SHE BROKE THE JAR: Five broken things in the Bible and
the results achieved by them: (1) broken pitchers (Jdg 7:18-20), causing the
light to shine forth; (2) a broken jar (Mark 14:3), causing the ointment to be
poured out; (3) broken bread (Mat 14:20), causing the hungry to be fed; (4) a
broken body (1Co 11:24), causing the world to be saved; and (5) a broken will
(Psa 51:17), leading the sinner back to God.
SOME OF THOSE PRESENT: Including Judas (Joh
SHE DID WHAT SHE COULD: "The limited
POURED: "Murizo" (from "myrrh"). It was, in fact, the
only true anointing, except for the dry spices later used.
FOR MY BURIAL: Cp Joh 12:7. It was also an anointing in
anticipation of his resurrection (Psa 45:6-8,11).
A handful of coins was enough to settle forever the conflict
between good and evil. For what price do we sell the Kingdom?
PROMISED TO GIVE HIM MONEY: The 30 pieces of silver
(Mat 26:15; Luk 22:5) was a mere "down payment" -- perhaps 10%? (WGos
Very precisely arranged beforehand, and undertaken secretly.
To have named a precise house ahead of time would have played into the hands of
the betrayer, inviting an interruption at the proposed meal.
TWO OF HIS DISCIPLES: Peter and John (Luk
A MAN CARRYING A JAR OF WATER: An unusual sight in the
East (HVM 150). Carrying water was woman's work (Joh 4:7,28; Gen 24:11). Was
this man Mark, going to his mother's house?
WATER: Which may have been used by Jesus to wash the
THE HOUSE: They would be meeting in a private house,
not a synagogue.
GUEST ROOM: "Kataluma": sw "inn" (Luk 2:7).
"I go to prepare a place": John 14:1-6.
FURNISHED: Lit "strewn" -- ie with pillows and
ONE WHO IS EATING WITH ME: Cp v 20. "Even my close
friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against
me" (Psa 41:9). Cp also Psa 55:12-14. Note: Jesus broke bread with Judas! Cp Joh
There is no hint that any of the disciples suspected Judas.
"An indication of how completely the traitor lived his own life in his own world
even while continuing to be an intimate member of the apostles' band."
SURELY NOT I?: "A man ought to examine himself before
he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup" (1Co 11:28).
ONE WHO DIPS BREAD... WITH ME: Cp Mar 14:18. "Even my
close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel
against me" (Psa 41:9).
I WILL NOT DRINK... OF THE... VINE: A priest
officiating in holy place must abstain from wine (Lev 10:9).
A HYMN: By tradition at Passover, this was Psa 113; 114
at beginning, and Psa 115-118 at end.
A continuation of the same figure: Christ is still a shepherd,
leading his flock.
AHEAD OF YOU INTO GALILEE: "Unto the mountain where
Jesus had appointed them" (Mat 28:16).
Cp Peter's boasts to the empty bluster of the rooster (Mar
Peter thinks he will lay down (sw Joh 10:11,15) his life for
Jesus. Instead, Jesus will lay down his life for Peter. A great irony: cp
David/God/build house: 2Sa 7.
Jesus had previously baffled Judas (ie Mar 14:12n). But now he
places himself in the betrayer's hands -- by retiring to a familiar
GETHSEMANE: Lit "a wine press for oil". Poss its olive
trees provided oil for the anointing of priests and kings.
Some disciples are closer to their Lord than others. "Members
one of another."
JAMES AND JOHN: The two who promised to drink of his
DISTRESSED AND TROUBLED: The mark of a man, not a god!
A sign of weakness, trial, but also of compassion and sympathy (Heb 4:15,16;
STAY HERE AND KEEP WATCH: Were his disciples already
THE HOUR MIGHT PASS: Perhaps the travails of mind that
assailed him in that hour.
