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Mark - Lesson 19

  • Thomas Klock Harvest Ministries
  • 2007 21 Sep
Mark - Lesson 19

Lesson Nineteen

The Son of Man Arrested Part I

Mark 14:1–42 


Knowing the Scriptures

Studies in the Gospel of Mark




Mark 13 was an account of what is called the Olivet Discourse, Jesus’ prophetic words about both the coming destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans (a.d. 70) and the future return of the Son of Man.  The events of Jerusalem’s destruction, as horrifying and disturbing as they were (see Josephus’ account as mentioned in Lesson 18), are but a foreshadowing of the horrible times that await mankind during the Great Tribulation—so terrible that unless they were cut short (literally, amputated) no one would remain alive!  We also read of how God will work through all of this to finally help the Jews to come to realize that Jesus is the Son of Man and Son of God.  In any discussion of last days’ events, we must be careful to avoid sensationalism and emphasis on the evil of the Antichrist and his forces; we tend to be so busy looking for the Antichrist that we forget we’re to be looking for Jesus Christ!  He is the true focus of the Book of Revelation, as He is in our studies here in Mark’s Gospel, which now turns toward simultaneously the most wicked and most holy ground we’ve come to:  the suffering, death, and resurrection of the Son of God.


DAY ONE:  Preparation for Suffering

Please carefully read Mark 14:1–9 and answer the following questions.


1.  What did the religious leaders discuss about Jesus just before the Passover (vv. 1, 2)?


NOTES: In Greek, the phrase sought how they might take Him by trickery is in the imperfect tense, meaning they kept seeking after a way to bait Him, and use guile and deceit to see Him put to death.[i]


2.  Exactly when the event described in Bethany took place is somewhat debatable; Mark seems to indicate it took place on Wednesday, but John’s Gospel puts it six days before the Passover.  It is likely that Mark put this story here for emphasis, and the time mentioned in verses 1, 2 refers to the meeting of the religious leaders, but not to this story.[ii]  Regardless, this is a fascinating story.  Describe the event in verses 3–6 in your own words.


3.  These great men of God totally missed the point:  The woman’s extravagant giving was a sacrifice of love and worship for her Lord.  How did Jesus rebuke the men and honor the woman instead (vv. 7–9)?


NOTE: This woman’s action was extreme.  The oil is stated to be worth a year’s income; a laborer’s daily wage was a denarius, and here 300 denarii were poured out in useless extravagance, or so thought the disciples. They murmured against the woman, Greek embrimaomai, meaning “to be very angry, sternly, to charge.” The verb in the imperfect tense, as it is here, is used elsewhere of the snorting of horses![iii] Mary, who is identified in John’s Gospel, gave lavishly, lovingly, unashamedly to honor Jesus.  If she was Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus, then we see her always at the feet of Jesus, and she was probably more in tune with the predictions that Jesus made regarding His death than even the disciples![iv]


4.    Read John’s account of this event (John 12:1–11) and record some of the other significant things we learn about this wonderful story.


Scripture Memory:  This week we will be memorizing Mark 14:38.  Review the passage several times throughout the day each day this week, and by the end of the week, you should have it memorized completely.


“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38, nkjv)


DAY TWO:  The Passover Plot

Please carefully read Mark 14:10–20 and answer the following questions.


1.  Many years ago a book entitled The Passover Plot was published, which tried to discredit Jesus’ death and resurrection as part of a plot between Him and the disciples.  Yet what sadly was the true Passover plot, and who did it involve (vv. 10, 11)?

2.  In what unusual way did the disciples find the right place to hold their Passover celebration (vv. 12–16)?


NOTE: The Teacher could be translated “our teacher.” The expression my guest room (literal translation of the Greek) is somewhat unusual; it could mean “the one I have arranged for” or “the one divinely appointed for me.”[v]  It wouldn’t be difficult to locate a man carrying a jar of water because women usually performed this task. It is possible that this man was John Mark’s father, and possibly Jesus ate the Passover in an upper room in John Mark’s home; but we have no concrete evidence that confirms this.   We do know that John Mark’s home was a center for Christian fellowship in Jerusalem (see Acts 12:12).[vi]  This possibility will come into play again in Lesson 20.


