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Studying Mark's Gospel: The Son of Man Arrested, Part 2

Lesson Twenty: The Son of Man Arrested, Part 2 (Mark 14:43-72)

 

LAST WEEK IN REVIEW

 

Last time we examined part of Wednesday and Thursday of the Passion Week. We saw a plot hatched between the various religious factions to make every effort to arrest and get rid of Jesus. Mark included the story of a woman who lavishly anointed Jesus for His coming burial, to the scorn of the disciples (especially Judas Iscariot, according to John’s Gospel). She was praised by Jesus for this good work, which was recorded for us to read today. Shortly afterwards, Judas went to the religious leaders, offered to betray Jesus to them, and they gladly agreed to pay him for this betrayal. That afternoon the disciples made ready the place where Jesus would celebrate what was His last Passover with them. They gathered together that evening and celebrated the traditional Passover meal, and Jesus revealed that one of them was going to betray Him. Judas took the opportunity to leave at that point, at Jesus’ direction, and as John so eloquently put it, “Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night” (John 13:30, nkjv). Judas walked into the darkness of his soul and the uttermost darkness of eternal separation from God. Toward the end of the meal, Jesus did something else unexpected. He established what we now celebrate as communion, reflecting that His sufferings created a New Covenant relationship between God and those who believe and receive Him, entering into eternal life and a living walk with God. Toward the close of the evening, Jesus revealed that they all would desert Him that night (prophesied long before), and that the Rock, Peter, would deny Him three times! Jesus then faced Gethsemane, the first of His sufferings for us, where He made the choice to follow God’s plan and die for our atonement. We closed with Jesus having finished praying, alerting the disciples that His betrayer was at hand. It is now Friday both by Jewish and Roman reckoning. Let’s turn to that now and see Jesus on trial. 

 

DAY ONE: Judas’s Kiss

Please carefully read Mark 14:43-46 and answer the following questions.

 

1.  What kind of group came with Judas to arrest Jesus (v. 43)?

NOTE: Why did such a force come with him? Bringing such a large group of armed men demonstrates that none of them understood Jesus. Perhaps they thought He would try to escape, or that His followers would put up a fight, or even that He had a hidden armed force of His own. The band that came was probably the temple guard, who were known to possess the weapons mentioned here (swords and clubs). Their clubs reflected the corrupt priestly aristocracy in charge of the temple, as well as being useful in controlling rioters. If the Romans were involved, they may have feared that the many pilgrims in Jerusalem might be easily provoked into a riot, so would have gladly intervened with this.[i]

 

2.  John’s Gospel adds an amazing incident at this time. Read John 18:3-9 and record some of the things recorded there about this.

 

3.  What unbelievable sign did Judas give these men as to how he would identify Jesus for them (vv. 44, 45)?

 

4.  Mark ends the story of Judas with this kiss. The Greek word isn’t the simple verb, but makes its intensity even more intense. It was an affectionate, fervent, and deeply hypocritical kiss he gave to Jesus.[ii] Judas was no victim in all of this. Some try to defend him, stating that he betrayed Jesus in order to force Him into setting up the Kingdom of God then and there. As Warren Wiersbe well said, “Judas was neither a martyr nor a robot. He was a responsible human being who made his own decisions but, in so doing, fulfilled the Word of God. He must not be made into either a hero (‘After all, somebody had to betray Jesus!’) or a helpless victim of merciless predestination. Judas was lost for the same reason millions are lost today: he did not repent of his sins and believe on Jesus Christ.”[iii] What was the pathetic end of Judas according to Matthew 27:3-5?

Scripture Memory:  This week we will be memorizing Mark 14:62. Review the passage several times throughout the day each day this week, and by the end of the week, you should have it memorized completely.

Jesus said, "I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven" (Mark 14:62, nkjv).

 

DAY TWO: Blunders of Disciples

 

Please carefully read Mark 14:47-52 and answer the following questions.

