Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Mark 14:32-44

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Gethsemane - Mark 14:32-42

In Gethsemane. Alone in the garden Jesus wrestled with sorrow and distress. His eyes were firmly fixed on his suffering and quickly approaching crucifixion.

Oil Press - Mark 14:32

The name Gethsemane means oil press. It was a place in the olive groves where the olive oil was made from the olives.

The cup of God's wrath - Mark 14:33-35

Mark piled one description on another to stress the depth of Jesus' emotional and spiritual struggle: distressed, deeply troubled, deeply grieved, point of death, and hour. The hour was the sovereignly fixed time of his crucifixion (See John 7:30; 13:1.) The cup was the cup of God's wrath (Isa.51:17-22; Ezek. 23:31-34; Mark 10:38). Jesus said his soul felt like it was already dying. The expression fell to the ground is stronger than simply saying that he knelt down. Jesus was being crushed under the weight of the prospect of bearing the sin of his people on the cross.

The inner core of his disciples - Mark 14:33

Jesus took Peter, James, and John–the inner core of his disciples–further into the garden with him.

Abba - Mark 14:36

In his intense struggle Jesus turned in prayer to his Abba. Abba was the Aramaic word for father. It was used in a wide range of contexts: from intimate settings by young children to formal settings by adults. In his darkest moments Jesus resorted to the language of the family. The cup draws on deep Old Testament roots where it refers to the judgment of God (Jer. 25:15-17; Jer. 23:31-34). Fortified by time with his Father, Jesus resolved to do the Father's will in spite of the immense personal cost.

Jesus singled out Peter by name. - Mark 14:37

All the disciples had fallen asleep, but Jesus singled out Peter by name. This was probably because Peter had so recently boasted so proudly of his unfailing commitment (14:28-31). Again this was probably a detail passed on to Mark by Peter.

Full humanity - Mark 14:38

In his full humanity Jesus understood that the spirits of his disciples might desire the things of God, but be too weak to resist temptation.

Godly prayer - Mark 14:39

Jesus prayed the same thing again. Godly prayer sometimes repeats itself.

Dramatic contrast - Mark 14:40

While Jesus intensely wrestled in prayer the disciples were sleeping. This dramatic contrast is the opposite of the contrast of Jesus sleeping and the disciples in terror in 4:38.

Jesus awakened his disciples. - Mark 14:41

Jesus awakened his disciples for a third time and told them it was enough. The time for sleeping was past. Perhaps, right before he said this Jesus saw the torches being carried by his enemies as Judas led them through the dark garden. In verse 35 Jesus had prayed that his hour might pass from him. Now he recognized that the hour had come for the events of his death to be put in motion.

Get up and go. - Mark 14:42

Jesus' command to get up and go was not an attempt to get away from his enemies. It was his determination to confront them.

Betrayer - Mark 14:43-44

Judas the betrayer solved the Jewish leaders' greatest problem: how to arrest Jesus when no crowds were around. Judas told them that the one he would kiss is Jesus. Judas abused this sign of friendship and respect pretending to still be Jesus' friend and disciple.

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