3.  What shocking announcement did Jesus make, and what was the reaction of the disciples (vv. 17–20)?


4.  How did John later fill in more details of this announcement about the betrayer, and the dramatic conclusion (John 13:21–30)?


Scripture Memory:  Try to fill in the missing words in the blanks below, by memory if at all possible, and then review the passage several times today.


“Watch and__________________, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is ___________________________, but the _________________ is weak” (Mark 14:38, nkjv)

DAY THREE:  The New Covenant

Please carefully read Mark 14:21–31 and answer the following questions.


Sidelight: The Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread

It is important to understand the Passover so we can grasp the significance of all that took place that night. The original Passover feast consisted of roasted lamb, unleavened bread, and a dish of bitter herbs (Exodus 12:8–20). The lamb reminded the Jews of the blood applied to their doorposts in Egypt, which kept the angel of death from slaying their firstborn. The bread reminded them of their haste in leaving Egypt (Exodus 12:39), and bitter herbs spoke of their suffering under Pharaoh. Later on, the Jews added the drinking of four cups of wine diluted with water. This was Jesus’ last Passover, and He would fulfill the Passover by dying on the cross as the spotless Lamb of God!  The killing of the Passover lamb took place near the end of Nisan 14, which was Thursday afternoon. The Passover meal was eaten at the beginning of Nisan 15, or between sunset and midnight Thursday evening. This was followed immediately by the feast of Unleavened Bread, celebrated Nisan 15–21.  It was customary to recline on dining couches during a festive meal; in fact, it was a first-century requirement for the Passover meal, even for the poorest people.[vii] 


1.  What horrifying words did Jesus have regarding the one who would betray Him on that sacred night (v. 21)?


2.  Having gotten rid of the betrayer, Judas (John’s Gospel tells us he left at this point), Jesus proceeds with something remarkable we celebrate to this day.  What unique thing did He do in verses 21–25?  What did Paul later say about this in his instructions to the church in this celebration (1 Corinthians 11:23–28)?


3.  Jesus came to establish a New Testament, as the kjv puts it, better translated as a New Covenant, not attainable by any other means than His death on the cross for us.  The Scriptures affirm the Church age believer to be intimately involved in the New Covenant, but in no way does this involvement limit its ultimate and complete fulfillment with Israel. Jesus, by instituting the Lord’s Table, introduced the New Covenant; the apostle Paul became a minister of the New Covenant (2 Corinthians 3:6); the author of Hebrews pictures the Church being under a new and better covenant (Hebrews 7:22; 8:6; 9:15, etc.)  Under the New Covenant, the spiritual blessings enjoyed by the Church include forgiven sin, a personal relationship with God, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit; and the internalization of the Word and Laws of God.[viii] How did Jeremiah prophesy of this New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31–34)?


NOTE: This conveys the idea that the covenants of Old and New Testaments are not mutual agreements between equals but rather are compacts, the terms of which are dictated by God and not man, in much the same way as are the terms of a will.[ix]


4.  They had sung a hymn together. After the meal, it was customary to sing psalms from the Hallel, which consisted of Psalms 113–118. The walk to the Mount of Olives took at least fifteen minutes.[x] During that walk, what shocking news did Jesus have for His men, especially for the Rock, Peter (vv. 26–31)?


NOTES: In verse 27, Jesus quoted from Zechariah 13:7. Jesus’ words to Peter were no doubt crushing for both of them.  Peter’s boast, which no doubt he truly meant at the time, turned into prophecy of a great downfall.  The language Jesus used indicated that Peter word deny Him, not just once, but many times over.[xi] The cockcrow was a proverbial expression for early morning before sunrise; only Mark mentioned the rooster crowing twice, a detail probably due to Peter’s clear recollection of the incident as he shared it with him.[xii]


Scripture Memory:  Try to fill in the missing words in the blanks below, by memory if at all possible, and then review the passage several times today.


