Mark 14:26-52 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Jesus Prays at Gethsemane
Comments for Study 29

Mark 14:26-52
Memory Verse: 36


I. Jesus Predicts Peter's Denial (26-31)

>1. What is the time and place (26)?

* Mark 14:26 "When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives."

* The Mount of Olives and Gethsemene was in the same location. Gethsemene means: a place were one presses olives to get olive oil.

* The time is late Thursday evening our time and the beginning of Friday, Passover Hebrew time. The sun had just set. It was now the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover.

* "sung a hymn" -there are several songs that are sung during and after the Passover meal. Many psalms are meant to be sung.

Mount of Olives Cemetery

* See picture of the Mount of Olives Cemetery to the right.

>Who is the shepherd and who are the sheep (27)?

* Mark 14:27 ""You will all fall away," Jesus told them, "for it is written: "'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.'"

* Jesus quoted Zech. 13:7. Jesus knew the word of God, the prophecies concerning what was about to happen very well. Bible study was important even for the Messiah, God incarnate.

* Jesus is the shepherd. Jesus also called himself a shepherd earlier in Mark and in John 10:11 too.

* The disciples are the sheep. Paul also calls us sheep when he quotes scripture, "We all like sheep have gone astray." Sheep are not very smart. They have no defences. They will wonder away and walk right into wolves. They stand with their faces to a cold wind instead of turning away from it. They will run from any loud noise including a fast running stream. They seldom lay down by their own will.

* "I" -Jesus being struck is God's work.

* "will" -it must happen. It can not be stopped.

>According to Jesus, how will this word from Zechariah be fulfilled (Zech. 13:7)?

* Zech 13:7 ""Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man who is close to me!" declares the LORD Almighty. "Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn my hand against the little ones."

* Jesus will be arrested and the disciples will all leave him.

>What was Jesus' point in telling the disciples that they would fall in the time of crises? (28)

* Mark 14:28 "But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee."

* So that later they would realize that Jesus had known everything all along. Then they would be able to follow his words and go back to Galilee and await for the risen Jesus to meet them. In fact they would know that he wanted to meet him even though they all ran way in his time of need. In this way they wouldn't be caught in their despair later. They would realize that God and he knew that they were weak sheep.

* In these words, Jesus was giving his disciples hope and direction.

* They ran according to John, when they could have just walked.

>2. How did Peter compare himself to the others (29)?

* Mark 14:29 "Peter declared, "Even if all fall away, I will not."

* Peter believed that he would never fall away from Jesus.

* Peter loved Jesus. He knew that much. However, Peter did not know his own weaknesses. He thought he was stronger than he really was.

* Even though Jesus quoted God's word which can not be broken Peter thought he would break it with his own strength.

>Why wouldn't he listen to Jesus (30,31)?

* Mark 14:30-31 ""I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "today--yes, tonight--before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times." But Peter insisted emphatically, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the others said the same."

* "today--yes, tonight" -The Hebrew day had just begun at twilight.

* "before the rooster crows twice" -The shift of the Roman guards was called a rooster crow.

* "all the other said the same thing" -Peter was not alone in his disillusion. We are no different. I am no different. I too would have and still do run. I need the shepherd to stay with me.

* Peter was full of self-confidence.

* He was a passionate (emotional) man.

* He was a proud man. He didn't know that he loved his life more than Jesus.

* He had his own idea.

* He was stubborn.

* He didn't have faith in Jesus' word.

>What did Jesus know about Peter that Peter did not know about himself?

* Jesus knew that Peter would fall away from him like the others.

* Jesus knew that Peter would deny him three times.

* Jesus knew Peter's character.

* Jesus' statements about Peter to Peter helped him return later because Peter would realize that Jesus knew what he would do all along and even warned him about it.

>What was Jesus trying to teach him?

* He was no different than the others.

* He couln't rely on himself and his passion.

* Jesus was teaching Peter the right kind of basis; not his own strength, but in Jesus' words.

* To much self confidence can blind us from the reality of ourself.

* We need to trust in Jesus' first. We need to do it God's way.

* Sometimes others know more about us than we know about ourselves. Feedback from someone we trust and respect can be good, but not always. Feedback needs to be examined in light of God's word. Prayer and fasting are tools used because their whole point is communication with God.

* Jesus wanted Peter (and us) to examine the heart and come to a realization of utter dependence on God.

II. At Gethsemane (32-42)

>3. When they arrived in Gethsemane, who did Jesus take with him and what did he tell them (32-34)?

* Mark 14:32-34 "They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray." He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death," he said to them. "Stay here and keep watch."

* "They" -Jesus, the eleven, and a few others too.

* Jesus took Peter, James, and John. These were the top disciples.

* Jesus didn't hide his distress from his top disciples. He told them the truth.

* Usually in times of distress people want to be alone.

* "Stay here and keep watch" -The first time they keeped watch, but since they failed, he told them to pray. They couldn't even watch, how could they fight for him.


