Jesus is anointed at Bethany, and celebrates the Passover. He is betrayed and arrested. Peter denies Jesus. Jesus stands before the council.
VERSE 1. It was now two days before the feast of the Passover and the unleavened bread, and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might seize him by deception, and kill him.
and kill him. The religious leaders have murderous intent. That is how important their own positions of power are to them. Just to keep their jobs, they will commit murder.
VERSE 2. For they said, “Not during the feast, because there might be a riot among the people.”
VERSE 3. While he was at Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster jar of ointment of pure nard—very costly. She broke the jar, and poured it over his head.
Matthew 26:7. a woman came to him having an alabaster jar of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table.
Mark 14:3. While he was at Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster jar of ointment of pure nard—very costly. She broke the jar, and poured it over his head.
Luke 7:37-38. Behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that he was reclining in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of ointment. 38 Standing behind at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and she wiped them with the hair of her head, kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
VERSE 4. But there were some who were indignant among themselves, saying, “Why has this ointment been wasted?
some who were indignant. Look at the reaction of the disciples. They were indignant. They went berserk.
Many people happily go along with their local church. That is, until it affects their own money. Then they become indignant. They become infuriated.
It is as if money is the thing closest to their heart, the only priority that truly matters. Do almost anything and it is OK. But touch their money, and they go berserk.
No one can serve two masters. We cannot serve both God … and money.
Matthew 6:24. No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can’t serve both God and Mammon.
VERSE 5. For this might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and given to the poor.” So they grumbled against her.
VERSE 6. But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for me.
VERSE 7. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want to, you can do them good; but you will not always have me.
whenever you want. We are free to help poor people at any moment.
you will not always have me. Some people say they should NOT help the poor. Instead, they should only tithe their money to church work. However, Jesus does not exempt us from helping those who are poor.
VERSE 8. She has done what she could. She has anointed my body beforehand for the burying.
VERSE 9. Most certainly I tell you, wherever this Good News may be preached throughout the whole world, that which this woman has done will also be spoken of for a memorial of her.”
this woman … will also be spoken of. This has certainly come true! Wherever the Christian message is proclaimed, or wherever the New Testament is read, this woman’s remarkable deed is told in memory of her.
VERSE 10. Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went away to the chief priests, that he might deliver him to them.
went away to the chief priests. This is a familiar phrase. But if we look at the context, we can see even more.
Just a few verses earlier, a woman had anointed Jesus with perfumed oil. It was a gesture of unimaginable generosity. But for those who centered their lives on money, it was an incredible waste. They were indignant. They were infuriated. They were probably infuriated with Jesus himself, for allowing such a waste. Then one of them stormed off to betray Jesus.
Perhaps the “waste” of money triggered the betrayal. They had went berserk. They could not serve both God … and money. So they chose money.
When a pastor asks his congregation for money, it is often an act of great courage. The pastor risks that people will go berserk. They might attack the pastor. They might try to get the pastor fired. They might try to run the pastor out of town.
For many Christians, that’s how much of an idol money is to them.
VERSE 11. They, when they heard it, were glad, and promised to give him money. He sought how he might conveniently deliver him.
VERSE 12. On the first day of unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the Passover, his disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare that you may eat the Passover?”
VERSE 13. He sent two of his disciples, and said to them, “Go into the city, and there you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him,
meet a man carrying a pitcher. How could Jesus have known this in advance? It testifies to the depth of his foreknowledge. The event happened just as he said, as we see in verse 16 below.
Luke 22:10. He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered into the city, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him into the house which he enters.
VERSE 14. and wherever he enters in, tell the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?” ’
VERSE 15. He will himself show you a large upper room furnished and ready. Get ready for us there.”
VERSE 16. His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found things as he had said to them, and they prepared the Passover.
found things as he had said to them. This fulfills what Jesus said back in verse 13 above.
VERSE 17. When it was evening he came with the twelve.