 

1.  This section records the blunders of a couple of Jesus’ followers. What happened suddenly (v. 47)? What did Jesus have to do in response (Matthew 26:51-54; Luke 22:49-51)?

NOTE: We know that this poor swordsman was Peter (John 18:11). The Synoptic Gospel writers were kind to not cause him any more embarrassment, but Peter was dead by the time John wrote his Gospel. The use of the diminutive form of the word ear may indicate that only a portion of it was affected.[iv] Either way, how sad it is that Jesus’ last earthly miracle was to cover for a blunder of one of His followers!

 

2.  How did Jesus respond to this crowd that came to arrest Him, and what happened to His courageous disciples (vv. 48–50)?


3.  What strange story wraps up this section (vv. 51, 52)?

NOTE: What on earth was happening here? Who was this scared streaker? Many believe this young man (Greek, a person in the prime of life, between 24 and 40 years of age) was Mark himself. If so, and if he was the son of the house owner as we mentioned in Lesson 19, possibly after Jesus left Mark’s father’s house after the meal, Mark went to bed wrapped in a linen sleeping garment. Someone may have aroused him with the news about Judas’ treachery as they may have come there looking for Jesus. Without stopping to dress Mark rushed to Gethsemane perhaps to warn Jesus, but He had already been arrested when Mark arrived. After all the disciples fled, Mark was following Jesus and His captors into the city when someone seized him, but he fled from them naked, leaving his linen sleeping garment in someone’s hands.[v] Of course this is mere conjecture, but why else would Mark alone record such a brief and odd incident?

Scripture Memory: Try to fill in the missing words in the blanks below, by memory if at all possible, and then review the passage several times today.

Jesus said, "I am. And you will ______________ the Son of Man sitting at the ____________________ hand of the Power, and _______________________ with the clouds of heaven" (Mark 14:62, nkjv).

 

DAY THREE: Jesus’ Mockery of a Trial

 

Please carefully read Mark 14:53-59 and answer the following questions.

 

1.  Where was Jesus taken for His Jewish trial, and who else is mentioned (vv. 53, 54)?

 

NOTES: Mark didn’t state that Jesus was first taken to Annas, the former high priest, and then to Caiaphas (see John 18). Interestingly, the word used for fire that Peter warmed himself with “is never used of the fire itself, but of the light of the fire; and this is the point to which the evangelist directs attention: that the firelight, shining on Peter’s face, called forth the challenge of the maid.”[vi]

 

2.  What pathetic attempts were made to find grounds to charge Jesus (vv. 55, 56)?


SIDELIGHT: The Illegal Nature of Jesus’ Jewish Trial

 

This trial broke a number of Jewish legal rules, if later documents correctly indicate the state of Jewish law in the First Century (the Mishna tractate Sanhedrin 4–7):

 

1.  No trial could be held at night. Typically Jewish criminal law required a trial be held immediately after arrest, and no doubt they used this as well as the excuse of doing this to not hold it actually on the feast day, and to avoid uproar by the people.

2.  A verdict is such a case had to wait until the next day. Their preconceived verdict was that Jesus had to be put to death, and desperately searched for the slightest grounds they could quickly find to take Him to the Romans to seek execution.

3.  Witnesses had to be warned to relate only true, firsthand testimony. These witnesses all contradicted each other, even the ones mentioned below. Those bearing false witness in a capital case were to be put to death (Deuteronomy 19:16-21), but these weren’t even disciplined for their false testimony.

4.  One could only be convicted of blasphemy for reviling the Divine Name. Jesus did not do this as we’ll see below; rather He honored it in all He said and did in His ministry. 

5.  Trials could not be held in the high priest’s home (palace). Yet these trials were held in the homes (palaces) of both Annas and Caiaphas.

6.  There was no provision in the Old Testament for death by crucifixion. The Romans had taken away the Sadducee’s power to put someone to death. Their method of execution for this was stoning to death (Leviticus 24:13-22). In fact the Law only allowed them to hang someone on a tree, and only overnight, after they had been stoned and were dead (Deuteronomy 21:21-23).

