Mark 14

1 Now after two days was [the feast of] the passover and the unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him with subtlety, and kill him:
2 for they said, Not during the feast, lest haply there shall be a tumult of the people.
3 And while he was in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster cruse of ointment of pure nard very costly; [and] she brake the cruse, and poured it over his head.
4 But there were some that had indignation among themselves, [saying], To what purpose hath this waste of the ointment been made?
5 For this ointment might have been sold for above three hundred shillings, and given to the poor. And they murmured against her.
6 But Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.
7 For ye have the poor always with you, and whensoever ye will ye can do them good: but me ye have not always.
8 She hath done what she could; she hath anointed my body beforehand for the burying.
9 And verily I say unto you, Wheresoever the gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, that also which this woman hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.
10 And Judas Iscariot, he that was one of the twelve, went away unto the chief priests, that he might deliver him unto them.
11 And they, when they heard it, were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently deliver him [unto them].
12 And on the first day of unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the passover, his disciples say unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and make ready that thou mayest eat the passover?
13 And he sendeth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him;
14 and wheresoever he shall enter in, say to the master of the house, The Teacher saith, Where is my guest-chamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?
15 And he will himself show you a large upper room furnished [and] ready: and there make ready for us.
16 And the disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.
17 And when it was evening he cometh with the twelve.
18 And as they sat and were eating, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you shall betray me, [even] he that eateth with me.
19 They began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I?
20 And he said unto them, [It is] one of the twelve, he that dippeth with me in the dish.
21 For the Son of man goeth, even as it is written of him: but woe unto that man through whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had not been born.
22 And as they were eating, he took bread, and when he had blessed, he brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take ye: this is my body.
23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave to them: and they all drank of it.
24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.
25 Verily I say unto you, I shall no more drink of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.
26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out unto the mount of Olives.
27 And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered abroad.
28 Howbeit, after I am raised up, 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 thou to-day, [even] this night, before the cock crow twice, shalt deny me thrice.
31 But he spake exceedingly vehemently, If I must die with thee, I will not deny thee. And in like manner also said they all.
32 And they come unto a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith unto his disciples, Sit ye here, while I pray.
33 And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly amazed, and sore troubled.
34 And he saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death: abide 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 away from him.
36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; remove this cup from me: howbeit not what I will, but what thou wilt.
37 And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest thou not watch one hour?
38 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
39 And again he went away, and prayed, saying the same words.
40 And again he came, and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they knew not 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 Arise, let us be going: behold, he that betrayeth me is at hand.
43 And straightway, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.
44 Now he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is he; take him, and lead him away safely.
45 And when he was come, straightway he came to him, and saith, Rabbi; and kissed him.
46 And they laid hands on him, and took him.
47 But a certain one of them that stood by drew his sword, and smote the servant of the high priest, and struck off his ear.
48 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a robber, with swords and staves to seize me?
49 I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but [this is done] that the scriptures might be fulfilled.
50 And they all left him, and fled.
51 And a certain young man followed with him, having a linen cloth cast about him, over [his] naked [body]: and they lay hold on him;
52 but he left the linen cloth, and fled naked.
53 And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and there come together with him all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes.
54 And Peter had followed him afar off, even within, into the court of the high priest; and he was sitting with the officers, and warming himself in the light [of the fire].
55 Now the chief priests and the whole council sought witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found it not.
56 For many bare false witness against him, and their witness agreed not together.
57 And there stood up certain, and bare false witness against him, saying,
58 We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.
59 And not even 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 saith 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 at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.
63 And the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What further need have we of witnesses?
64 Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be worthy 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 officers received him with blows of their hands.
66 And as Peter was beneath in the court, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest;
67 and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and saith, Thou also wast with the Nazarene, [even] Jesus.
68 But he denied, saying, I neither know, nor understand what thou sayest: and he went out into the porch; and the cock crew.
69 And the maid saw him, and began again to say to them that stood by, This is [one] of them.
70 But he again denied it. And after a little while again they that stood by said to Peter, of a truth thou art [one] of them; for thou art a Galilaean.
71 But he began to curse, and to swear, I know not this man of whom ye speak.
72 And straightway the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word, how that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.

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Mark 14 Commentary

Chapter 14

Christ anointed at Bethany. (1-11) The passover, Jesus declares that Judas would betray him. (12-21) The Lord's supper instituted. (22-31) Christ's agony in the garden. (32-42) He is betrayed and taken. (43-52) Christ before the high priest. (53-65) Peter denies Christ. (66-72)

Verses 1-11 Did Christ pour out his soul unto death for us, and shall we think any thing too precious for him? Do we give him the precious ointment of our best affections? Let us love him with all the heart, though it is common for zeal and affection to be misunderstood and blamed; and remember that charity to the poor will not excuse any from particular acts of piety to the Lord Jesus. Christ commended this woman's pious attention to the notice of believers in all ages. Those who honour Christ he will honour. Covetousness was Judas' master lust, and that betrayed him to the sin of betraying his Master; the devil suited his temptation to that, and so conquered him. And see what wicked contrivances many have in their sinful pursuits; but what appears to forward their plans, will prove curses in the end.

