This is a massive chapter, one of the longest in the New Testament. But notice how it flows from one passage to the next. It would hard to know where to put a chapter break in it. Because it's so long, today's outline will just follow the main movements:
v1-2 - The scene is set: the Jewish Passover festival is coming, and the establishment wants to kill Jesus, but still remain afraid of the people.
v2-9 - While eating dinner, Jesus is anointed with a jar of expensive, pure nard in an act of worship.
All that most of the people can see here is a tremendous waste of money.
But Jesus accepts the worship the woman brings.
v10-21 - This 'money wasting' act is the last straw for Judas. He goes out to sell Jesus out to the establishment.
Jesus celebrates the Passover with His disciples.
While they're eating, Jesus tells them that one of them will betray Him.
v22-26a - Jesus transitions from what many refer to as the 'last supper' to inaugurating what we often call the 'Lord's Supper.'
v26b-31 - As is His custom, Jesus takes the disciples to a quiet area, away from the crowds, for silence, solitude and prayer. Peter emphatically insists he'll never shrink back.
v32-42 - Jesus goes on to pray, but His disciples succumb to their 'heavy eyes (v40).'
Notice the depth of Jesus' passion: He says, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death (v34)."
Jesus uses the same AAA prayer pattern He taught in the Lord's prayer (see below).
Knowing that the mob was coming, Jesus gets up saying, "Rise, let's go (v42)." These words could be interpreted two ways:
Retreat: let's get out of here while we can;
but more likely, it's Jesus summoning His disciples toward His captors. Jesus never loses sovereign control of this situation, even as He's handed over to the enemy.
v43-52 - Judas arrives, and along with him is a 'crowd' sent by the establishment.
Up until now, Mark used the word 'crowd' to represent people following Jesus hoping to see miracles. Now the crowd has flipped, and from here on out they'll be calling for Jesus' execution. Beware of attaching yourself to the crowd.
It's ironic that Judas didn't have to wonder where Jesus would be that night. Jesus' habit of seeking out silence and solitude was so predictable that Judas could literally bank on it.
This chaotic scene ends with a crazy detail:
A young man, running away naked and afraid, the leaving Jesus totally deserted.
As we've seen with Mark, he doesn't often include many details, so when he does like this, it's significant.
This young man, running away terrified, naked and ashamed, represents the crowd and all of humanity, including you and me.
The first thing God saw after Adam abandoned Him was His image bearers, hiding, naked and afraid. The last thing Jesus saw before being given the punishment for Adam's sin was one of His image bearers, abandoning Him, naked and afraid.
v53-65 - Jesus's sham trial was held.
The trial was in shambles - even with a bunch of planted witnesses, there was not enough evidence given to convict Jesus.
Jesus remained silent. But then the first two words He uttered were enough to bring a conviction and the wrath of the court upon Him.
The high priest asked Jesus if He was the Christ - the Messiah - the Son of the Blessed One (notice that the high priest doesn't dare say the word 'God.' That was a huge taboo in Jewish culture, because they knew God's name was so holy.
Jesus simply responds:
ego eimi I AM
Jesus responds using the very words that God identified Himself with to Moses, the holiest of God's holy names: I AM. The high priest's reaction demonstrates he knew exactly who Jesus was claiming to be: God Himself.
v66-72 - The prediction Jesus had made regarding Peter's denial comes true. This sad chapter ends with the bold and strong Simon Peter left out in the cold, broken and weeping.
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE:
Read Amos 2:16 to read about how the strange story of the young man fleeing away naked was prophesied centuries before it occured.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: As Jesus gave bread and wine to His disciples, He called the bread His “body,” and then gave a longer description of the cup. What was this longer description? (See verses 23–24.)
In what ways can you see Jesus demonstrating His authority in this chapter?
Questions taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Abba, Father, everything is possible for you (v36)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Not what I will, but what you will (v36)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: Take this cup from me (v36)