 

Thus Jesus’ trial was illegally held on all accounts. The officials who gathered seemed more concerned with convicting Jesus quickly than with “legal technicalities.”[vii]

 

3.  What grounds did they finally use against Jesus, and how was this even illegal testimony (vv. 57–59)? What was this a misunderstanding of (John 2:17-22)?

 

Scripture Memory:  Try to fill in the missing words in the blanks below, by memory if at all possible, and then review the passage several times today.

 

Jesus said, "I am. And you will ______________ the Son of Man ____________________ at the ____________________ hand of the Power, and _______________________ with the clouds of heaven" (Mark 14:62, nkjv).

 

DAY FOUR: Condemned for the Truth

 

Please carefully read Mark 14:60-65 and answer the following questions.

 

1.  Caiaphas had had enough by this time, no doubt frustrated by the series of false testimony until he heard the statement we read yesterday. Through all of this Jesus hadn’t said a word. What did Caiaphas ask Jesus (vv. 60, 61)? How did all this reflect what was prophesied of Him in Isaiah 53:7?

 

2.  What was Jesus’ amazing response to this (v. 62)?


3.  “I am” in Greek is ego eimi, the same way that the Septuagint translated into Greek Exodus 3:14: “And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ And He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you’” (nkjv). Some manuscripts of lesser quality read, “You say that I am.” If this was the original reading, it would still constitute an affirmative answer. The textual evidence definitely favors “I am,” and “You say that I am” was probably written by a scribe to reflect Matthew 26:64 and Luke 22:70. Most likely, Jesus and Mark intended “I am” to be more than an affirmative answer, but a clear allusion to Who He really was.[viii] What was the reaction of Caiaphas to this proclamation (vv. 63, 64)?

NOTES:  According to John Grassmick, “The high priest changed tactics and asked (lit. ‘kept asking’) Jesus pointedly, Are You (emphatic) the Christ (the Messiah; cf. 1:1; 8:29), the Son of the Blessed One? The title ‘Blessed One,’ found in this sense only here in the New Testament, is a Jewish substitute for ‘God’ (cf. Mishnah Berachoth 7. 3). These two titles of Jesus both refer to His claim to be the Messiah.”[ix] The High Priest was required to tear (kjv, rent) his clothes if he heard the sacred Name blasphemed. This shows Caiaphas was so desperate to convict Jesus that he violated another aspect of Jewish law: he couldn’t force Jesus to convict Himself out of His own mouth. Also, the High Priest wasn’t allowed to judge the case himself but a vote would be taken from the youngest to oldest of the Sanhedrin, and though they “cannot have genuinely believed that Jesus has committed blasphemy according to its technical Jewish definition, they have an important reason to deal with him quickly: he poses a clear threat to the temple establishment.... and as a messianic claimant he threatens the whole Roman power structure that they, the Jewish aristocracy, represent.”[x]

4.  In what shameful way was Jesus treated by these “men of God,” also forbidden by Jewish law,[xi] for telling the truth (v. 65)?

 

Scripture Memory:  Try to fill in the missing words in the blanks below, by memory if at all possible, and then review the passage several times today.

 

Jesus said, "I am. And you will ______________ the _____________ of ____________ ____________________ at the ____________________ hand of the _____________________, and _______________________ with the __________________________ of heaven" (Mark 14:62, nkjv).

 

DAY FIVE: The Rock Crumbles

 

Please carefully read Mark 14:66-72 and answer the following questions.

 

1.  We last left Peter warming himself by the enemy’s fire, which illuminated his face. A young woman, one of the servant girls, came over to Peter. What did she ask him, and how did he respond (vv. 67, 68).


2.  After this first denial, the nkjv and kjv and a few others correctly add that a rooster crowed.[xii] What happened next (vv. 69, 70a)?