GOING A LITTLE FARTHER: He separates himself even from
the closest three: seeking the utmost privacy to communicate with his Father. Cp
picture of tabernacle/temple: Jesus // Most holy; the 3 // Holy place; the other
8 // outer court; and Judas and crowd // world outside!
THE HOUR: Called "this cup" in next v; Mat 26:39; Luk
22:42. The hours of waiting, or the cross itself? If the cross itself, he would
realize quickly that this could not be avoided -- thus "not as I
Was this prayer heard by Mark (vv 51,52)?
ABBA: Aram "father". Esp a name by which God was
addressed in prayer. Only 3 times in NT text: Mar 14:36; Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6. But
this Aramaic term may lie behind numerous refs to God as Father where only the
Gr "Pater" is given in the NT.
TAKE THIS CUP FROM ME: Perhaps the worst suffering,
which Christ prays to be spared, is the separation from his Father's presence
(Psa 22:1,11; 69:17). But this suffering was, in fact, not spared (Mar 15:34).
Also, see Mat 26:39.
NOT WHAT I WILL: Proof that Christ has a will of his
own, although he manages not to exercise it here.
"At every step in that last week at Jerusalem we see Jesus
master of the situation and not its victim, controlling events even when men
think they have him in their power, making the hour for preparation for the
disciples and himself, choosing the time for his rendezvous with his enemies.
Master at every moment, shall we say, but one -- the mystery of the agony in the
garden of the Olive Press when he prays that the cup may pass, yet submits his
own will to his Father's. During this week and up to his breathing out his life
upon the Cross he more completely than ever lives out the things that were
written. Thus it must be -- the Son of Man must suffer. Yet he is not merely
acting a preordained role; he is meeting his enemies with all the power of his
mind and the depth of his own knowledge of 'the scriptures, and the power of
God'. It is they who are fulfilling the prophecy; he knows the course it will
take, and he lives it through as the Lamb of God, but he grieves as he sees them
going in all assurance the way to their own forewritten doom, judging themselves
while they think they are judging him" (SMk 212).
Why did they fall asleep? (1) Long days of activity preceding
Passover; (2) wine at dinner; (3) lateness of hour; (4) long wait in dark
He sits with the sleeping disciples, as a shepherd keeping
watch over his flock, quietly awaiting the coming of the band of men to arrest
him. (Suggestion: a long period, an hour or two, while they sleep... before
"Look!" During the last part of this waiting, Jesus would see the approach of
the arresting party, a good way off: (a) they came late at night, (b) with
torches, (c) descending into valley from city, (d) climbing mountain on opposite
side, toward the garden.
THE THIRD TIME: Both James and John fail Jesus 3 times,
just like Peter.
RISE! LET US GO!: Not only does he await his
persecutors and murderers, but he rises to go and meet them!
HERE COMES MY BETRAYER!: Christ could see the approach
of the party to arrest him: they came late at night, carrying torches,
traversing the Kidron Valley and climbing the mountain. (If Christ had not
awakened the disciples, they might never have seen him go.)
SWORDS: Regular weapons of Roman soldiers.
CLUBS: Regular weapons of Jewish temple
Why was it necessary that the Son of Man be betrayed with a
kiss? There is, of course, the obvious symbolism: the deceitful treachery of a
familiar friend. But, on close examination, there would appear to be a practical
reason for Judas to suggest a kiss: the time set for Jesus' arrest was night,
and the place a rather secluded garden. The Jews bent on taking Jesus have
realized that, in the confusion of an arrest, he could slip out of their hands
quite easily. The trick would be to single him out from his followers while they
were still at some distance, so that the soldiers would know which of the
shadowy figures to pursue and lay hands on. (Under normal visibility there would
have been no problem identifying Jesus.) And thus the stratagem of having Judas
precede the multitude, for only a member of the inner circle (so they would
suppose) could get close enough to single out the leader from his
KISSED: "Kataphileo". Lit, he "kissed him much, or
ONE OF THOSE STANDING NEAR: Peter (Joh 18:10). Was he
aiming for Judas (cp Joh 13:24), but only managed to wound a
THE SERVANT OF THE HIGH PRIEST: Malchus (Joh
CUTTING OFF HIS EAR: See the contrast: some (like
Jesus) wait, watch, pray, prepare, weigh alternatives, and (only then) act.
