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Bible Commentaries

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Mark 14

Verse 1

1 After two days. See the comments on Mat 26:2 on this unusual circumstance. Passover and of unleavened bread. The Passover was a day on which all leaven was put out of the houses, and the seven days following had the same restrictions.

Verse 2

2 The Jews were more concerned about the condition of society than they were about the killing of Christ, even though it might have been on a holy day.

Verse 3

3 See the comments on Mat 26:7 for the explanation of this verse.

Verse 4

4 The word some has specific reference to Judas (Joh 12:4).

Verse 5

5 Judas pretended to be concerned about the poor, but his real motive was covetousness (Joh 12:6).

Verse 6

6 Good work is explained at length at Mat 26:12.

Verse 7

7 Poor with you always denotes we will always have poor people with us.

Verse 8

8 She hath done what she could is a significant statement. No special amount of service is required of us but we are expected to do what we can for Christ.

Verse 9

9 This means that the deed of this woman would become a part of the Gospel record and hence would be mentioned wherever the sacred book went.

Verse 10

0 Judas was peeved because the ointment was "wasted" on Jesus and he conceived the idea of counteracting the deed through the cowardly betrayal.

Verse 11

1. By the transaction for money at the expense of the freedom of Jesus, the traitor hoped to "recover" what he thought was lost by the act of the woman.

Verse 12

2 It was the first day of unleavened bread for Jesus and his apostles. See again the comments on Mat 26:2.

Verse 13

3 The pitcher of water was merely an item by which the disciples were to contact the right man, who would be going to a certain house.

Verse 14

4 The man with the pitcher seems to have been used as a guide for the apostles. When they followed him into the house they were to speak next to the householder and ask to be shown the guestchamber to be used for the Passover.

Verse 15

5 The Lord had caused the householder to have a room reserved for their use.

Verse 16

6 The preparation for the feast was done by the apostles.

Verse 17

7 Let it be noted that the twelve (apostles) were still with Jesus.

Verse 18

8 The prediction as to the one to betray Jesus was not made yet.

Verse 19

9 They began . . . to say . . . Is it I, which includes Judas, for had he not joined in the inquiry, his silence would have been significant.

Verse 20

0 The dish means the vessel containing the flesh of the lamb used in the Passover. It was customary to dip a piece of bread in the broth and then eat it. Jesus did this at the same time with Judas so as to answer the question they all had asked.

Verse 21

1 Judas refused to repent after his dark deed and therefore he went to perdition (Joh 17:12). This is why Jesus said it would have been good for him not to have been born.

Verse 22

2 The events of this last night are not all given in any one place, and the ones that are given are not in chronological order. See the note and references on this point with the comments at Mat 26:20. I shall now comment on the verses as they appear in the present chapter. Jesus blessed the bread by giving thanks for it. He broke it as an act of decency because more than one person was to eat of it. Otherwise the breaking of it has no religious significance to us.

Verse 23

3 Instead of "blessing" the cup he gave thanks, which shows that the two terms mean the same and that nothing supernatural was done to the "emblems."

Verse 24

4 The Old Testament used the blood of beasts, while the blood of the New Testament is that of Christ. Shed for many which means the whole world, although many will reject its benefits through unbelief.

Verse 25

5 The passage cited at verse 22 shows that our present verse was spoken while they were still engaged in the Passover feast.

Verse 26

6 According to Thayer and Robinson this hymn was a Psalm of David.

Verse 27

7 To be offended denotes that one falters or stumbles in his devotions. The prediction quoted is in Zec 13:7.

Verse 28

8 Jesus always included his resurrection in the predictions of his death. He not only was to arise but would come into the presence of his apostles again.

Verse 29

9 Peter was always sincere in his general principles of life, but he was rash and did things from impulse as he did in this declaration.

Verse 30

0 Jesus was specific and predicted Peter's third denial would be before the second cock crowing.

Verse 31

1 This pointed prediction only caused Peter to be more positive in his assurance of faithfulness, even to the point of dying with Christ. The emphatic attitude of Peter seemed to stir up the others so that they agreed to the same promise of loyalty.

Verse 32

2 On this verse see the comments at Mat 26:36.

Verse 33

3 Leaving most of the apostles where they first paused, Jesus took with him Peter, James and John and went on into the garden. The humanity of his nature now beagn to manifest itself which caused him to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy.

Verse 34

4 Exceeding sorrowful unto death is a highly-colored figure of speech, meaning he felt sad enough to die. Wishing for still more privacy he left them here.

Verse 35

5 Jesus went still farther from the three so as to be alone with his Father. He prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. This is the same prayer that is termed "cup" in Mat 26:39. The crucifixion was not to take place until the next day, so we know that the prayer about this "cup" and "the hour" could not refer to the cross. (See also the comments at Mat 26:39.)

Verse 36

6. This prayer had to do with the hour just commented upon.

Verse 37

7 Their sleeping was not from mere indifference. (See Luk 22:45).

Verse 38

8 The flesh is what gave way and caused the apostles to fall asleep. Jesus admonished them to let their spirit or better part of their being have more influence over them and lead them into a more watchful attitude.

Verse 39

9 The prayer in this instance was the same as that in verses 35, 36.

Verse 40

0 Eyes were heavy because of their grief and worry over the situation.

Verse 41

1 Jesus had gone away the third time and now when he came back he found them sleepy as before. In his great compassion he bade them go on and take a nap. But it was not for long because the mob was seen coming toward the garden.