3.  Later, what did those around Peter begin to comment, and how did he react this time (vv. 70b, 71)?

 

4.  Although Peter was a sailor, verse 71 doesn’t mean he swore like one! It means that Peter put himself under a curse,[xiii] taking an oath that he had no idea what they were talking about, nor did he know “this Man. What happened at that moment (v. 72), and how does Luke 22:60-62 add a dramatic detail that made Peter, the Rock, crumble?


Scripture Memory:  Can you write out this week’s passage by memory here below? Give it a try, and keep reviewing the passage several times throughout the day.

 

Mark 14:62:

 

 

DAY SIX: Following Christ

 

1.  Given the illegal nature of Jesus’ trial and treatment of our Lord by spiritually blinded men, it is all the more amazing that Jesus sat there and took it. “He was treated harshly, but endured it humbly; he never said a word. Like a lamb about to be slaughtered, like a sheep about to be sheared, he never said a word” (Isaiah 53:7, tev[xiv]). He was mistreated and rejected by those who should have been most receptive to who He was and why He came, but they blinded themselves to it to preserve their own position. Yet as we read last week, this means Jesus can all the more relate to and is able to help us: “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16, nkjv). Perhaps you are going through a time where you feel you have been mistreated, passed over, or have been used by other people. How does Jesus’ example help you as well as His compassion in having been there comfort you? What are some things you can do when you are mistreated by others? How can your group support and pray for you? Please share your thoughts here.

 

2.   What got Jesus through this all? How could He tolerate first the horrors of the spiritual battle in Gethsemane, being condemned for the truth, and next the terrible whipping and crucifixion and death that awaited Him later that day? The answer might surprise you: He thought of you! He loved you so much that He gave His life for you, and if you were the only one lost and needing redemption, like Aslan did for Edmund in the book and recent movie, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, He would have suffered all this for you alone! Read the following two passages (the emphasis is mine) and record your thoughts and thankfulness about all that Jesus did for you, and share your thoughts with your group:

 

Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief.  When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.  He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:10-11, nkjv).

 

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2).

 

3.  Now to Peter, the Rock that crumbled. Peter serves as a type for all of us who have failed in our Christian life at one point or another. His downfall, however, was much different than that of Judas. Consider the following facts about their downfalls:

 

Both of their failures were prophesied by Jesus; Peter was promised a return to faith, but Judas was not;

 

Peter truly wanted to be there for Jesus, although he failed to do so; Judas seemed to have his own selfish agenda, and when disappointed betrayed Jesus;

 

Peter denied the Lord under fear and pressure; Judas betrayed Him by a choice of the will;

 

Both men were given an opportunity to avoid their failure, Peter if only he had obeyed the Lord, and Judas was given one last chance to repent when Jesus asked, “Friend, do you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”;

 

Both men were remorseful; Peter’s remorse led to repentance and restoration, but Judas’s was sorrow over making a foolish decision, and he didn’t repent;

 

Peter was restored to useful service, helped transform his world, and now lives in glory; Judas saw the emptiness of the world he chose, found a rope, hung himself, and spends eternity in hell.

 

You have failed or will often fail in this life, stuck with one leg in the mire of this world and the other trying to get to Heaven! We all have failed, and all will. Yet we have the opportunity to react like Peter and weep over our sins, reach out to the Lord, and be restored by His grace and forgiveness. Read the following prescription for renewal by the prince of preachers, C.H. Spurgeon, and record your thoughts about your own personal failures and need to see things made new in Christ:

 

