Mark 14

Our Lord Jesus, betrayed into the hands of the violent by His own familiar friend and led away by wicked hands to His death, consecrated Himself to that purpose, for which He came into the world the redemption of mankind by the blood of the cross. A great part of the load of sorrow He bore was that occasioned by His betrayal and denial by those close to Him.

1 After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death.

2 But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people.

3 ¶ And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.

4 And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?

5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.

6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.

7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.

8 She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.

9 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

10 ¶ And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them.

11 And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him.

12 ¶ And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?

13 And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him.

14 And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?

15 And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us.

16 And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.

17 And in the evening he cometh with the twelve.

18 And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me.

19 And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I?

20 And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish.

21 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.

22 ¶ And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.

23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.

24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.

25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

26 ¶ And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

27 And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.

28 But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee.

29 But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.

30 And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice.

31 But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.

32 And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.

33 And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;

34 And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.

35 And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.

36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

37 And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour?

38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.

39 And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words.

40 And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him.

41 And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

42 Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand.

43 ¶ And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.

44 And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely.

45 And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him.

46 ¶ And they laid their hands on him, and took him.

47 And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.

48 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me?

49 I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled.

50 And they all forsook him, and fled.

51 And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him:

52 And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.

53 ¶ And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes.

54 And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire.

55 And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none.

56 For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together.

57 And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying,

58 We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.

59 But neither so did their witness agree together.

60 And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?

61 But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?

62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

63 Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses?

64 Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.

65 And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands.

66 ¶ And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest:

67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth.

68 But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew.

69 And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them.

70 And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.

71 But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.

72 And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.

Mark 14:1-16 – An Offering of Love

This beautiful incident took place on the Tuesday evening of Passion Week, while the chief priests were gathered in the house of Caiaphas to plot the Lord’s death, Matthew 26:3-5. Simon had probably been healed by Jesus, and the feast was held in his house, as being larger than Martha’s. Jesus was intimate with Lazarus and his sisters, and this unnamed woman was Mary, John 12:2-3. Alabaster resembled white marble, and the perfume was carefully sealed to preserve it. Its cost would amount to about fifty dollars, and would represent the work of three hundred days, Matthew 20:2. Loveless hearts cannot understand the expenditure of love—they count it waste; but how quickly Jesus steps in to vindicate His own! Probably, of all His followers, Mary alone had understood His references to His death, and as she could not be present to perform the last offices of love, she rendered them in advance. Judas, who led the murmuring, seems to have been goaded to this act by the contrast of Mary’s spirit with his own, and by Christ’s gentle rebuke.
The two sent to prepare the Passover were Peter and John, Luke 22:8. We may often be guided by very trivial incidents—let us look out for them. A straw may indicate the direction of the current. The owner of the room was probably a secret disciple of Jesus, like him who lent the ass. It is very beautiful when the Master feels free to put His hand on our possessions, and claim their use. Does he not ask for the guest chamber of our inner life? Is it at His disposal? —Through the Bible Day by Day

Mark 14:6—And Jesus said, Let her alone.

   The lovers of Jesus are often misunderstood. Those who judge only by a utilitarian standard refuse to acknowledge the worth of their deeds. You might as well despise the electric light because it makes no register on a gas-meter. But when the voices of criticism and jealousy are highest, Jesus steps in and casts the shield of his love around the trembling, disconcerted soul, saying, Let him alone. So He speaks still:–
   To Satan.—The adversary stands near to resist and tempt. As Judas criticised Mary, so the Evil One seems at times to pour a perpetual stream of chilling criticism on all we say and do; or he meets us at every turn with some evil suggestion. But Jesus is on the watch, and He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to bear; but when heart and flesh fail, He will step in and say, Let him (or her) alone.
   To sorrow.—We must pass through the fire, and be subjected to the lapidary’s wheel; we must drink of His cup, and be baptized with His baptism; we must bear our cross after Him. But He is always on the alert. And whenever the feeble flesh is at an end of its power of endurance, He will step in and say, Let be—it is enough.
   To human unkindness.—Some of us are called to suffer most from our fellows; our foes belong to our own household; our brother Cain hates us. It is hard to bear. To have one’s motives misunderstood and maligned; to lose one’s good name; to be an outcast—all this is hard. But God has planted a hedge about us, and none may pass through it, except He permit. Even Satan recognizes this, as we learn from the Book of Job. —Our Daily Homily

Mark 14:9 – That which we do for ourselves is forgotten; that which we do for Christ is immortal. (Talmage)

Mark 14:17-31 – The Last Supper

The two disciples made their preparations, returned to Bethany, and later the whole company came in together. The simple meal, consisting of the Passover lamb, unleavened cakes, bitter herbs, and wine, proceeded in the usual way, interspersed with the singing of the Hallel, Psalm 113-118. How well it is when we do not need the accusation, “Thou art the man,” because we utter the inquiry, Is it I? Those whose hearts misgive them are not likely to commit the deed of treachery. At the institution of the Lord’s Supper, Mark 14:22-25, Jesus gave thanks for the bread and the wine, Luke 22:19; I Corinthians 11:24. We must understand His words in Mark 14:22 in the same sense as when He says, “I am the door of the sheep.” Those who receive the outward elements worthily partake, at the same time, spiritually of the things which they signify. Let us never fail to remember at the Lord’s Supper, that it is the sign and seal of the new covenant into which God has entered with Christ on our behalf. See Hebrews 8. For Mark 14:27 compare Zechariah 13:7. The energy of our own resolution is not enough to carry us through the supreme ordeals of trial. We need the Holy Spirit for that. Mark alone mentions the warning of the double cockcrow. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Mark 14:32-52 – Alone in the Hour of Trial

When the soul is overwhelmed, it seeks to be alone, and yet not too far from human sympathy and help. The three most trusted might enter the enclosure, but even they could not share the depth of the Master’s anguish, which was so great as to threaten His very life. He cried to Him who could save Him from dying before His trial and sentence, and was saved from what He feared. Our Lord did not shrink from physical suffering, but from the horror of becoming sin-bearer for the race, and putting away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. His disciples failed Him, but as He submitted to the Father’s will His spirit rose triumphant. Sleep on now—the past is irrevocable. The disciples fled as fast as their feet would carry them. If only they had prayed, they would have been steadfast and unmovable. There are good reasons for supposing that the young man mentioned here was Mark himself. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Mark 14:36 – The one misery of man is self-will, the one secret of blessedness is the conquest over our own wills. (McLaren)

Mark 14:53-72 – A Mockery of Justice

A commission of the chief priests awaited the result of the treachery of Judas at the house of Caiaphas. They had made up their minds what to do, but the form of a trial was necessary. The false witnesses were obviously unable to establish a sufficient case, and our Lord maintained a dignified silence. It was too much for Caiaphas, and he put his prisoner on his oath. Our Lord made no attempt to parry the issue or turn aside from the challenge, but replied: I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. See Psalm 110:1; Daniel 7:13. Then followed a shameful scene, Mark 14:65. But our Lord was as self-restrained in the use of His mighty powers as if He had been one of the most helpless of men. The graphic story of the denial, which took place at the time of the trial in the servants’ hall, was probably given to the evangelist by Peter himself. What a contrast between the strength of the Master and the weakness of the disciple! Yet Peter was forgiven and made the Apostle of the Pentecost! We may have hope! —Through the Bible Day by Day