The Conspiracy Against Jesus. 1* The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread* were to take place in two days’ time.a So the chief priests and the scribes were seeking a way to arrest him by treachery and put him to death. 2They said, “Not during the festival, for fear that there may be a riot among the people.”
The Anointing at Bethany.* 3When he was in Bethany reclining at table in the house of Simon the leper,b a woman came with an alabaster jar of perfumed oil, costly genuine spikenard. She broke the alabaster jar and poured it on his head. 4There were some who were indignant. “Why has there been this waste of perfumed oil? 5It could have been sold for more than three hundred days’ wages and the money given to the poor.” They were infuriated with her. 6Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you make trouble for her? She has done a good thing for me. 7The poor you will always have with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them, but you will not always have me. 8She has done what she could. She has anticipated anointing my body for burial. 9Amen, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed to the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”
The Betrayal by Judas. 10c Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went off to the chief priests to hand him over to them. 11When they heard him they were pleased and promised to pay him money. Then he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.
Preparations for the Passover. 12d On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb,* his disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 13He sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city and a man will meet you, carrying a jar of water.* Follow him. 14Wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’ 15Then he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready. Make the preparations for us there.” 16The disciples then went off, entered the city, and found it just as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover.
The Betrayer. 17e When it was evening, he came with the Twelve. 18* And as they reclined at table and were eating, Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” 19They began to be distressed and to say to him, one by one, “Surely it is not I?” 20He said to them, “One of the Twelve, the one who dips with me into the dish. 21For the Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him,* but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”
The Lord’s Supper. 22* While they were eating,f he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is my body.” 23Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed* for many. 25Amen, I say to you, I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” 26Then, after singing a hymn,* they went out to the Mount of Olives.g
Peter’s Denial Foretold.* 27Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will have your faith shaken, for it is written:
‘I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep will be dispersed.’h
28But after I have been raised up, I shall go before you to Galilee.” 29Peter said to him, “Even though all should have their faith shaken, mine will not be.” 30Then Jesus said to him, “Amen, I say to you, this very night before the cock crows twice you will deny me three times.” 31But he vehemently replied, “Even though I should have to die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all spoke similarly.
The Agony in the Garden. 32* Then they came to a place named Gethsemane,i and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”j 33He took with him Peter, James, and John, and began to be troubled and distressed. 34Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch.” 35He advanced a little and fell to the ground and prayed that if it were possible the hour might pass by him; 36he said, “Abba, Father,* all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from me, but not what I will but what you will.” 37When he returned he found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? 38* Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test.k The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” 39Withdrawing again, he prayed, saying the same thing. 40Then he returned once more and found them asleep, for they could not keep their eyes open and did not know what to answer him. 41He returned a third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough. The hour has come. Behold, the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners. 42Get up, let us go. See, my betrayer is at hand.”
The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus. 43l Then, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs who had come from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. 44His betrayer had arranged a signal with them, saying, “The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him and lead him away securely.” 45He came and immediately went over to him and said, “Rabbi.” And he kissed him. 46At this they laid hands on him and arrested him. 47One of the bystanders drew his sword, struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his ear. 48Jesus said to them in reply, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs, to seize me? 49Day after day I was with you teaching in the temple area, yet you did not arrest me; but that the scriptures may be fulfilled.” 50And they all left him and fled. 51Now a young man followed him wearing nothing but a linen cloth about his body. They seized him, 52but he left the cloth behind and ran off naked.