It has been thought by some that as long as Peter lived, the fountain of his tears began to flow whenever he remembered his denying his Lord. It is not unlikely that it was so, (for his sin was very great, and grace in him had afterwards a perfect work. This same experience is common to all the redeemed family according to the degree in which the Spirit of God has removed the natural heart of stone. We, like Peter, remember our boastful promise: “Though all men shall forsake thee, yet will not I.” We eat our own words with the bitter herbs of repentance. When we think of what we vowed we would be, and of what we have been, we may weep whole showers of grief. He thought on his denying his Lord. The place in which he did it, the little cause which led him into such heinous sin, the oaths and blasphemies with which he sought to confirm his falsehood, and the dreadful hardness of heart which drove him to do so again and yet again. Can we, when we are reminded of our sins, and their exceeding sinfulness, remain stolid and stubborn? Will we not make our house a Bochim, and cry unto the Lord for renewed assurances of pardoning love? May we never take a dry-eyed look at sin, lest ere long we have a tongue parched in the flames of hell. Peter also thought upon his Master’s look of love. The Lord followed up the cock’s warning voice with an admonitory look of sorrow, pity, and love. That glance was never out of Peter’s mind so long as he lived. It was far more effectual than ten thousand sermons would have been without the Spirit. The penitent apostle would be sure to weep when he recollected the Saviour’s full forgiveness, which restored him to his former place. To think that we have offended so kind and good a Lord is more than sufficient reason for being constant weepers. Lord, smite our rocky hearts, and make the waters flow.[xv]

 

4.  If God spoke to your heart or showed you something to apply to your life as you studied this week, please record it here for all to benefit from.

 

Scripture Memory:  Hopefully you now can write out this week’s passage completely by memory. Do so now, and keep on reviewing it so you will be ready to share it with others in your group time.

 

Mark 14:62:

 



[i] This information is based on Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary, New Testament (Downer’s Grove:  InterVarsity Press, 1983, 1989), p. 176; Richard L. Niswonger, New Testament History (Grand Rapids:  Zondervan Publishing Company, 1988), p. 169; and Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary Vol. 1 (Wheaton:  Victor Books/SP Publications Inc., 1989), pp. 161, 162.

 

[ii] Unless elsewhere noted, all Greek word/phrase translations are based on the following:  A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.  In Oak Harbor:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1932, 1933, 1997);  James Strong, The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible:  Showing Every Word of the Text of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurrence of Each Word in Regular Order, Electronic Edition (Ontario:  Woodside Bible Fellowship; in Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996); M.R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament (Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2002); Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Studies in the New Testament:  For the English Reader (Grand Rapids:  Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Co; in Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1984, 1997); and Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary:  New Testament, Electronic Edition (Chattanooga:  AMG Publishers, in Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1992, 1993, 2000).

 

[iii]Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary Vol. 1, p. 160.

 

[iv] James A. Brooks, Mark.  In David S. Dockery ed., The New American Commentary, Vol. 23 (Nashville:  Broadman Press, 1991), p. 237.

 

[v] John D. Grassmick, Mark.  In John F. Walvoord & Roy B. Zuck eds., The Bible Knowledge Commentary New Testament (Wheaton:  Victor Books/SP Publications, 1983), pp. 181, 182.

 

[vi] M.R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament (Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2002). 

 

[vii] This information is based on James A. Brooks, Mark, p. 240; John D. Grassmick, Mark, pp. 182. 183; Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary, New Testament, pp. 177, 178; and Richard L. Niswonger, New Testament History, pp. 169-171.

 

[viii] James A. Brooks, Mark, p. 243; Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Studies in the New Testament:  For the English Reader.

 

[ix] John D. Grassmick, Mark, p. 183.  Also see John Phillips, Exploring the Gospel of Mark (Grand Rapids:  Kregel Publications, 2004), p. 316.

 

[x] Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary, New Testament, p. 178, 179.

 

[xi] Craig S. Keener, p. 179.

 

[xii] This has been omitted in some manuscripts but having this statement is appropriate, John D. Grassmick, p. 184.

 

[xiii] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary Vol. 1, p. 162.

 

[xiv] Today’s English Version.

 

[xv] C.H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening:  Daily Readings, Morning July 30 (In Oak Harbor:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995).

 

 

© 2006 by Harvest Christian Fellowship. All rights reserved. Written by Thomas Klock for Men’s Bible Fellowship, 2005-2006.

 

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