* Jesus wanted them to know his anguish. He wanted them to be eye witnesses. Later they would be able to tell others.

* Jesus wanted them to share in his agony.

* So they would pray and support him in prayer. It is good to have co-workers support us in prayer.

* In the future they would have times of anguish and would need to know how to go through them.

>What did Jesus do? (35a)

* Mark 14:35a "Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed..."

* "Going a little farther" -Jesus overcame through prayer. He keeped going on to God. He didn't stop in his sorrow.

>Why was he so distressed and troubled?

* He would be arrested, tried unjustly, flogged, mocked, spit on, humiliated and crucified. There is even more to his suffering.

* The greatest anguish Jesus was about to suffer was rejection from God. When Jesus took our sins on the cross God punished him and then God the Father abandoned him. The punishment of sin is abandonment. We don't know how this is possible, for God to abandon his son. We only know that it happened. The thought of this abandonment was the most distressing. Some may think that it is a sign of weakness to show anguish. Those who say that don't know what it means to be abandoned completely by God. Abandonment by a friend and a love one is hard enough. But to be abandoned by God is much worse.

* Humans feel distress. Jesus was very human. He felt distress.

* We won't have to be distressed and in anguish because Jesus went through it for us.

>4. What was Jesus' prayer topic? (35b)

* Mark 14:35 "Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him."

* "that if possible the hour might pass from him" -this is his arrest. Jesus knew of God's power. God could take the cup away.

* Jesus prayed it twice. Once wasn't enough. Sometimes we aren't comforted by praying just once. We need to pray more than once.

* Jesus committed no sin. so it is not a sin to pray this.

>What did he mean by the hour?

* The hour that he would be betrayed, arrested, suffer humiliated, abandoned, crucified, and die.

* This was the moment of Jesus' glory because he freely gave up his life.

>By the cup?

* This was the cup of wrath, the cup of his suffering for my sins.

>As a man, what did Jesus want?

* As a man, the Son of Man he often called himself, Jesus wanted not to suffer. It is in our nature.

* Jesus had his own will, the will of self preservation, but he over came his own will to do God's will.

>What decision did Jesus make before God in prayer? (36)

* Mark 14:36 ""Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will."

* It would be God's will, not his will.

* "Abba, Father" -a very affectionate and respectful term. Inspit of the fact that the Father would abandon him, Jesus still knew that God was his Father.

>What can we learn from Jesus here?

* To do God's will even though it means suffering.

* To turn to God in times of suffering and anguish for strength and comfort.

* To obey God's will for our life.

* Doing God's will is sometimes a struggle.

* Many times we know what God's wll is, but because we don't pray we lose the battle and don't do it.

>5. What were the three disciples doing while Jesus prayed? (37)

* Mark 14:37 "Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Simon," he said to Peter, "are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour?"

* "Then he rerturned to his disciples" -the three. Jesus wanted to see how they were doing, though he knew. He had a higher reason from returning to them. They all had said that they were going to die for him and would never abandon him.

* "Simon" -Jesus had remained him Peter because he had hope and vision for who he would be. But now, the human nature had taken over. He was living as Simon.

* "are you asleep" -Jesus addressed Peter because he was the first and most adamant.

* "Could you not keep watch for one hour?" -Jesus had prayed for one hour. During that time he had asked Peter to watch. If people would have listened to Jesus he would have known what to watch for. Jesus had told him and the other disciples that he was going to be arrested. Jesus had even told Peter who was going to betray him.

* Jesus rebuked Peter harshly. He did not rebuke the others; yet they must have felt bad about their actions, or rather lack of it.

>Why did Jesus urge them to stay awake and pray? (38)

* Mark 14:38 "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

* "Watch" -this is a spiritual battle.

* "watch and pray" -The body of believers are given similar instructions concerning Jesus' second coming. (Matt. 24:42-43, 25:13; Mk. 13:34-37) Many are asleep spiritually. They do not long for his return and thus are not watching for it. They do not pray except pretend pray at church. They do not thank God for their food, clothing, shelter, water, and clean air. They entertain themselves in the evening and then go to bed without praying. They work diligently along side people who do not know him and yet do not witness to them. They engage in good deeds for the wrong reasons. They do not seek God's glory. How many are eagerly waiting and praying for his return? Jesus said in the last days, we are in the last days, many will fall away from the faith. (Matt. 24:10, Mk. 4:7) Many have fallen away. Slowly the church buildings are emptying and the sports arenas are filling up. Bibles sit on the shelf collecting dust while romance novels, witch stories, and sorcery books are best sellers. Celebrations, feasts, and parties are held to honor and please the flesh while the spirit is not feed with prayer and a watchful attitude. People live to full their life with Galatians 5:19-21 and then shun and mock those who live to fill their life with the rest of the chapter. I was one of them until God full of grace and truth came to me and opened the door to freedom and salvation. "However when the Son of Man, Jesus comes will he find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8) Or will we all be asleep?