Others (like Peter) doze off, sleep, wake suddenly, and then "cut off an ear".
(Jesus heals the ear: Luk 22:51.)
Darkness closes down upon the scene. The garden, with its
gnarled old olive trees, is dark and quiet again. The silence is broken only by
the rustling of the leaves.
A YOUNG MAN: John Mark? Mark's nickname in later years
was "Kolobodaktulos" = "stump-fingered" (WGos 732). Reasons for this theory: (a)
the upper room was (perhaps) at John Mark's mother's house (Act 12:12), (b)
after Jesus and eleven leave, Mark goes to bed, (c) later comes a knock on door:
Judas and band looking for Jesus; they go away, (d) Mark jumps up quickly,
throws on a cloak (sheet), and races out to Gethsemane by another way, hoping to
outrace Judas and the soldiers, (e) but he arrives at the scene too late, and is
almost apprehended himself, but manages to flee away naked.
NAKED: An echo of Amo 2:16?
LEAVING HIS GARMENT BEHIND: As the resurrected Christ
left his grave clothes, the symbols of his death, behind in the
Annas was no longer the official High Priest, but the title
(and power and wealth) remained in family: 5 different sons, and finally his
son-in-law Caiaphas became High Priest (from 18 to 36 AD: OP 23:262). They were
a ruthless and ambitious family, who would do almost anything to maintain power
Two injustices here: (1) a private meeting, and (2) late at
night. A night trial was illegal: Act 4:3; 5:17-19.
AT A DISTANCE: Luk 23:49.
THE FIRE: Peter warmed himself by the fire of the
world, but denied the living fire (cp Isa 50:11, in context of judgment -- vv
8,9 -- and smiting -- v 11).
WERE LOOKING FOR EVIDENCE AGAINST JESUS: To fulfill Psa
The false witnesses brought against Jesus are suggested by Psa
27:12; 35:11,12,19; 64:8. (Note: why were the witnesses confused and
contradictory of one another? Because, when the key witness -- Judas --
defected, the whole prosecution strategy fell apart! In the hasty scramble to
find and "coach" new witnesses, confusion resulted, and was easily brought out
-- probably by cross-examination by someone like Nicodemus or Joseph of
MANY TESTIFIED FALSELY AGAINST HIM: The false
witnesses, by law, were liable to the same punishment they sought to inflict on
another (Deu 19:15-21). Cp trial of Naboth (1Ki 21:1-19).
Notice that the Sanhedrin and chief priests felt some
necessity to maintain scruples of Mosaic Law. Poss they knew that a complete
fraud would be rejected by others.
This (an obvious misapplication) was the best they could do!
But, ironically, the death of Jesus would also mark the "end" of the Temple!
IN THREE DAYS: Always ref resurrection (cp Mar 8:31;
ANOTHER, NOT MADE BY MAN: An obvious misapplication: In
effect Christ says, "Destroy me, and in 3 days I will rise again." Jesus himself
= temple (Joh 1:14; 2:19-21; Mat 12:6).
NOT MADE BY MAN: "Without hands" (AV): Dan 2:34; ct Act
7:48; cp Heb 9:11.
THE HIGH PRIEST: Now Caiaphas (cp Psa
BUT JESUS REMAINED SILENT: "They have spoken against me
with a lying tongue... but I give myself unto prayer" (Psa 109:2,4). Cp 1Pe
2:23. Jesus' silence is more eloquent than any words!
