For the full text of Mark 14, click here.
Most of this chapter mirrors Matthew 25, but there are some little differences worth talking about. Mark 14 covers a lot of ground from the beginning of the plot to kill Jesus all the way to Peter’s betrayal. For starters, this one is missing the part where Jesus talks again about being delivered up and crucified. It gets right to that the Passover is coming and that the chief priests know they don’t want to do it just then. Then there is the anointing by a woman at Bethany with the expensive oil. This account has what it was made of, which is nard. I’m not entirely sure what nard was or the significance of its use, just that this isn’t mentioned in the Matthew account. Again the woman is chastised by the disciples who would rather have used the money on the poor but who are in turn chastised by Jesus. She did a nice thing for Him. She anoints His body for burial while they’re all still in denial that it will even happen.
This is followed by the moment Judas begins the plan to betray Jesus. The timing within the story of Jesus is the same, but the wording is just different enough to worth mentioning. In this account, Judas offers to betray Jesus and then is promised money whereas the Matthew account has Judas asking first what he’ll get for it. This promise makes it seem that Judas wasn’t actually paid before the Passover. It also makes it seem like Judas wasn’t so much concerned with the money as the act of betrayal itself. It’s not spelled out but this can imply a difference in motives.
How Jesus and the disciples end up where they do for dinner that night is relatively similar. Both accounts make it sound a little like they were inviting themselves but there’s also that perhaps the whole “man carrying a jar of water” meant a whole thing that was predetermined. It’s thin but there. It cuts from them finding a place to celebrate Passover directly to discussion of who will betray Jesus. This one has Jesus fairly specify who it is and no one questioning if it’s them. It makes the idea of no one hearing Jesus call out Judas more plausible if Judas never actually asked that question and therefore Jesus never answered it.
Most of the Lord’s Supper is similar enough but there’s one little thing that makes a difference for me there. This one does not have the part about “for the forgiveness of sins” when Jesus talks about the wine being the blood of the covenant. This is important because it is usually blood that atones for sins. Now it is the wine that is used as a symbol of the blood of Jesus. Though there is still that this is “the blood of the covenant” and that it “is poured out for many”, the intent isn’t as clear in this account.
When Jesus goes to Gethsemane to pray, He goes with three of the disciples and asks them to watch while He goes in and prays. Three times they fall asleep while He does. Three times He goes in and prays for the things that is to happen that night to not have to happen. I appreciate this part of the story because it shows that we can really not want to do something and know that it needs to be done and still go back to make 100% sure that it needs to be done and that’s okay. Jesus didn’t want to have to go through everything that was to come, but He was willing to if it was what God wanted, not just wanted but what God felt need to happen. And it was. When he had prayed three times and found the disciples asleep instead of watching out for Him, He decided it was time to go anyway.
Then we move into the moment of the betrayal itself. Judas meets them there with a crowd. As I mentioned back in the Matthew post, this is a crowd, not Judas and a few guards. It seems the mob was already there. When Jesus says something about how He’d been with them all that time that really sounds like He was sassing Judas about waiting so long, He also mentions that it was supposed to happen because of the Scriptures. It’s interesting because Jesus seems to be making it clear that Judas did not have the jump on Him, He just knew the Scriptures needed fulfilled and was therefore at the appointed place and time.
The last sentence in that paragraph is “And they all left him and fled.” At first I thought this meant that the people of the mob dispersed at the end of what Jesus said, but I checked in the Matthew account and that one specifically says that it was the disciples who fled. That made so much more sense. This chapter also has something about a young man who was following them and also flees, naked because he only had a linen cloth and he left it behind for some reason. I’m not so sure about why this would be included….
From there Jesus is brought to the “council” or “trial” with Peter following. The wording of the accusation about destroying the temple and rebuilding it in three days is a little different but the overall intent seems the same. The addition is that the new temple will not be built with hands. Again, hindsight helps us out there but I can see their utter confusion at such a thing to say. They get him for blasphemy after Jesus admits to being the Son of Man.
The chapter ends with Peter denying Jesus three times just like he said he wouldn’t do.