Betrayal and Arrest
And at once, while He was still speaking, Judas [Iscariot], one of the twelve [disciples], came up, and with him a crowd of men with swords and clubs, who came from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders [of the Sanhedrin]. Now the betrayer had given them a signal, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the one; seize Him and lead Him away safely [under guard].” When Judas came, immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Rabbi (Master)!” and he [a]kissed Him [forcefully]. They laid hands on Him and seized Him. But one of the bystanders [Simon Peter] drew his sword and struck [Malchus] the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear. Jesus said to them, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me, as you would against a robber? Day after day I was with you, teaching in the [courts and porches of the] temple, and you did not seize Me; but this has happened so that the Scriptures would be fulfilled.” Then all of His disciples abandoned Him and fled.
A young [b]man was following Him, wearing [only] a linen sheet over his naked body; and some men seized him. But pulling free of the linen sheet, he escaped [from them] naked.
Jesus before His Accusers
They led Jesus away to the high priest, and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court) gathered together. Peter had followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the officers [guards and servants] and warming himself at the fire. Now the chief priests and the entire Council (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court) were trying to obtain testimony against Jesus [which they could use] to have Him [condemned and] executed, but they were not finding any. For many [people] were giving false testimony against Him, but their testimonies were not consistent. Some stood up and began to give false testimony against Him, saying, “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple (sanctuary) that was made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.’” Not even in this respect was their testimony consistent. The high priest stood up and came forward and asked Jesus, “Have You no answer to give [in response] to what these men are testifying against You?” But Jesus kept silent and gave no answer at all. Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, “Are You the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the Son of the [c]Blessed One?” Jesus said, “I am; and you will [all] see the Son of Man seated [with authority] at the right hand of Power (the Father), and coming with the clouds of heaven.” Then [d]tearing his robe [to express his indignation], the high priest said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy [that is, His claim to be the Son of God]. What is your decision?” And they all condemned Him to be [guilty and] deserving of death. And some began to spit on Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him with their fists, and to say to Him, “Prophesy [by telling us who hit you]!” Then the officers took custody of Him and struck him in the face.
While Peter was down below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came, and when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked intently at him and said, “You were with Jesus the Nazarene, too.” But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you are talking about.” Then he went out [of the courtyard] to the porch, [e][and a rooster crowed.] The servant-girl saw him, and began once more to tell the bystanders, “This [man] is one of them.” But again he denied it. After a little while, the bystanders again said to Peter, “You are in fact one of them, for [it is clear from your accent, that] you are a Galilean, too.” But he began to [f]invoke a curse [on himself] and to swear [an oath], “I do not know this man you are talking about!” Immediately a rooster crowed the second time. And Peter remembered what Jesus said to him: “Before a rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And thinking of this, he began weeping [in anguish].
- Mark 14:45 A kiss on either the hand or cheek was a common gesture of greeting and reverence given to a Rabbi by his disciples. The purpose of Judas’ exaggerated kiss would be to help the soldiers identify Jesus.
- Mark 14:51 Perhaps this was Mark, the writer of this gospel. If the Passover meal had been held in the house of Mark’s father, Judas and the crowd may have looked for Jesus there before going to Gethsemane. Mark, being awakened by the crowd, could have followed them to the garden wearing only what he slept in.
- Mark 14:61 In the Talmud, God is frequently referred to as “the Holy One, Blessed be He.”
- Mark 14:63 This was a response required by Jewish law for judges who had heard blasphemy. However, OT law forbade the high priest to tear his clothing (Lev 10:6; 21:10).
- Mark 14:68 Later mss add this clause.
- Mark 14:71 In Judaism such a curse took the form of “May I always be afflicted if I am not being truthful,” or “May I bury my son if...,” or “May I never see the comfort of Zion and Jerusalem if...,” etc. (as found in the Talmud).