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Go to Bible: Mark 14
“it was two days before the Passover.” The Greek text is more literally, “after two days was the Passover.”
“crafty way.” The Greek word is dolos (#1388 δόλος), and its meanings include, craftily, deceitfully, treacherously, and stealthily.(top)
“Not during the feast.” The original plan of the Jews was not to arrest Jesus during the Passover, but Jesus forced their hand and their plans got accelerated. Jesus knew he had to die as the Passover Lamb, and so he accelerated the plans of the enemy (see commentary on John 13:27).(top)
“Simon the Leper.” Simon had had a skin disease of some kind, but he was now cured or people would not have been in his house. Nevertheless, the name “Simon the Leper” stuck.
“on his head.” This record of Mary (we learn it was Mary from John 12:3) pouring the oil on Jesus occurs in Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; and John 12:1-8; it is not included in Luke. Mark says the ointment was poured on the head, while John 12:3 says Mary anointed Jesus’ feet. The key to the apparent contradiction is realizing that Mary had a lot of ointment, and put it on both Jesus’ head and feet.
[For more information on this anointing and the controversy it stirred up, see commentary on John 12:3.](top)
“But there were some who were angry.” The Greek word translated angry is aganakteō (#23 ἀγανακτέω), and it refers to being angry or displeased at a situation that is perceived to be unjust. This verse is hard to translate, and so the versions differ considerably. A literal rendition would be something like, “There were some being indignant with each other.” Of course, they were not being indignant with each other, they were indignant about what they now considered a waste of money, and were commenting to each other about it. Some versions say they were indignant “within themselves,” or “said to themselves,” but that can be misunderstood. The ones who were indignant were saying things among themselves, i.e., among their little disgruntled group, but not within their own minds, and thus “talking to themselves.”
The Gospel of John lets us know that this verbal poison of grumbling and indignation started with Judas Iscariot, who was a thief and stole from the money that Jesus and the disciples received (John 12:4-6). From Judas, this discontent spread through the room and infected some of the believers. Jesus cut it off quickly and decisively. “Let her alone…” etc. Christians need to learn from this record. A little evil (leaven) goes through the whole loaf of bread. We need to respond quickly to evil.
[For more on Judas being a thief and starting the grumbling that infected the rest of the apostles, see commentary on John 12:4.](top)
“scolding her harshly.” See commentary on John 11:33.(top)
“why are you giving her trouble?” The disciples were criticizing Mary (Mark 14:5), and Jesus acted quickly here to protect her. He ignored any implication that he had allowed this to happen.(top)
“For you will always...but you will not.” The Greek text is present tense, “you do...you do not,” but the clear implication is Jesus is speaking of the future.(top)
“she has anointed my body beforehand for burial.” The perfume was very expensive and therefore likely quite strong, so it is possible that there could have been a faint smell of it even days later when Jesus was buried. It is impossible to know what the disciples thought Jesus meant when he spoke of his burial. They did not expect him to die, much less be buried. However, it is possible that Mary, of all the disciples, actually understood and believed what Jesus said when he taught that he was going to die, and that she anointed his body with that in mind (see Matt. 26:12).(top)
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“the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.” This same phrase is used in Matthew 26:17; see the commentary on that verse.(top)
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“will go to die.” A meaning of this verb is “to die.”a
“but how terrible it will be for that man.” This warning is in Matthew 26:24, Mark 14:21, and Luke 22:22 (see commentary on Matt. 26:24).
|Mar 14:22||- (top)|
|Mar 14:23||- (top)|
“This is my blood of the covenant.” See commentary on Luke 22:20.(top)
“when I drink new wine in the Kingdom of God.” At the Last Supper Jesus promised his apostles that he would not drink wine again until he drank it with them the Kingdom of God, also called the Kingdom of Heaven, which was the Messianic Kingdom on the restored earth. The REV has “new wine,” but the Greek uses the word “it,” and in this case the “it” refers to what is being drank, which is the wine. This is clear in Greek, which is an inflected language, but it is not clear in the English if the Greek is translated literally. Saying in English, “until that day I drink new it” makes no sense, so the REV replaces the “it” with what the “it” refers to, which is wine.
[For more on Jesus’ promise not to drink wine until the Kingdom, see commentary on Matt. 26:29.](top)
|Mar 14:26||- (top)|
|Mar 14:27||- (top)|
|Mar 14:28||- (top)|
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“I will never deny you.” The Greek uses a double negative here for emphasis. The text does not just say, “not deny you,” the phrase is much stronger than that.(top)
|Mar 14:32||- (top)|
|Mar 14:33||- (top)|
“soul.” See commentary on Matthew 26:38.