* "so that you will not fall into temptation" -if we don't pray and watch we an fall into temptation.

* When one is not awake spiritually they fall asleep physically when they should be praying and watching.

* "the spirit is willing" -the disciples wanted to do what was right. This is only true for believers. Others are not willing.

* "the body is weak" -even though they wanted to do what was right their body (this includes emotions and sinful instincts) was weak. In order to overcome our weak bodies we have to pray.

>6. How many times did Jesus come to awaken them? (39-41)

* Mark 14:39-41 "Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him. Returning the third time, he said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners."

* "the same thing" -Jesus asked again and submitted again.

* Three times he came to them. Three times he prayed.

* Types of prayer including but not limited to:
    1) Group prayer.
    2) Daily bread prayer.
    3) Intercessory prayer.
    4) Prayer for direction.
    5) Prayer of thanksgiving and praise.
    6) Prayer for God's blessing.
    7) Communion prayer.
    8) Prayer of repentance and humility.

>Why do you think they were so sleepy?

* There are physical reasons.
    1) They had a busy week.
    2) They had an intense and emotional night. When we despair we are sleepy.
    3) They ate a lot at the last meal.

* There are spiritual reasons.
    1) They did not receive Jesus' earlier words.
    2) They were not awake spiritually.
    3) They didn't have a clear decision to do God's will.
    4) No will.

>What happened to end this time of prayer? (42)

* Mark 14:42 "Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!"

* Judas was coming to betray him.

* "let us go" -Jesus was asking the disciples to come with him. He wanted them there. (1 Peter 1:13)

>How did Jesus describe this moment of crisis?

* Mark 14:41b "...The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners."

* Matthew says the same words.

* Luke does not record these words.

* John does not record this event.

* "into the hands of sinners" -We should not be surprised or concerned when it happens to us.

>How did he meet it?

* He went out to them.

* He meet it with faith and courage and a willing heart.

III. Jesus Arrested (43-52)

>7. Who was Judas? (43a)

* Mark 14:43a "Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared..."

* Judas was one of the Twelve.

* He was keeper of the money bag which was an important task. (John 12:6)

>Why did he come and who was with him? (43b-46)

* Mark 14:43b-46 "...With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders. Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: "The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard." Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, "Rabbi!" and kissed him. The men seized Jesus and arrested him."

* Judas came to point out who was Jesus so that they could arrest him.

>How would his action compound the tragedy to Jesus?

* Jesus loved Judas and Judas betrayed him, one who was his friend.

* "kiss" -a kiss is the sign of love. So Judas never exposed his true heart to the others. (Luke 22:48)

* Most don't even want to look at a betrayer, but Jesus let him greet him with a kiss. A kiss is a more painful way to be betrayed.

* We should bring out problems rather than cover them up or hide them.

>8. What effort did the disciples make to defend Jesus? (47)

* Mark 14:47 "Then one of those standing near drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear."

>What does this reveal about them?

* They were unprepared because they didn't pray.

* They were terrified.

* Peter was still sleepy.

* They acted out of fear.

* A fisherman didn't know much about a sword and he was sleepy, yet he cut off the man's right ear. This must have been a missed swing to the neck.

* They were impulsive.

>How did Jesus see the mob? (48,49)

* Mark 14:48-49 ""Am I leading a rebellion," said Jesus, "that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled."

>How did he rebuke them and why?

* He rebuked them for coming to arrest him by force as if he was leading an armed rebellion.

* He pointed out that he never hid nor did he teach in secret.

* He rebuked them to let them see how foolish they were.

>Why did he neither defend himself nor encourage the disciples' defensive action?

* The Scriptures must be fulfilled.

* So God's will be done.

>9. How were Jesus' earlier words of warning and the scripture prophecies fulfilled? (27,50)

* Mark 14:27 ""You will all fall away," Jesus told them, "for it is written: "'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.'"

* Mark 14:50 "Then everyone deserted him and fled."

* He was led away as Isaiah 53:7-12 says.

>Why do you think the author told about the young man who ran away naked? (51,52)

* Mark 14:51-52 "A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, he fled naked, leaving his garment behind."

* Most believe that the author was the young man. He definitely had to be well known. Acts 12:12 says that the believers was gathered in Mark's mothers upper room and praying. It is believed this was also the upper room where the last supper was eaten. Therefore, Mark probably would have been on the Mount of Olives with the other disciples.

* It was a desperate situation.

* This was Mark's continual weakness he needed to overcome. (Acts12:25, 15:37-39) But he overcame. (2 tim. 4:11)

>Why were Jesus' attitude and actions different in the time of crises from that of the disciples?

* He had prayed and made a desision to do God's will during prayer.

* He loved God and God's people more than himself, so he could die for his people's sin atonement and thus do God's will.