“Watch and__________________, lest you _____________________ into temptation. The spirit indeed is ___________________________, but the _________________ is ____________________” (Mark 14:38, nkjv)

DAY FOUR:  Jesus’ Gethsemane

Please carefully read Mark 14:32–36 and answer the following questions.


1.  They now had arrived at the garden of Gethsemane (its name means “oil or olive press”).  What did Jesus do upon arriving, and what suddenly began to happen to the Son of Man (vv. 32, 33)?


NOTE:   Gethsemane was named for an olive press located there, perhaps in a cave since the cool underground temperatures would have been preferable for pressing olives. It was a garden was situated at the foot of the Mount of Olives.

Tradition identifies a grotto near the so-called Tomb of the Virgin as Gethsemane. This grotto was under the care of the Franciscans, and across the road from it is a garden with some ancient olive trees. Between 1919 and 1924 the Church of All Nations was built here, within which is the traditional Rock of the Agony. The actual garden of Gethsemane was probably somewhere near these shrines, but there is no certainty. For example, although it is possible for olive trees to live for more than two thousand years, Josephus reports that in the siege of Jerusalem under Titus (a.d. 70) all the trees within the circumference of twelve miles were cut down.[xiii]  In this beautiful spot, Jesus suffered in ways we can never understand, and He chose to go ahead and purchase our redemption.  Peter, James and John alone were chosen by Jesus to go with Him and witness His spiritual battle; as John Phillips well said, these three had witnessed Jesus’ greatness in resurrecting Jairus’ daughter, His glory on the Mount of Transfiguration, and now His grief in the garden.[xiv]


2.  Jesus began to be troubled and deeply distressed.  He was overwhelmed with sorrow, but His first feeling was one of terror; an overpowering mental distress was followed by great shock.  Troubled means “to throw into amazement or terror, to alarm thoroughly, to terrify and to be struck with terror.” Deeply distressed comes from a word which means “uncomfortable, describing an experience of which one is not familiar, in which one does not feel at home, that is, at rest, and which distresses him.” In verse 34, Jesus said He was exceedingly sorrowful, meaning He was encompassed with grief.  Grief enveloped Him, surrounded Him, and saturated His consciousness.[xv] In this hour He truly needed company.  What did Jesus ask of the three with Him, and what was His difficult prayer (vv. 35, 36)?


3.  Homer Kent Jr. well said, “The anguish of Gethsemane occurred on that last evening, where men are given a glimpse of the awesome spiritual battle that our redemption required . . .The full depth of meaning of this prayer has never been plumbed by man.”[xvi] Read Luke 22:39–44 and record the physical toll this took on Jesus during the intensity of this battle.


4.  Why did Jesus have to face this?  It is because just as we must do, He had to choose to obey and submit to the Father’s will. How did the author of Hebrews describe this (Hebrews 5:5–9)?   How did Isaiah describe the sufferings that the Messiah would undergo in order to bring us all to salvation (Isaiah 53:1–6)? 


Scripture Memory:  Try to fill in the missing words in the blanks below, by memory if at all possible, and then review the passage several times today.


“______________________ and__________________, lest you _____________________ into temptation. The ______________________ indeed is ___________________________, but the _________________ is ____________________” (Mark 14:38, nkjv)


DAY FIVE:  The Betrayer is at Hand

Please carefully read Mark 14:37–42 and answer the following questions.


1.  During Jesus’ intense prayer, He returned to gain support from His men.  What did He find and how did He redirect them (vv. 37, 38)?

2.  Jesus went again to pray and returned a second time.  How does Mark record the disciples’ humiliation at being found asleep again (v. 40)?

3.  Jesus returned to them again the third time (keep that idea of the third time in the back of your mind for Lesson 20).  What did He find, and what did He say, then lead the men to do, rather than rebuking them (vv. 41, 42)?