Jesus Before the Sanhedrin. 53* m They led Jesus away to the high priest, and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. 54Peter followed him at a distance into the high priest’s courtyard and was seated with the guards, warming himself at the fire. 55The chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin kept trying to obtain testimony against Jesus in order to put him to death, but they found none. 56Many gave false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. 57* Some took the stand and testified falsely against him, alleging, 58“We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands and within three days I will build another not made with hands.’”n 59Even so their testimony did not agree. 60The high priest rose before the assembly and questioned Jesus, saying, “Have you no answer? What are these men testifying against you?” 61* But he was silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him and said to him, “Are you the Messiah, the son of the Blessed One?” 62Then Jesus answered, “I am;
and ‘you will see the Son of Man
seated at the right hand of the Power
and coming with the clouds of heaven.’”o
63At that the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further need have we of witnesses? 64You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” They all condemned him as deserving to die. 65Some began to spit on him. They blindfolded him and struck him and said to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards greeted him with blows.p
Peter’s Denial of Jesus. 66q While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the high priest’s maids came along. 67Seeing Peter warming himself, she looked intently at him and said, “You too were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” 68* But he denied it saying, “I neither know nor understand what you are talking about.” So he went out into the outer court. [Then the cock crowed.] 69The maid saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” 70Once again he denied it. A little later the bystanders said to Peter once more, “Surely you are one of them; for you too are a Galilean.” 71He began to curse and to swear, “I do not know this man about whom you are talking.” 72And immediately a cock crowed a second time. Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had said to him, “Before the cock crows twice you will deny me three times.” He broke down and wept.r
* [14:1–16:8] In the movement of Mark’s gospel the cross is depicted as Jesus’ way to glory in accordance with the divine will. Thus the passion narrative is seen as the climax of Jesus’ ministry.
* [14:1] The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread: the connection between the two festivals is reflected in Ex 12:3–20; 34:18; Lv 23:4–8; Nm 9:2–14; 28:16–17; Dt 16:1–8. The Passover commemorated the redemption from slavery and the departure of the Israelites from Egypt by night. It began at sundown after the Passover lamb was sacrificed in the temple in the afternoon of the fourteenth day of the month of Nisan. With the Passover supper on the same evening was associated the eating of unleavened bread. The latter was continued through Nisan 21, a reminder of the affliction of the Israelites and of the haste surrounding their departure. Praise and thanks to God for his goodness in the past were combined at this dual festival with the hope of future salvation. The chief priests…to death: the intent to put Jesus to death was plotted for a long time but delayed for fear of the crowd (Mk 3:6; 11:18; 12:12).
* [14:3] At Bethany on the Mount of Olives, a few miles from Jerusalem, in the house of Simon the leper, Jesus defends a woman’s loving action of anointing his head with perfumed oil in view of his impending death and burial as a criminal, in which case his body would not be anointed. See further the note on Jn 12:7. He assures the woman of the remembrance of her deed in the worldwide preaching of the good news.
* [14:12] The first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread…the Passover lamb: a less precise designation of the day for sacrificing the Passover lamb as evidenced by some rabbinical literature. For a more exact designation, see note on Mk 14:1. It was actually Nisan 14.
* [14:13] A man…carrying a jar of water: perhaps a prearranged signal, for only women ordinarily carried water in jars. The Greek word used here, however, implies simply a person and not necessarily a male.
* [14:18] One of you will betray me, one who is eating with me: contrasts the intimacy of table fellowship at the Passover meal with the treachery of the traitor; cf. Ps 41:10.
* [14:21] The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him: a reference to Ps 41:10 cited by Jesus concerning Judas at the Last Supper; cf. Jn 13:18–19.
* [14:22–24] The actions and words of Jesus express within the framework of the Passover meal and the transition to a new covenant the sacrifice of himself through the offering of his body and blood in anticipation of his passion and death. His blood of the covenant both alludes to the ancient rite of Ex 24:4–8 and indicates the new community that the sacrifice of Jesus will bring into being (Mt 26:26–28; Lk 22:19–20; 1 Cor 11:23–25).
* [14:24] Which will be shed: see note on Mt 26:27–28. For many: the Greek preposition hyper is a different one from that at Mt 26:28 but the same as that found at Lk 22:19, 20 and 1 Cor 11:24. The sense of both words is vicarious, and it is difficult in Hellenistic Greek to distinguish between them. For many in the sense of “all,” see note on Mt 20:28.
