedings, the Sanhedrin did not follow their own rules
They simply pronounced Jesus as being guilty and worthy of death.
This is why we always hear that Jesus’ trial was a mock trial.
All the official rules were broken.
verse 65 we see the anger of the Sanhedrin.
They blind folded Jesus, spit on Him, punched Him , and said,
“prophecy”. We learn
from Matthew that the word
“prophecy” is in reference to Jesus being blind folded and should be
able to prophecy concerning who hit Him and spit on Him.
verses 66 and 67 we see a servant girl, the one who let Peter and John in
the court yard according to the other gospels, came to Peter and ask,
“you also were with that Nazarene Jesus”.
was warming himself by an outdoor fire when the servant girl ask him about
knowing Jesus. There was a
large crowd around him and this put the pressure on him.
If he acknowledged knowing Jesus then he feared what might happen
to him. We know from Luke that this temptation was actually a temptation
from the devil. Peter
couldn’t take the pressure.
verse 68 Peter answers the girl by saying, “I don’t know or understand
what you are talking about”. There’s
two parts to Peter’s answer here. Peter
first says that he doesn’t know what the girl is talking about.
He doesn’t know this Jesus or anything associated with Him.
Yet beyond this, he doesn’t even understand the question.
This second part is an attempt to even distance himself further
from Jesus. He doesn’t know
Jesus and he doesn’t even understand the question about Him, as if
he’s never heard of Jesus, which most people had.
lying Peter left the fire and went back to the gate of the courtyard.
By mentioning this, to me it seems to suggest that Peter was very
uncomfortable and could no longer be in the presence of the crowd around
the fire in case someone continued the discussion.
appears he went back to where the same servant girl came from in the first
place. She left her post at
the gate, came to the fire, and returned to the gate where Peter was after
he left the fire. She did not
ask him the second time if he knew of Jesus.
She simply announced to the people standing around the gate that
“this fellow is one of them”. We
see this in verse 69.
in verse 69 we see Peter denying knowing Jesus.
Mark does not say what Peter says, but once you tell one lie you
need to support it with another lie, or else come clean with the truth.
Peter still had the fears and could not bring himself around to speak the
truth so for the second time he denied knowing Jesus and denied being one
of Jesus’ disciples.
true it is. Once you lie you fail to be honest, you trap yourself .
Either you admit to the dishonesty, or you keep up the falsehood to
support the original. The
tendency of the carnal man is to continue the falsehood.
verse 70 others told Peter that he had to be one of Jesus’ followers
because he was a Galilean. We
know from other gospel records that his speech gave Peter away.
His dialect was one from
71 says that Peter “began to call down curses on himself and swore”.
He called down a curse, meaning, he’d told God to curse him if
what he was saying was not true. This
was more than words to Peter and to Jews.
They understood the reality of blessings and curses from the Old
Testament Law. God told
again says, “I don’t know this man…”.
Jesus, the one he guaranteed to die for became “this man” in
his denial. This is a far cry
from Peter’s somewhat arrogant claim to follow Jesus to His death.
It’s also a far cry from Peter’s confession that Jesus is the
Christ for which Jesus praised him for.
chapter ends in verse 72 with Peter remembering the words of Jesus after
the rooster crowed. Peter
broke down and wept. He was extremely disappointed in himself and
saddened. The difference between Peter’s reaction and Judas’ was that
Peter’s tears led to genuine repentance.
Judas remained unrepentant.
Thus Jesus’ prayer for Peter was answered.
Yes, Peter denied knowing Jesus, but he did not deny his faith.
Jesus prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail, and it didn’t.
Peter, after denying Jesus, came back to Jesus and picked up where he left
story about Peter is more detailed by Luke.
We see Jesus is mostly concerned about Peter’s faith, or his
trust in Him. Jesus was less
concerned about Peter’s denial. This
tells me that though we fall and fail Jesus at times, He wants us to
continually trust Him. Trust
in Jesus is the main factor because that is what saves us and keeps us
saved. We should never allow
our failures to destroy out faith.