Mark 14

The Plot to Kill Jesus

1 After two days it was the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a treacherous way to arrest and kill Him.
2 "Not during the festival," they said, "or there may be rioting among the people."

The Anointing at Bethany

3 While He was in Bethany at the house of Simon who had a serious skin disease, as He was reclining at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of pure and expensive fragrant oil of nard. She broke the jar and poured it on His head.
4 But some were expressing indignation to one another: "Why has this fragrant oil been wasted?
5 For this oil might have been sold for more than 300 denarii and given to the poor." And they began to scold her.
6 Then Jesus said, "Leave her alone. Why are you bothering her? She has done a noble thing for Me.
7 You always have the poor with you, and you can do good for them whenever you want, but you do not always have Me.
8 She has done what she could; she has anointed My body in advance for burial.
9 I assure you: Wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told in memory of her."
10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to hand Him over to them.
11 And when they heard this, they were glad and promised to give him silver.[a] So he started looking for a good opportunity to betray Him.

Preparation for Passover

12 On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrifice the Passover lamb, His disciples asked Him, "Where do You want us to go and prepare the Passover so You may eat it?"
13 So He sent two of His disciples and told them, "Go into the city, and a man carrying a water jug will meet you. Follow him.
14 Wherever he enters, tell the owner of the house, 'The Teacher says, "Where is the guest room for Me to eat the Passover with My disciples?" '
15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make the preparations for us there."
16 So the disciples went out, entered the city, and found it just as He had told them, and they prepared the Passover.

Betrayal at the Passover

17 When evening came, He arrived with the Twelve.
18 While they were reclining and eating, Jesus said, "I assure you: One of you will betray Me-one who is eating with Me!"
19 They began to be distressed and to say to Him one by one, "Surely not I?"
20 He said to them, "[It is] one of the Twelve-the one who is dipping [bread] with Me in the bowl.
21 For the Son of Man will go just as it is written about Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born."

The First Lord's Supper

22 As they were eating, He took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to them, and said, "Take [it]; [b] this is My body."
23 Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He gave it to them, and so they all drank from it.
24 He said to them, "This is My blood [that establishes] the covenant; [c] it is shed for many.
25 I assure you: I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it in a new way [d] in the kingdom of God."
26 After singing psalms,[e] they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Peter's Denial Predicted

27 Then Jesus said to them, "All of you will run away, [f] [g] because it is written: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered. [h]
28 But after I have been resurrected, I will go ahead of you to Galilee."
29 Peter told Him, "Even if everyone runs away, I will certainly not!"
30 "I assure you," Jesus said to him, "today, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times!"
31 But he kept insisting, "If I have to die with You, I will never deny You!" And they all said the same thing.

The Prayer in the Garden

32 Then they came to a place named Gethsemane, and He told His disciples, "Sit here while I pray."
33 He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be deeply distressed and horrified.
34 Then He said to them, "My soul is swallowed up in sorrow [i] -to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake."
35 Then He went a little farther, fell to the ground, and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him.
36 And He said, " Abba , Father! All things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will."
37 Then He came and found them sleeping. "Simon, are you sleeping?" He asked Peter. "Couldn't you stay awake one hour?
38 Stay awake and pray so that you won't enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
39 Once again He went away and prayed, saying the same thing.
40 And He came again and found them sleeping, because they could not keep their eyes open.[j] They did not know what to say to Him.
41 Then He came a third time and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The time has come. Look, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.
42 Get up; let's go! See-My betrayer is near."

The Judas Kiss

43 While He was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, suddenly arrived. With him was a mob, with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders.
44 His betrayer had given them a signal. "The One I kiss," he said, "He's the One; arrest Him and take Him away under guard."
45 So when he came, he went right up to Him and said, "Rabbi!"-and kissed Him.
46 Then they took hold of Him and arrested Him.
47 And one of those who stood by drew his sword, struck the high priest's slave, and cut off his ear.
48 But Jesus said to them, "Have you come out with swords and clubs, as though I were a criminal, [k] to capture Me?
49 Every day I was among you, teaching in the temple complex, and you didn't arrest Me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled."
50 Then they all deserted Him and ran away.
51 Now a certain young man,[l] having a linen cloth wrapped around his naked body, was following Him. They caught hold of him,
52 but he left the linen cloth behind and ran away naked.

Jesus Faces the Sanhedrin

53 They led Jesus away to the high priest, and all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes convened.
54 Peter followed Him at a distance, right into the high priest's courtyard. He was sitting with the temple police,[m] warming himself by the fire.[n]
55 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but they could find none.
56 For many were giving false testimony against Him, but the testimonies did not agree.
57 Some stood up and were giving false testimony against Him, stating,
58 "We heard Him say, 'I will demolish this sanctuary made by [human] hands, and in three days I will build another not made by hands.' "
59 Yet their testimony did not agree even on this.
60 Then the high priest stood up before them all and questioned Jesus, "Don't You have an answer to what these men are testifying against You?"
61 But He kept silent and did not answer anything. Again the high priest questioned Him, "Are You the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?"
62 "I am," said Jesus, "and all of you [o] will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven ." [p]
63 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, "Why do we still need witnesses?
64 You have heard the blasphemy! What is your decision?"[q] And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.
65 Then some began to spit on Him, to blindfold Him, and to beat Him, saying, "Prophesy!" Even the temple police took Him and slapped Him.

Peter Denies His Lord

66 While Peter was in the courtyard below, one of the high priest's servants came.
67 When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, "You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus."
68 But he denied it: "I don't know or understand what you're talking about!" Then he went out to the entryway, and a rooster crowed.[r]
69 When the servant saw him again she began to tell those standing nearby, "This man is one of them!"
70 But again he denied it. After a little while those standing there said to Peter again, "You certainly are one of them, since you're also a Galilean!"[s]
71 Then he started to curse[t] and to swear with an oath, "I don't know this man you're talking about!"
72 Immediately a rooster crowed a second time, and Peter remembered when Jesus had spoken the word to him, "Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times." When he thought about it, he began to weep.[u]

Images for Mark 14

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.

Footnotes 21

  • [a]. Or money; in Mt 26:15 it is specified as 30 pieces of silver; see Zch 11:12-13
  • [b]. Other mss add eat;
  • [c]. Other mss read the new covenant
  • [d]. Or drink new wine; lit drink it new
  • [e]. Pss 113-118 were sung during and after the Passover meal.
  • [f]. Other mss add because of Me this night
  • [g]. Or stumble
  • [h]. Zch 13:7
  • [i]. Or I am deeply grieved
  • [j]. Lit because their eyes were weighed down
  • [k]. Lit as against a criminal
  • [l]. Perhaps John Mark who later wrote this Gospel
  • [m]. Or the officers; lit the servants
  • [n]. Lit light
  • [o]. Lit and you (pl in Gk)
  • [p]. Ps 110:1; Dn 7:13
  • [q]. Lit How does it appear to you?
  • [r]. Other mss omit and a rooster crowed
  • [s]. Other mss add and your speech shows it
  • [t]. To call down curses on himself if what he said weren't true
  • [u]. Or he burst into tears, or he broke down

Mark 14 Commentaries