Mark 14:38

38 1Watch and 2pray that you may not 3enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

Mark 14:38 Meaning and Commentary

Mark 14:38

Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation
Of denying Christ, and falling off from him, which would quickly offer to them, when they should see him apprehended, bound, and led away.

The spirit truly is ready.
The Persic version renders it, "my mind"; as if the Spirit or soul of Christ was meant; whereas it is either to be understood of the evil spirit, Satan, who was disposed to attack them, and especially Peter, whom he desired to have, and sift as wheat; or else the spirit of the disciples, their renewed spirit, which was ready and disposed watching and praying, and willing to abide by Christ:

but the flesh is weak;
they were but flesh and blood, and so not a match of themselves for so powerful an adversary as Satan, and therefore had need to watch and pray; or "their body", as the Syriac, Arabic, and Persic versions render it, was weak, and subject to drowsiness and sleep; and especially they were weak and feeble, and very unequal of themselves for spiritual exercises, as they had flesh, or a corrupt nature in them; (See Gill on Matthew 26:41).

Mark 14:38 In-Context

36 And he said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will."
37 And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour?
38 Watch and pray that you may not enter 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 did not know what to answer him.

Cross References 3

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.