“almost to the point of death.” The Greek is more literally simply “to death.” The Greek phrase “to the point of death” means “that his sorrow is so great that he is hardly able to bear it.”a Jesus is not saying that his sorrow will literally result in his death, but the phrase is idiomatic and means that he is very deeply grieved. We use the same idiomatic phraseology when saying things like, “I am freezing to death,” or, “I am starving to death.” The word death is more idiomatic than literal and expresses the depth of the emotion.
|Mar 14:35||- (top)|
“Abba.” See commentary on Galatians 4:6).(top)
|Mar 14:37||- (top)|
“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” The Greek text contrasts the spirit and flesh quite strongly. This is the use of “spirit” that refers to the action of the mind, i.e., attitudes and emotions. The Apostles had a willing attitude, but their flesh was weak and unable to stay awake.
[For more on “spirit,” including a long list of the ways it is used in the Bible, see Appendix 6, “Usages of Spirit.”](top)
|Mar 14:39||- (top)|
|Mar 14:40||- (top)|
“Are you still sleeping and resting?” Jesus was amazed that the disciples could not stay awake and pray in this challenging hour for him. The REV translation is very similar to the translation in the CSB; ESV; NAB; NASB; NET; NIV). See commentary on Matthew 26:45.
“Look.” The Greek word is idou (#2400 ἰδού), and it is used to get our attention. See commentary on Matthew 1:20.(top)
“Look!” The Greek word is idou (#2400 ἰδού), and it is used to get our attention. See commentary on Matthew 1:20.(top)
|Mar 14:43||- (top)|
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“as if I were a criminal?” The group that came to arrest Jesus had swords and clubs, but beyond that it was a large group with both Roman soldiers and Temple police. Here in Mark 14:48, the translation of the Greek word lēstēs (#3027 λῃστής) is likely “criminal” but it has a wide range of meaning. When it is used of Barabbas, the translation is most likely referring to the leader of a rebellion (see commentary on John 18:40).(top)
“let the scriptures be fulfilled.” This is a command clause. In the original language this is composed of hina (#2443 ἵνα) and the verb for “fulfilled,” pleroō (#4137 πληρόω), in the subjunctive mood. See commentary on John 9:3; “let the works of God be revealed in him.” It should not be translated as a purpose clause, “this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures” (such as NASB; NET; NAB; ASV), but as a command clause: “Let the scriptures be fulfilled.” Reading it as a purpose clause requires the phrase “this has taken place” to be supplied in order to complete the thought, because it is not in the Greek. The fact that the hina with a verb in the subjunctive clause stands alone makes the command clause a less forced reading.(top)
|Mar 14:50||- (top)|
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“And they led Jesus away to the high priest.” This statement puts two events, Jesus being taken first to Annas and later to Caiaphas into one sentence and simply says that Jesus was taken to the High Priest. Mark does not clarify that Jesus was taken first to Annas, and from Annas to Caiaphas, but that is recorded in the Gospel of John (John 18:13, 24). Annas was the father-in-law to Caiaphas, and from the biblical record and archaeological evidence, Annas and Caiaphas lived side by side in a family compound, which was not unusual. That would also explain how Peter could follow what was happening to Jesus through the night even though the Gospels seem to have him in the same general area. The compound in which Annas and Caiaphas lived would have had a big yard and been surrounded by a fence or wall, which explains why Peter had to be let into the area through a gate (John 18:16), but did not have to go through another gate when Jesus was taken from Annas to Caiaphas. So, Jesus was taken to Annas first, and because he had been the High Priest he was still thought of that way (cp. Acts 4:6), then to Caiaphas, the Roman-appointed High Priest, and it was at Caiaphas’ house that all the chief priests and elders gathered (Matt. 26:57), then in the morning they all took Jesus to the Sanhedrin for a daybreak trial (Matt. 27:1; Mark 15:1; Luke 22:66-71), then they took him to Pilate, the Roman governor.
[For more about the relationship between Annas and Caiaphas, and also more on the chronology of the last week of Christ’s life from his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane to his appearances on Sunday after his crucifixion, see commentary on John 18:13. For more information about Jesus being in the tomb, “the heart of the earth,” for three full days and three nights, see commentary on Matt. 12:40. For information on the chronology of the four trials of Jesus on Tuesday (before the Jewish Sanhedrin, then Pilate, then Herod, then Pilate) see commentary on John 19:14, “the sixth hour.” For information on the two-stage burial of Jesus, first by Joseph of Arimathea and then by Nicodemus, see commentary on John 19:40. For information on the Hasmonean palace as the likely location of Jesus’ trial before Pilate, see commentary on Luke 23:7.](top)
|Mar 14:54||- (top)|
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“I will destroy this temple.” This is not what Jesus said! Jesus was speaking to the Jews in the Temple and he said, “If you destroy this temple, I will raise it up in three days.” See commentary on John 2:19. The reason that what these false witnesses said was so important at the trial of Jesus is that in the Greco-Roman world the destruction of a temple was a capital offense, and if Jesus was convicted of that he could be put to death.a However, the false witnesses did not agree because what they said Jesus said was not what he had said.