Verses 12-21 Nothing could be less the result of human foresight than the events here related. But our Lord knows all things about us before they come to pass. If we admit him, he will dwell in our hearts. The Son of man goes, as it is written of him, as a lamb to the slaughter; but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed! God's permitting the sins of men, and bringing glory to himself out of them, does not oblige them to sin; nor will this be any excuse for their guilt, or lessen their punishment.

Verses 22-31 The Lord's supper is food for the soul, therefore a very little of that which is for the body, as much as will serve for a sign, is enough. It was instituted by the example and the practice of our Master, to remain in force till his second coming. It was instituted with blessing and giving of thanks, to be a memorial of Christ's death. Frequent mention is made of his precious blood, as the price of our redemption. How comfortable is this to poor repenting sinners, that the blood of Christ is shed for many! If for many, why not for me? It was a sign of the conveyance of the benefits purchased for us by his death. Apply the doctrine of Christ crucified to yourselves; let it be meat and drink to your souls, strengthening and refreshing your spiritual life. It was to be an earnest and foretaste of the happiness of heaven, and thereby to put us out of taste for the pleasures and delights of sense. Every one that has tasted spiritual delights, straightway desires eternal ones. Though the great Shepherd passed through his sufferings without one false step, yet his followers often have been scattered by the small measure of sufferings allotted to them. How very apt we are to think well of ourselves, and to trust our own hearts! It was ill done of Peter thus to answer his Master, and not with fear and trembling. Lord, give me grace to keep me from denying thee.

Verses 32-42 Christ's sufferings began with the sorest of all, those in his soul. He began to be sorely amazed; words not used in St. Matthew, but very full of meaning. The terrors of God set themselves in array against him, and he allowed him to contemplate them. Never was sorrow like unto his at this time. Now he was made a curse for us; the curses of the law were laid upon him as our Surety. He now tasted death, in all the bitterness of it. This was that fear of which the apostle speaks, the natural fear of pain and death, at which human nature startles. Can we ever entertain favourable, or even slight thoughts of sin, when we see the painful sufferings which sin, though but reckoned to him, brought on the Lord Jesus? Shall that sit light upon our souls, which sat so heavy upon his? Was Christ in such agony for our sins, and shall we never be in agony about them? How should we look upon Him whom we have pierced, and mourn! It becomes us to be exceedingly sorrowful for sin, because He was so, and never to mock at it. Christ, as Man, pleaded, that, if it were possible, his sufferings might pass from him. As Mediator, he submitted to the will of God, saying, Nevertheless, not what I will, but what thou wilt; I bid it welcome. See how the sinful weakness of Christ's disciples returns, and overpowers them. What heavy clogs these bodies of ours are to our souls! But when we see trouble at the door, we should get ready for it. Alas, even believers often look at the Redeemer's sufferings in a drowsy manner, and instead of being ready to die with Christ, they are not even prepared to watch with him one hour.

Verses 43-52 Because Christ appeared not as a temporal prince, but preached repentance, reformation, and a holy life, and directed men's thoughts, and affections, and aims to another world, therefore the Jewish rulers sought to destroy him. Peter wounded one of the band. It is easier to fight for Christ than to die for him. But there is a great difference between faulty disciples and hypocrites. The latter rashly and without thought call Christ Master, and express great affection for him, yet betray him to his enemies. Thus they hasten their own destruction.

Verses 53-65 We have here Christ's condemnation before the great council of the Jews. Peter followed; but the high priest's fire-side was no proper place, nor his servants proper company, for Peter: it was an entrance into temptation. Great diligence was used to procure false witnesses against Jesus, yet their testimony was not equal to the charge of a capital crime, by the utmost stretch of their law. He was asked, Art thou the Son of the Blessed? that is, the Son of God. For the proof of his being the Son of God, he refers to his second coming. In these outrages we have proofs of man's enmity to God, and of God's free and unspeakable love to man.

Verses 66-72 Peter's denying Christ began by keeping at a distance from him. Those that are shy of godliness, are far in the way to deny Christ. Those who think it dangerous to be in company with Christ's disciples, because thence they may be drawn in to suffer for him, will find it much more dangerous to be in company with his enemies, because there they may be drawn in to sin against him. When Christ was admired and flocked after, Peter readily owned him; but will own no relation to him now he is deserted and despised. Yet observe, Peter's repentance was very speedy. Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall; and let him that has fallen think of these things, and of his own offences, and return to the Lord with weeping and supplication, seeking forgiveness, and to be raised up by the Holy Spirit.

Mark 14 Commentaries