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Mark Chapter 14:32-72

Memory verses for this week:  Rev 20:10  And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 

Introduction: We continue with our study of Mark this week as we cover the last half of Chapter 14.  We studied about the passover, and how Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, one of two ordinances of the church, in similar fashion.  Jesus gathered with his disciples in the upper room and observed it with his disciples as Judas Iscariot went out to betray Christ to the High Priests.

I. The Agony in the Garden

Mark 14:32  And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.

Mark 14:33  And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;

Mark 14:34  And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.

I think it is important to get the proper setting for the start of our lesson, we need to go back to verses 27-31 of last week’s lesson.

Mark 14:27  And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.

Mark 14:28  But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee.

Mark 14:29  But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.

Mark 14:30  And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice.

Mark 14:31  But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.

We see that Peter says there is no way he will deny Christ.   Even if he was to die, he would not, and notice verse 31… LIKEWISE also said they all.    I don’t think they were just saying that.  I believe they meant it.   The problem we all face is that it is easy inside the church in the midst of other Christians to boast great things, but when we go out among the world, only by God’s grace can we stand strong.   We will soon find all of them following Christ from afar off.   In verse 32, the word Gethsemane means “oil-press”.   In other words, this was a press for squeezing oil out of olives.   The mount of olives was so named because it was covered in olive trees.  Olive oil was used for cooking, as a hair dressing, as a salve, and for fuel for lamps in this day.   The three were given instructions to tarry and watch.   These three men, Peter, James, and John made up the Lord’s close inner circle and were taken with him several other times on special occasions. 

Mark 5:35  While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?

Mark 5:36  As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.

Mark 5:37  And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.

Mark 5:38  And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly.


Mark 9:2  And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.

Mark 9:3  And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.

Mark 9:4  And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.

It was prophesied that Jesus would tread the winepress alone.

Isa 63:1  Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.

Isa 63:2  Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?

Isa 63:3  I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.


II.              The First Prayer

Mark 14:35  And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.

Mark 14:36  And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

Jesus’ first prayer was that the hour might pass from him ‘if it were possible.’   I get very disturbed when so called bible scholars point to these verses and say that Jesus was asking to not have to go to Calvary.   Jesus made the covenant with the Father in eternity past, and perhaps his main purpose of existence was to come to earth, live a sinless life, and then go and die for our sins there on Calvary.  Believe me, Jesus was ready to go to the cross and pay our sin penalty.   He did this voluntarily... no man took his life from him.

John 10:17  Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

John 10:18  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.


Mat 26:52  Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

Mat 26:53  Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?

Mat 26:54  But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?


John 19:8  When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid;

John 19:9  And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.

John 19:10  Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?

John 19:11  Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

Mark 14:37  And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour?

Mark 14:38  Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.

Jesus’ prayer was for the Father’s Will to be done.  He come and finds the disciples sleeping, and asks them if they could not watch for one hour.  The Master gives them good advice... “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.”  Prayer is our best safeguard against temptation.   And the last part of verse 38 is so true.  Our spirit is willing, but our flesh is so weak.  Only with God’s help can we overcome.   The weakness of the flesh is what prompted Paul’s comments to the Romans.

Rom 7:18  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

Rom 7:19  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

Rom 7:20  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

Rom 7:21  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

Rom 7:22  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

Rom 7:23  But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Rom 7:24  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Rom 7:25  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.


III.   The Second Prayer

Mark 14:39  And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words.

Mark 14:40  And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him.

Mark 14:41  And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

Mark 14:42  Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand.

Jesus prays the same prayer the second time, asking the Father’s Will be done.    Christ simply was asking God if it be possible, that he could go on and partake of the bitter cup that awaited him.   When he returns and finds the disciples sleeping, he tells them to sleep on.   He says it is enough, and the hour has come for He to be betrayed into the hands of sinners.

IV.  Christ’s Betrayal and Arrest

Mark 14:43  And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.

Mark 14:44  And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely.

Mark 14:45  And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him.

Mark 14:46  And they laid their hands on him, and took him.

The prior night, as they prepared to take the Lord’s Supper, Jesus told the disciples that one of them would betray him.   And actually identified Judas as the one, but they did not seem to understand at that time.   As the mob approaches, Judas tells those with him that he would go up and kiss the one who they were to take.  He shows concern for Christ as he says “lead him away safely.”   If he was really concerned for Jesus, he would never have betrayed him.

V.  Peter Smites with the Sword and then Follows from Afar

Mark 14:47  And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.

Mark 14:48  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me?

Peter was the one who drew his sword and cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest.

John 18:10  Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.

John 18:11  Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?

Mark 14:49  I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled.

Mark 14:50  And they all forsook him, and fled.

Mark 14:51  And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him:

Mark 14:52  And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.

Jesus questions why they came out like they did to arrest Him.  He had stood daily in the temple teaching, and he was not touched.   (As it says… to fulfill scriptures.)   Just as Jesus had warned them the prior day, all of the disciples forsook him and fled.   It says a certain young man who was not identified had a linen cloth cast about him.   When they tried to hold him, he left the cloth behind and fled naked from them.   This possibly could have been John Mark.