“and in three days I will build another not made by human hands.” See commentary on John 2:19.
|Mar 14:59||- (top)|
|Mar 14:60||- (top)|
“the Blessed One.” The Greek text reads, “the Blessed,” using the adjective “blessed” as a substantive, which implies a noun following. “The Blessed One” is God, the Father.(top)
“I am.” Jesus clearly answered that he was the Christ, answering with “I am” (the Greek is egō eimi (ἐγώ εἰμι)). Jesus did not play word games with the Jews or with Pilate, but told them he was the Christ (see commentary on Matt. 27:11).
“you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” Jesus is speaking to the leaders in front of him and saying that they would see him come in the clouds of heaven, which was a way of affirming that he was the “Son of Man” who was foretold in Daniel 7:13, who would be given rulership over the whole earth by Yahweh. What Jesus said here in Mark 14:62 (cp. Matt 26:64) fits with what Jesus said to other people at other places in the Gospels, that they would be alive to see Jesus when he came in the clouds of heaven. Jesus apparently thought he would return soon and spoke that way in a number of places in the Gospels.
It is important to know for us to properly understand the Bible that the way the Jews thought about Daniel 7:13, that the “Son of Man” would come in the clouds of heaven, was not what we Christians think about today. They did not know that the Messiah would even die, much less ascend into heaven. Not even the Apostles knew that, even at the Last Supper (cp. John 14:5; 16:16-18). To them, Jesus coming in the clouds of heaven meant more like what Ezekiel saw when he saw a great bright cloud coming towards him in which was Yahweh (Ezek. 1:4) or when the cloud of God’s glory filled the Temple (1 Kings 8:11; 2 Chron. 5:14). So the “Son of Man” coming in the clouds of heaven” was to them a way of saying that when the Messiah came he would be covered with the glory of God. We today know more than the Jews of Christ’s time knew. We know Christ actually ascended into heaven and that he will return from heaven, but also he will almost certainly be covered with the clouds of God’s glory.
“Power” is a circumlocution for God.a
[For a more complete explanation of this verse, see the parallel record and commentary on Matt. 26:64. For more on Jesus speaking about his Second Coming occurring soon, see commentary on Matt. 16:28. For more on the coming kingdom of Christ on earth, the Millennial Kingdom, see Appendix 3, “Christ’s Future Kingdom on Earth.”]
|Mar 14:63||- (top)|
“defaming speech.” The Greek noun is blasphēmia (#988 βλασφημία; pronounced blas-fay-'me-ah), and was used of someone speaking against another. The primary meaning as it was used in the Greek culture was showing disrespect to a person or deity, and/or harming his, her, or its reputation.
[For more on blasphēmia, see commentary on Matt. 9:3.](top)
“the temple police.” The Temple in Jerusalem was a huge enterprise that ran 24 hours a day every day of the year with all kinds of activities, sacrifices, offerings, cleansing rituals, and much more. There were thousands of priests involved, and some of them were organized into a police force to enforce the rules of the Law and to stop illegal activity such as theft.(top)
|Mar 14:66||- (top)|
“she noticed Peter.” The Greek text is more literally, “she saw Peter,” but in this case, the woman saw him and noticed who he was.(top)
“he denied it.” For more on the denials of Peter, see commentary on Matthew 26:70.(top)
|Mar 14:69||- (top)|
|Mar 14:70||- (top)|
“he began to curse.” Peter began to call curses down upon himself if he was lying and did in fact know Jesus. A curse in the biblical culture was meant to invoke punishment on a person if what they said proved to be false. Lenski writes: “He went on to anathematize and to swear, i.e., to call down all manner of evil on himself if he, indeed, knew this man, and he did this with high and holy oaths to God to have him witness that he, indeed, did not know this man. We see from Peter’s frantic action that he is ready to resort to almost anything to save himself from discovery.”a
“swear.” The word “swear” means to swear with an oath. Today we sometimes use the word “swear” to simply refer to using a “dirty, four-letter word,” but that is not what “swear” meant in biblical times.
“the words.” The Greek text has “the word,” which is a collective singular. In English, we would say “the words” for clarity.
“he broke down and began to cry.” The Greek text indicates that Peter broke down and cried (cp. CSB17; ESV; NET; NIV; NLT).(top)