"What was the single most amazing thing that Jesus did? Was it
the overcoming of the tempter in the wilderness? Was it acts of healing? Of
raising the dead to life? Was it even hanging on the cross?
"I submit that the single most amazing thing that our Lord
did, was to be silent.
"Jesus was on trial. He was set upon by a band of
none-too-gentle soldiers, under orders to whisk him away to a night-time court.
False witnesses accused him. Malicious council members conspired against him.
Falsely pious leaders plotted with evil intent against him. And all the while,
Jesus knew that he was right, and they were wrong.
"Before them was a loved Son. The accused was the only one who
was truly blameless. The only one who really cared in his heart for the nation
that these brutish elders thought they were saving from the Romans. Before them
was someone who had only and always given of himself for others. The only one
who had the power to truly do good. The only one who had the power to throw off
the true yoke. Jesus was silent.
"Jesus was not powerless. He could have confuted the lies. He
could have shouted down the insinuations as well as the blunt accusations. He
could have put them in their place. He could have annihilated their arguments.
He could have used his power to hurt them, or destroy them, and escape. He was
right, and they were all wrong. Jesus was silent.
"How do we react, I wonder, to words spoken against us? Do we
consider that they may be justified? Most times they probably are, and we are
blind to our own failings.
"More often, perhaps, we are blinded by our sense of justice.
We are quick to excuse ourselves, and even quicker to attack supposed injustice
against ourselves. We may lash out most often against those closest to us. When
we are tempted to react in such a way, let us think on the mind of Christ. "Let
this mind be in you..." (Mike Bull).
AND GAVE NO ANSWER: As if to say, 'The prosecution has
not made its case.'
AGAIN THE HIGH PRIEST ASKED HIM: Adding, "I adjure
thee, by living God" (Mat 26:63) -- the oath of Mishna, called also the "oath of
the testimony", binding the defendant to answer (Lev 5:1).
I AM: A definite, non-evasive answer. Cp Mat
AND YOU WILL SEE...: Psa 110:1! In the great Day to
come, Jesus tells them, our roles will be reversed: I will be the Judge, and YOU
will be the JUDGED! They were in the role of judges (for a moment), but (one
day, and forever after) he will be the only true judge!
THE HIGH PRIEST TORE HIS CLOTHES: The prescribed method
for dissociating oneself from blasphemy (SMk 193). But illegal for a High Priest
(Lev 21:10), prejudicial as a judge, and symbolizing, unknowingly, the end of
his own priesthood (cp Isa 50:9). (High Priest's garment and veil of temple, of
same material: cp Mar 15:38.)
Cp 2Ki 11:14.
"Athaliah tore her robes, and called out, 'Treason! Treason!"
-- pronouncing her own sentence!
YOU HAVE HEARD THE BLASPHEMY: Not a blasphemy against
God or Jewish Law, but against Caesar: "We have no king but Caesar" (Joh
19:12,15). Caiaphas was looking for something specifically to arouse the Roman
authorities, and in Jesus' intimation of future kingship he thinks he may have
Cp Isa 50:6. A complete loss of all judicial restraint and
dignity. Even Sanhedrin members participate (cp Psa 22:16: the whole
PROPHESY: He was blindfolded (Luk 22:64). 'Tell us who
is striking you.' One day he will!
The only instance in the Gospels where a woman is not on
Jesus' side! Or is she?
IN THE COURTYARD: Under the principal apartments of
high priest's palace (built on slope of a hill) was a lower story with a porch
in front (Temple 34).
Peter is also recognized by at least one man: Joh
Was Peter afraid especially because of his violent action
against the High Priest's servant? Cp John 18:26.
Jesus also turned and looked at him (Luk 22:61).
BROKE DOWN: Epiballo = to throw down upon. (AV "when he
thought thereon" misses the point.) Godet translates: "hurrying forth". There is
support in the papyri for reading it: "he burst into tears". Souter: "he set to
and wept" (and kept on weeping).