Mark 14

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. 2 For they said, “Not during the feast, because there might be a riot of the people.” 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. 4 But there were some who were indignant amongst themselves, saying, “Why has this ointment been wasted? 5 For this might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and given to the poor.” They grumbled against her. 6 But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for me. 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. 8 She has done what she could. She has anointed my body beforehand for the burying. 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.” 10 Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went away to the chief priests, that he might deliver him to them. 11 They, when they heard it, were glad, and promised to give him money. He sought how he might conveniently deliver him. 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?” 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, 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?”’ 15 He will himself show you a large upper room furnished and ready. Get ready for us there.” 16 His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found things as he had said to them, and they prepared the Passover. 17 When it was evening he came with the twelve. 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.” 19 They began to be sorrowful, and to ask him one by one, “Surely not I?” And another said, “Surely not I?” 20 He answered them, “It is one of the twelve, he who dips with me in the dish. 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.” 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.” 23 He took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave to them. They all drank of it. 24 He said to them, “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many. 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.” 26 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 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.’ 28 However, after I am raised up, I will go before you into Galilee.” 29 But Peter said to him, “Although all will be offended, yet I will not.” 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.” 31 But he spoke all the more, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” They all said the same thing. 32 They came to a place which was named Gethsemane. He said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I pray.” 33 He took with him Peter, James, and John, and began to be greatly troubled and distressed. 34 He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here, and watch.” 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. 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.” 37 He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn’t you 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 Again he went away, and prayed, saying the same words. 40 Again he returned, and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they didn’t know what to answer him. 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. 42 Arise, let us be going. Behold, he who betrays me is at hand.” 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. 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.” 45 When he had come, immediately he came to him, and said, “Rabbi! Rabbi!” and kissed him. 46 They laid their hands on him, and seized him. 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. 48 Jesus answered them, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to seize me? 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.” 50 They all left him, and fled. 51 A certain young man followed him, having a linen cloth thrown around himself, over his naked body. The young men grabbed him, 52 but he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked. 53 They led Jesus away to the high priest. All the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes came together with him. 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. 55 Now the chief priests and the whole council sought witnesses against Jesus to put him to death, and found none. 56 For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony didn’t agree with each other. 57 Some stood up, and gave false testimony 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 Even so, their testimony did not agree. 60 The high priest stood up in the middle, and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer? What is it which these testify against you?” 61 But he stayed quiet, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” 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.” 63 The high priest tore his clothes, and said, “What further need have we of witnesses? 64 You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?” They all condemned him to be worthy of death. 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. 66 As Peter was in the courtyard below, one of the maids of the high priest came, 67 and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him, and said, “You were also with the Nazarene, Jesus!” 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. 69 The maid saw him, and began again to tell those who stood by, “This is one of them.” 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.” 71 But he began to curse, and to swear, “I don’t know this man of whom you speak!” 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.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

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.

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