4.  We must learn the importance of the message that Jesus had for His men that they needed to stay alert and on guard spiritually, for though our spiritual man is willing and wants to follow and serve Him, our flesh is weak, frail, and corrupted.  What did Paul warn about our fleshly nature in Romans 7:5, 18?  What must we do to allow our new man in Christ to be dominant in our lives rather than the flesh (Ephesians 6:10–13; Colossians 3:5–7)?


Scripture Memory:  Can you write out this week’s passage by memory here below?  Give it a try, and keep reviewing the passage several times throughout the day.


Mark 14:38:

DAY SIX: Following Christ


1.  This lesson covered primarily one day of the Passion Week, Thursday.  Before this, however, Mark recorded the story of Mary or another woman who gave extravagantly to minister to our Lord before His crucifixion.  We can choose to be like this woman in freely giving all for Jesus so that His name will be lifted up, or to be like His disciples, disgruntled and blinded by their religious, even legalistic, attitude.  Giving cannot be like this for the believer.  That is why Paul said, “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:6–8, nkjv).  Think about the following words by Oswald Chambers and then record some ways you can improve what you do, as Mary did what she could in view of all that Jesus has done for you!


If human love does not carry a man beyond himself, it is not love. If love is always discreet, always wise, always sensible and calculating, never carried beyond itself, it is not love at all. It may be affection, it may be warmth of feeling, but it has not the true nature of love in it. 

Have I ever been carried away to do something for God not because it was my duty, nor because it was useful, nor because there was anything in it at all beyond the fact that I love Him? Have I ever realized that I can bring to God things which are of value to Him, or am I mooning round the magnitude of His Redemption whilst there are any number of things I might be doing? Not Divine, colossal things which could be recorded as marvelous, but ordinary, simple human things which will give evidence to God that I am abandoned to Him? Have I ever produced in the heart of the Lord Jesus what Mary of Bethany produced?

There are times when it seems as if God watches to see if we will give Him the abandoned tokens of how genuinely we do love Him. Abandon to God is of more value than personal holiness. Personal holiness focuses the eye on our own whiteness; we are greatly concerned about the way we walk and talk and look, fearful lest we offend Him. Perfect love casts out all that when once we are abandoned to God. We have to get rid of this notion—‘Am I of any use?’ and make up our minds that we are not, and we may be near the truth. It is never a question of being of use, but of being of value to God Himself. When we are abandoned to God, He works through us all the time.[xvii]


2.  Jesus didn’t say that the elements of communion literally were or become His body and blood.  Jesus spoke of literal things, but the relationship between them was expressed figuratively. The verb is means “represents.” Jesus was physically present as He spoke these words, so the disciples did not literally eat His body or drink His blood! This demonstrates the incorrectness of the Roman Catholic view of the Eucharist (transubstantiation), that the bread and wine are changed into Christ’s body and blood.[xviii]   Yet are we sometimes guilty of minimizing or treating trivially the celebration of the Lord’s Table because we don’t truly realize how sacred these symbols are, reflecting all that was done for us?  What Jesus did for us is our life, our hope, and the joy we experience because of His tremendous sacrifice.  Think about some ways that you can make your own times of remembering all that Christ has done for you more meaningful, especially when you come to the communion table, and after reading these words by Travis Tamerias, record some ways you will do so:


The Lord’s Supper is not a funeral. Christ is not dead. Our mood is not one of unrelieved sorrow. As Christians, we look at the Crucifixion through the window of the Resurrection. Christ has conquered sin and Satan. He has defeated death and hell. When we sing together and share in this meal, we savor the taste of his victory over evil. By eating the bread and drinking the wine that our Lord has given us, our faith in God is nourished and our relationship with Christ is strengthened. In this memorial meal, we act out a dramatized prayer wherein we call upon God to remember his covenant with his people (Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24, 25).[xix]