VERSE 18. As they sat and were eating, Jesus said, “Most certainly I tell you, one of you will betray me—he who eats with me.”
one of you will betray me. In almost any group of people, there will be one or two who could be persuaded to betray their leader.
VERSE 19. They began to be sorrowful, and to ask him one by one, “Surely not I?” And another said, “Surely not I?”
one of the twelve. Even in a small group, a betrayer can be found.
VERSE 21. For the Son of Man goes, even as it is written about him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had not been born.”
VERSE 22. As they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had blessed, he broke it, and gave to them, and said, “Take, eat. This is my body.”
This verse seems like a command! Would you consider acting on it? More commands of Jesus Christ from the Gospel According to Mark.
broke it, and gave to them. Note the sequence of events. He blessed and broke the bread and gave it to them. We can safely assume they ate it right away. Then after they have eaten the bread, the events of the next verse happen.
They all drank of it. In the previous verse, they had already eaten the bread. Now Jesus gives thanks over the cup of wine. They drink it. Then in the NEXT verse, he “consecrates” it.
Our modern-day churches get the sequence of events wrong. One event should involve bread. Then a separate event that follows it should involve a cup of wine, with consecration afterwards.
VERSE 24. He said to them, “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many.
VERSE 25. Most certainly I tell you, I will no more drink of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it anew in God’s Kingdom.”
VERSE 26. When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
VERSE 27. Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of me tonight, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’
Matthew 28:7. Go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has risen from the dead, and behold, he goes before you into Galilee; there you will see him.’ Behold, I have told you.”
VERSE 29. But Peter said to him, “Although all will be offended, yet I will not.”
VERSE 30. Jesus said to him, “Most certainly I tell you, that you today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.”
VERSE 31. But he spoke all the more, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” They all said the same thing.
I will not deny you. This was a very rash thing to say. Only blind arrogance could have led Peter to make such a bold assertion. We humans are far too frail to be able to guarantee such a thing. Sure enough, not many hours later, Peter denied that he even knew Jesus.
VERSE 32. They came to a place which was named Gethsemane. He said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I pray.”
VERSE 33. He took with him Peter, James, and John, and began to be greatly troubled and distressed.
Stay here, and watch. This is a very simple instruction. Yet they all fail at it, as we see in verse 37 below.
VERSE 35. He went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass away from him.
VERSE 36. He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Please remove this cup from me. However, not what I desire, but what you desire.”
remove this cup from me. Jesus did not want to go through the terrible ordeal he faced
VERSE 37. He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn’t you watch one hour?
Couldn’t you watch one hour. The twelve were very weak in their resolve and failed in the tiny assignment Jesus gave them, in verse 34 above.
VERSE 38. Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. This is a very famous saying. it comes from this verse.
VERSE 39. Again he went away, and prayed, saying the same words.
VERSE 40. Again he returned, and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they didn’t know what to answer him.
VERSE 41. He came the third time, and said to them, “Sleep on now, and take your rest. It is enough. The hour has come. Behold, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
VERSE 42. Arise! Let’s get going. Behold: he who betrays me is at hand.”
VERSE 43. Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, came—and with him a multitude with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders.
swords and clubs. It is very strange that they they were armed. Jesus has been the epitome of nonviolence.
VERSE 44. Now he who betrayed him had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I will kiss, that is he. Seize him, and lead him away safely.”
VERSE 45. When he had come, immediately he came to him, and said, “Rabbi! Rabbi!” and kissed him.
and kissed him. Judas betrays his Lord and Master with a kiss.
VERSE 46. They laid their hands on him, and seized him.
VERSE 47. But a certain one of those who stood by drew his sword, and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
VERSE 48. Jesus answered them, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to seize me?
VERSE 49. I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you didn’t arrest me. But this is so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled.”
VERSE 50. They all left him, and fled.
VERSE 51. A certain young man followed him, having a linen cloth thrown around himself over his naked body. The young men grabbed him,
fled from them naked. This was probably John Mark, the author of this Gospel.