* [14:26] After singing a hymn: Ps 114–118, thanksgiving songs concluding the Passover meal.
* [14:27–31] Jesus predicted that the Twelve would waver in their faith, even abandon him, despite their protestations to the contrary. Yet he reassured them that after his resurrection he would regather them in Galilee (Mk 16:7; cf. Mt 26:32; 28:7, 10, 16; Jn 21), where he first summoned them to be his followers as he began to preach the good news (Mk 1:14–20).
* [14:32–34] The disciples who had witnessed the raising to life of the daughter of Jairus (Mk 5:37) and the transfiguration of their Master (Mk 9:2) were now invited to witness his degradation and agony and to watch and pray with him.
* [14:36] Abba, Father: an Aramaic term, here also translated by Mark, Jesus’ special way of addressing God with filial intimacy. The word ‘abbā’ seems not to have been used in earlier or contemporaneous Jewish sources to address God without some qualifier. Cf. Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6 for other occurrences of the Aramaic word in the Greek New Testament. Not what I will but what you will: note the complete obedient surrender of the human will of Jesus to the divine will of the Father; cf. Jn 4:34; 8:29; Rom 5:19; Phil 2:8; Heb 5:8.
* [14:38] The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak: the spirit is drawn to what is good yet found in conflict with the flesh, inclined to sin; cf. Ps 51:7, 12. Everyone is faced with this struggle, the full force of which Jesus accepted on our behalf and, through his bitter passion and death, achieved the victory.
* [14:53] They led Jesus away…came together: Mark presents a formal assembly of the whole Sanhedrin (chief priests, elders, and scribes) at night, leading to the condemnation of Jesus (Mk 14:64), in contrast to Lk 22:66, 71 where Jesus is condemned in a daytime meeting of the council; see also Jn 18:13, 19–24.
* [14:57–58] See notes on Mt 26:60–61 and Jn 2:19.
* [14:61–62] The Blessed One: a surrogate for the divine name, which Jews did not pronounce. I am: indicates Jesus’ acknowledgment that he is the Messiah and Son of God; cf. Mk 1:1. Contrast Mt 26:64 and Lk 22:67–70, in which Jesus leaves his interrogators to answer their own question. You will see the Son of Man…with the clouds of heaven: an allusion to Dn 7:13 and Ps 110:1 portending the enthronement of Jesus as judge in the transcendent glory of God’s kingdom. The Power: another surrogate for the name of God.
* [14:68] [Then the cock crowed]: found in most manuscripts, perhaps in view of Mk 14:30, 72 but omitted in others.
a. [14:1–2] Mt 26:2–5; Lk 22:1–2; Jn 11:45–53.
b. [14:3–9] Mt 26:6–13; Jn 12:1–8.
c. [14:10–11] Mt 26:14–16; Lk 22:3–6.
d. [14:12–16] Mt 26:17–19; Lk 22:7–13.
e. [14:17–21] Mt 26:20–24; Lk 22:21–23; Jn 13:21–26.
f. [14:22–25] Mt 26:26–30; Lk 22:19–20; 1 Cor 11:23–25.
g. [14:26–31] Mt 26:30–35; Lk 22:34, 39; Jn 13:36–38.
h. [14:27] Zec 13:7; Jn 16:32.
i. [14:32–42] Mt 26:36–46; Lk 22:40–46.
l. [14:43–50] Mt 26:47–56; Lk 22:47–53; Jn 18:3–11.
m. [14:53–65] Mt 26:57–68; Lk 22:54–55, 63–65, 67–71; Jn 18:12–13.
o. [14:62] 13:26; Ps 110:1; Dn 7:13; Mt 24:30.
q. [14:66–72] Mt 26:69–75; Lk 22:56–62; Jn 18:16–18, 25–27.