Matthew Henry pointed out how mean these were that come and took Christ.


His own disciples had run away from him; but this young man, having no concern for him, thought he might securely attend him, especially being so far from being armed, that he was not so much as clothed; but the young men, the Roman soldiers, who were called to assist, laid hold of him, for all was fish that came to their net. Perhaps they were now vexed at themselves, that they had suffered the disciples to run away, and they being got out of their reach they resolved to seize the first they could lay their hands on; though this young man was perhaps one of the strictest sect of the Jewish church, yet the Roman soldiers made no conscience of abusing him upon this occasion. Finding himself in danger, he left the linen cloth by which they had caught hold of him, and fled away naked. This passage is recorded to show what a barbarous crew this was, that was sent to seize Christ, and what a narrow escape the disciples had of falling into their hands, out of which nothing could have kept them but their Master’s care of them; If ye seek me, let these go their way, Jn. 18:8. It also intimates that there is no hold of those who are led by curiosity only, and not by faith and conscience, to follow Christ.  [i]

VI.  Jesus Brought Before the High Priest and Sanhedrin Council

Mark 14:53  And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes.

Mark 14:54  And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire.

Jesus was first led away to the house of the High Priest.   Remember this is in the night when no normal meetings would be taking place.   It says the priest, scribes, and elders were assembled at the High Priest’s house.   Peter was following, but from a distance.  I know the disciples had reason to be fearful for their lives.  But God is not pleased when we as Christians follow from afar.   We should be willing to speak up for God and be known as Christians.   While these verses are in context of salvation, we need to always stand up for the Lord.

Mat 10:32  Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

Mat 10:33  But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.


Mark 14:55  And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none.

Mark 14:56  For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together.

Mark 14:57  And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying,

Mark 14:58  We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.

Mark 14:59  But neither so did their witness agree together.

There were many false witnesses that came and accused Christ, but they could not agree.   When you have testimony, you need consistency to find someone guilty of a crime.  Some came and witnessed against Him concerning his statement about destroying the temple and raising it up in three days.  But Jesus spake of the temple of his body.

John 2:19  Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

John 2:20  Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?

John 2:21  But he spake of the temple of his body.

Mark 14:60  And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?

Mark 14:61  But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?

Mark 14:62  And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

Finally the High Priest stands up and demands to know why Christ is not defending himself.  I’m sure he hoped he would say something that would condemn him.  He then asks Him straight on, “Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”   Jesus speaks the truth and tells him when He would see Him coming the clouds at the right hand of God.

J. Vernon McGee said this about these questions by the High Priest.

Jesus did not defend Himself against such obvious falsehood. Again He was fulfilling prophecy: “… as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth” (Isa. 53:7). The silence of Jesus surprised and annoyed the high priest. He wanted Jesus to answer to see if He might condemn Himself. Finally, the high priest put Him under oath. Under oath Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of God. He could make no higher claim. He added a claim that could pertain only to the Son of God: “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” (Dan. 7:13–14).

The high priest understood what He said and all the implications of it. He displayed his intense emotion by tearing his garment. In doing this, he broke the Mosaic Law, as the garment of the high priest was not to be torn.   [ii]

Mark 14:63  Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses?

Mark 14:64  Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.

Mark 14:65  And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands.

The High Priest charges Jesus with blasphemy, and they all condemned Christ to be guilty of death.   Then one prophecy after another started being fulfilled.   Some begin to spit on him, other hit him and were very rough in handling Him.  In mockery, they tell Him to prophesy.    If they had realized who Christ truly was, I don’t believe this would have happened.  But they were blinded by religious fervor thinking they were doing God a favor.   But sinful men treat Jesus terribly.    Don’t be surprised when we are not well spoken of by the world.  If they put our master to death, they will not reverence us.

VII.  Peter Denies Christ

Mark 14:66  And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest:

Mark 14:67  And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth.

Mark 14:68  But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew.

Mark 14:69  And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them.

Peter begins his denial of being with Christ.  He first says he was not with Jesus, and then tells the second maid that we was not one of them.  

Mark 14:70  And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.

Mark 14:71  But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.

Mark 14:72  And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.

Again he is accused of being a follower of Jesus, and this time to be more believable, Peters starts to curse and swear, telling them that he didn’t even know the man.  Again the cock crew, and Peter remembered the words of the Lord.   As Jesus said would happen, Peter had denied him three times.    I’m sure if that had happened to us, we would have wept bitterly also.

In the Luke account, it is mentioned that the Lord looked at Peter at this time.   Can you imagine how you would feel to have done this?

Luke 22:60  And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.

Luke 22:61  And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

Luke 22:62  And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.

But as I mentioned in our study of Matthew, God was not through with Peter.  After he repented in tears, God used him in a great way to preach the message on the day of Pentecost which saw thousands come to Christ for salvation.


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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[i]Henry, Matthew, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.

[ii]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.