VERSE 53. They led Jesus away to the high priest. All the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes came together with him.
VERSE 54. Peter had followed him from a distance, until he came into the court of the high priest. He was sitting with the officers, and warming himself in the light of the fire.
followed him from a distance. This is the definition of a lukewarm Christian. They follow Jesus Christ, but only from a distance.
VERSE 55. Now the chief priests and the whole council sought witnesses against Jesus to put him to death, and found none.
found none. Nobody had any evidence against Jesus Christ. He was an innocent Lamb being led to the slaughter:
Isaiah 53:7. He was oppressed, yet when he was afflicted he didn’t open his mouth. As a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he didn’t open his mouth.
Mark 14:55. Now the chief priests and the whole council sought witnesses against Jesus to put him to death, and found none.
John 19:9. He entered into the Praetorium again, and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer.
Acts 8:32. Now the passage of the Scripture which he was reading was this, “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter. As a lamb before his shearer is silent, so he doesn’t open his mouth.
VERSE 56. For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony didn’t agree with each other.
VERSE 57. Some stood up, and gave false testimony against him, saying,
VERSE 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.’ ”
VERSE 59. Even so, their testimony didn’t agree.
VERSE 60. The high priest stood up in the middle, and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer? What is it which these testify against you?”
VERSE 61. But he stayed quiet, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”
Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? This is the key question. Is Jesus Christ the Son of God? Is he divine? Or is he merely human?
VERSE 62. Jesus said, “I am. You will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of the sky.”
Jesus said, “I am. Jesus identifies himself as “I Am.” That was the Sacred Name. He would not have used it accidentally or carelessly or haphazardly. By using it, he is saying he is God.
Back when Moses asked the LORD God for his name, the reply was, “I Am.”
Exodus 3:14. God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM,” and he said, “You shall tell the children of Israel this: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
coming with the clouds of the sky. Jesus identifies himself as the one who will fulfill the ancient prophecy of Daniel. This is clearly the case, as the high priest tore his robes to show his horror, and also because everybody cried out that he deserved to die!
Daniel 7:13-14. I saw in the night visions, and behold, there came with the clouds of the sky one like a son of man, and he came even to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 Dominion was given him, and glory, and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which will not pass away, and his kingdom that which will not be destroyed.
Mark 2:10. But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic—
Mark 14:62. Jesus said, “I am. You will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of the sky.”
Luke 21:27. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
right hand. The Bible often mentions “the right hand” of God. That is a position of power and honor. We believe it refers to Jesus Christ.
VERSE 63. The high priest tore his clothes, and said, “What further need have we of witnesses?
VERSE 64. You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?” They all condemned him to be worthy of death.
VERSE 65. Some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to beat him with fists, and to tell him, “Prophesy!” The officers struck him with the palms of their hands.
Some. Not all of the Sanhedrin did those terrible things.
VERSE 66. As Peter was in the courtyard below, one of the maids of the high priest came,
VERSE 67. and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him, and said, “You were also with the Nazarene, Jesus!”
VERSE 68. But he denied it, saying, “I neither know, nor understand what you are saying.” He went out on the porch, and the rooster crowed.
he denied it. The Greek word is hêrnêsato. Out of fear for his safety, Peter refused to acknowledge his relationship to Jesus. This is denial #1.
VERSE 69. The maid saw him, and began again to tell those who stood by, “This is one of them.”
VERSE 70. But he again denied it. After a little while again those who stood by said to Peter, “You truly are one of them, for you are a Galilean, and your speech shows it.”
again denied it. This is denial #2.
VERSE 71. But he began to curse, and to swear, “I don’t know this man of whom you speak!”
he began to curse, and to swear. This is denial #3.
VERSE 72. The rooster crowed the second time. Peter remembered the word, how that Jesus said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” When he thought about that, he wept.
he wept. Peter wept for himself. Compare that with Jesus Christ. When he wept, it was for other people:
John 11:35. Jesus wept. [for Lazarus]
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.