Verse 42

2 Jesus then roused the apostles with the announcement that the one who was to betray him was at hand.

Verse 43

3 Jesus had no sooner said the words of the preceding verse than the mob approached with Judas in the lead. Staves is from a word that means "clubs," as if they were hunting for some hardened criminal who was a foe of society.

Verse 44

4 The sign agreed upon was a kiss and they were to watch for that demonstration. Lead him away safely. (See the comments at Mat 26:48.)

Verse 45

5 The mere act of kissing Jesus would have seemed too cold, hence Judas added warmth to the salutation by recognizing him as Master.

Verse 46

6 They means the mob composed of the chief priests and scribes.

Verse 47

7 The one who used the sword was Peter (Joh 18:10). See the remarks that Jesus made to Peter and my comments on the same at Mat 26:52.

Verse 48

8 Jesus charged the mob with coming out against him as if he had been a thief who deserved to be taken with the unrefined weapons like clubs.

Verse 49

9 It was rather late for them to be showing such concern on behalf of public safety. Jesus was in the temple and other public places daily before this. When a dangerous person is at large (such as these clubs would imply), it is the custom not to "stand on ceremony" but to take such a person at once. Jesus then explained the seeming contradiction in their conduct by saying that it fulfilled the scriptures.

Verse 50

0 They all means the apostles. Seeing Jesus was being taken without any resistance, they concluded that all was lost and in their fright they fled.

Verse 51

2 Mark is the only one of the writers who records this event. There is no information as to the identity of the young man. Linen, is from the Greek word SINDON which Thayer defines, "thing made of fine cloth." He then explains it by saying, "so of a light and loose garment worn at night over the naked body." Robinson gives virtually the same definition and explanation as that of Thayer. That accounts for the fact that the young man had nothing else on. It was night, and the commotion had attracted his attention so that without taking time to dress he went to the scene of excitement. The apostles had just fled while the young man still followed along after Jesus. The men of the mob thought he was sympathizing with Jesus and decided to arrest him. This frightened him so that he escaped by giving up his nightrobe.

Verse 53

3 The chief priests assembled to discuss what to do about the case.

Verse 54

4 Peter was afraid to be known as a friend of Jesus so he followed afar off.

Verse 55

5 And found none means they could not find anyone who was prepared to testify as they desired. They wanted to get some person to affirm some word or act of Jesus on which they could secure the death sentence.

Verse 56

6 There were plenty of men who would have been disposed to give such testimony, but since they were falsifying their statements did not agree and hence their pretended testimony was rejected.

Verse 57

7 Other pretended witnesses told what they had heard Jesus say.

Verse 58

8 A look at Joh 2:19 will show how grossly these men falsified.

Verse 59

9 No wonder these so-called witnesses did not agree. When men conspire to bear false testimony they are sure to overlook something that will expose them.

Verse 60

0 The high priest was surprised that Jesus did not reply.

Verse 61

1 Jesus said nothing in reply to the falsehoods of these men; in that way he fulfilled the prophecy in Isa 53:7. The high priest then asked Jesus a question touching his personality which was the same as his divinity. That was important and we will see that he answered it.

Verse 62

2 Jesus not only answered the question of the high priest, but added a prediction that was in line with his divinity and authority as a king.

Verse 63

3 Decisions of the Sanhedrin were made by vote, supposed to be based on the testimony of valid witnesses. The statement of Jesus agitated the high priest so that he declared there was no need for witnesses.

Verse 64

4 The high priest called for the vote of the assembly and they all condemned Jesus to death. This means that all who woted at all did so. There were some who did not take part in the voting (Luk 23:50-51).

Verse 65

5 The Jews could pass a sentence of death but could not execute it. But they gratified their wicked feeling against Jesus by gross personal mistreatment. The things they said and did to him would not be permitted today in any responsible court, regardless of what sentence might have been pronounced.

Verse 66

7 The point to be noted is that being with Jesus was regarded as significant. Association indicates fellowship or participation.

Verse 68

8 Peter understood it that way, for he denied it very emphatically, then moved out farther in his fearfulness and stopped at the porch. At that instant the cock crowed the first time.

Verse 69

9 This maid spoke to the people standing by and not to Peter. She made the declaration on her own information (indicating Peter), "this is one of them."

Verse 70

0 Peter denied her statement which made his second denial. The next time it was the people standing near who made the statement, and they supported their claim by referring to the similarity of speech used by Peter and Jesus and his disciples.

Verse 71

1 Curse and swear are explained at Mat 26:74. This made the third time that Peter denied even knowing Jesus or having been with him.

Verse 72

2 Matthew says this second crowing was immediately after the third denial (Mat 26:74). This fact, (together with the look that Jesus gave him, Luk 22:61), recalled the specific prediction of Jesus about his denials. When he thought thereon, he wept, or, upon considering the whole event, he was overwhelmed with remorse. Mat 26:75 says "he went out and wept bitterly." The conduct of Peter was different from that of Judas. Both men were disappointed over the way matters were going with Jesus, and the things they had said or done. But Judas destroyed his own life while Peter repented through godly sorrow.
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Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Mark 14". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. 1952.