The Gospel According to St Mark: Mark Chapter Fourteen: Read here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/mark/14?lang=eng
Jesus Death was Plotted: Mark 14:1-2:
‘After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death. But they said,
“Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people.”’
Woman Anointed Jesus: Mark 14: 3-9:
‘And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said,
“Why was this waste of the ointment made”’ (vs. 3-4)?
“For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor, And they murmured against her.”
‘And Jesus said,
“Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying”’ (vs. 6-8).
“Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her” (vs. 9).
Betrayal by Judas: Mark 14:10-11:
‘And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them. And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him.’
Are we offended over money? Do we worry about how Church funds may be used? Do we betray our leaders or Jesus because we think that some money could have been put to better use? Do we murmur about the expenditure of funds?
Not coincidentally, 30 pieces of silver was the price of a slave, established in the Law of Moses. He, who was sold for 30 pieces of silver, broke the bands of death and sin forever.
Preparations for the Passover Meal: Mark 14: 12-16:
‘And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him,
“Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat thepassover?”
‘And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them,
“Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water”:
‘And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house,
“The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?”
‘And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us.
‘And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.’
Are we in tune with the Spirit, so that we can be prepared to use whatever we have to give in the service of the Lord?
Jesus Tells Disciples that One of Them Will Betray Him: Mark 14: 17-21:
‘And in the evening he cometh with the twelve. And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said,
“Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me.”
‘And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one,
“Is it I?”
‘and another said,
“Is it I?”
‘And he answered and said unto them,
“It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish.”
‘The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.’
They all ate with Jesus. Do we betray those with whom we have communion? They were all concerned that it might be them. But the one who had already sold his Lord knew the deed he had done. Did he yet feel the guilt, or was he still propelled by his pride? He certainly was not repentant at this point.
The Lord Instituted the Sacrament: Mark 14: 22-26:
‘And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said,
“Take, eat: this is my body.”
‘And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.
‘And he said unto them,
“This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.
“Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
‘And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.’
While they were already eating and communing together, the Lord gave them the sacrament. So it is with our sacrament meetings. We are gathered together as latter-day saints, and we have already petitioned the Lord in song and prayer before we partake of the emblems of his body and blood.
How does the singing of hymns prepare us spiritually for the trials that we face spiritually, emotionally, and physically? Why is it important that we sing together?
Jesus Announced that He would be Taken and His Disciples Would Scatter: Mark 14:27-32
‘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.”
“But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee.”
‘But Peter said unto him,
“Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.”
‘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.”
‘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.’
Gethsemane: Mark 14:32-41
‘And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples,
“Sit ye here, while I shall pray.”
‘And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;
‘And saith unto them,
“My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.”
‘And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 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” (vs. 32-36).
“All things are possible.” Yet all the possibilities for the rest of us are hinged upon the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Without this sacrifice, our salvation would not be have been possible.
‘And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter,
“Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour?”
“Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak” (vs. 37-38).
The Lord issued this warning unto all of us: “Watch ye and pray.” How can we do this? In a great part, it is through worthily partaking of the sacrament that we learn to do so.
‘And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words.
‘And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him’ (vs 39-40).
Are there some things that we are not capable of beholding? Does it make us ever more grateful that Jesus is the most vigilant Watchman? Are we prepared to give an accounting to the Lord when we have been neglectful in watching?
‘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” (vs. 41).
He is now ready to meet the hour that has come.
Was Jesus unwilling to atone for our sins? Certainly not. He was prepared to do so from before the foundation of the world. Did He fill ready to let go of His mortal life? Probably not until this point, when He acknowledged that the hour was come. Then He knew He’d completed all that Heavenly Father required of Him, all that was necessary to be done on our behalf up to that point. Everything else, His life and His mission, would be sealed with His death and resurrection. “It is enough; the hour is come.”
Betrayal by Judas: Mark 42-52:
“Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand.”
‘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.
‘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” (vs. 42-44).
Lead Him away safely? What was Judas thinking? Did he not realize that he was betraying everyone’s trust? He was an apostle; one who should have safe-guarded his Lord. Did he think he was protecting the rest of the Twelve?
‘And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith,
“Master, master; and kissed him.”
‘And they laid their hands on him, and took him.
‘And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. And Jesus answered and said unto them,
“Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me? I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled.”
‘And they all forsook him, and fled.
‘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: And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked (vs. 45-52).
They all forsook Him. They were afraid. Or, was it necessary for them to flee, so that they could later testify of Him and His resurrection, and carry on His mission of taking the gospel into all the world?
Was it John the Beloved who tried to follow Jesus; but, when they caught hold of his clothing, ran away naked? He never wanted to be named personally, even in His own accounts.
Jesus is Taken Before the High Priest: Mark 14:53-65:
‘And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes.
(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.)
‘And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none. For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together’ (vs 53-56).
They could not find any real witnesses; many false.
‘And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying,
“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.”
‘But neither so did their witness agree together.
‘And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying,
“Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?”
‘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?”
‘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”’ (vs. 57-62).
Jesus words have two meanings here. Yes, he answered affirmatively to the question. Also, He said that He was Jehovah, the I Am of the Old Testament.
‘And Moses said unto God,
“Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?”
‘And God said unto Moses,
“I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you” (Exodus 3:13-14).
‘Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith,
‘“What need we any further witnesses? Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye?”
‘And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.
‘And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him,
‘and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands’ (vs. 63-65).
Some thoughts: The high priest accused Jesus of blasphemy. Jesus was condemned to death for being honest. They all condemned him. Can you imagine that not anyone there spoke up in His defense? Jesus was the One who was blasphemed.
Peter Denies Knowing Him: Mark 14:66-72:
‘And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest: And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said,
“And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth.”
‘But he denied, saying,
“I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest.”
‘And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew.
‘And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by,
“This is one of them.”
‘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 Galilæan, and thy speech agreeth thereto.”
‘But he began to curse and to swear, saying,
“I know not this man of whom ye speak.”
‘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.’