3.  One of the reasons that Mark wrote his Gospel was to minister to his Roman readers in the suffering they faced.  The theme of abandonment and solitary suffering is dominant in this section.  “Jesus was abandoned by denial (Peter, vv. 66–72), indifference (Peter, James, and John in Gethsemane, vv. 37–41), betrayal (Judas, vv. 42–45), and fleeing (the Twelve and the young man, vv. 50–52). Such examples serve as encouragement and warning for readers/hearers who have sometimes abandoned Jesus or are tempted to do so in persecution.”[xx]  What a blessing it is to know that:


Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted , He is able to aid those who are tempted . . . Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 2:17, 18; 4:14–16, nkjv)


What difficulties and trials are you facing?  Are you enduring a time of great temptation and testing?  Worst of all, are you facing this all alone, or have you even been abandoned by others you cared for?  Jesus knows all this, and has been where you are and far worse.  Why don’t you record some of the difficulties you are facing here, and then commit them to the Lord in prayer?  Also, there are others who care about you, especially right in your group.  Why don’t you let them pray for and encourage you, so they can be there for you in this time, not like the disciples who fell asleep at the wheel?  Record your thoughts here.


4.  Finally, is there something else that the Lord ministered to you through this week in Mark 14:1–42?  If so, please record it here so you can share it with your group.


Scripture Memory:  Hopefully you now can write out this week’s passage completely by memory.  Do so now, and keep on reviewing it so you will be ready to share it with others in your group time.


Mark 14:38:

[i] Unless elsewhere noted, all Greek word/phrase translations are based on the following:  A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.  In Oak Harbor:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1932, 1933, 1997);  James Strong, The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible:  Showing Every Word of the Text of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurrence of Each Word in Regular Order, Electronic Edition (Ontario:  Woodside Bible Fellowship; in Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996); M.R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament (Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2002); Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Studies in the New Testament:  For the English Reader (Grand Rapids:  Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Co; in Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1984, 1997); and Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary:  New Testament, Electronic Edition (Chattanooga:  AMG Publishers, in Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1992, 1993, 2000).

[ii] John D. Grassmick, Mark.  In John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck eds., The Bible Knowledge Commentary New Testament (Wheaton:  Victor Books/SP Publications, 1983), p. 174.

[iii] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Studies in the New Testament:  For the English Reader.

[iv] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary Vol. 1 (Wheaton:  Victor Books/SP Publications Inc., 1989), p. 159.

[v] James A. Brooks, Mark.  In David S. Dockery ed., The New American Commentary, Vol. 23 (Nashville:  Broadman Press, 1991), p. 227.

[vi] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary Vol. 1 (Wheaton:  Victor Books/SP Publications Inc., 1989), p. 159. 

[vii] This information is based on John D. Grassmick, Mark, pp. 174, 176-177; Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary Vol. 1, pp. 159-160.  

[viii] Paul R. Schmidtbleicher, “Balancing the Use of the New Testament.” (Chafer Theological Seminary Journal, 8:3 July 2002), p. 56.

[ix] James A. Brooks, Mark, p. 229.

[x] Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary, New Testament (Downer’s Grove:  InterVarsity Press, 1983, 1989), p. 175.

[xi] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Studies in the New Testament:  For the English Reader.

[xii] John D. Grassmick, Mark, p. 179.

[xiii] M. Easton, Easton’s Bible Dictionary, Electronic Edition (In Oak Harbor:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1897, 1996).

[xiv] John Phillips, Exploring the Gospel of Mark (Grand Rapids:  Kregel Publications, 2004), p. 306.

[xv] Kenneth S. Wuest.

[xvi] Homer A. Kent, Jr. The Beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Winona Lakes:  BMH Books, 2005), pp. 199, 209.

[xvii] Oswald Chambers, February 21, My Utmost for His Highest, Electronic Edition (In Oak Harbor:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1935, 1993.).   

[xviii] Grassmick, p. 177.

[xix] Travis Tamerias, “Savoring God in Public Worship” (Reformation and Revival, Vol. 11:4, Fall 2002), p. 140.

[xx] James A. Brooks, Mark, p. 231.



© 2006 by Harvest Christian Fellowship. All rights reserved. Written by Thomas Klock for Men’s Bible Fellowship, 2005-2006.