Mark 14:43-52

Sunday Morning Bible Study

July 31, 2005


Jesus has been praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. He’s been wrestling with God’s will for His life.  He had been wrestling with the knowledge that He would be dying on a cross for our sins.  The disciples had been sleeping.  We ended last week with Jesus saying,

(Mark 14:42 NKJV) "Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand."

:43 And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.

John writes,

(John 18:3 NKJV) Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.

The word for “detachment” is a Latin (or, Roman) word. In other words, this group was not only made up of Temple police armed with wooden clubs, but also Roman soldiers armed with short swords.

:44 Now His betrayer had given them a signal, saying, "Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him and lead Him away safely."

kissphileo – to love; to show signs of love; to kiss

safelyasphalos – it would be better translated “securely”, not able to escape

Judas isn’t concerned for Jesus’ safety. He’s concerned that Jesus doesn’t get away. He’s seen Jesus get away from angry mobs before. Early in the ministry of Jesus, when Jesus had taught in the synagogue at Nazareth, the angry crowd started to take Jesus up to the top of a hill to throw Him off the top, but Luke records that Jesus simply “passed through” the crowd and got away (Luke 4:28-30).

:45 As soon as He had come, immediately he went up to Him and said to Him, "Rabbi, Rabbi!" and kissed Him.

immediately – Judas doesn’t waste any time. As soon as he arrives in the garden, he goes straight up to Jesus.

Rabbirhabbi – my great one. Though this is an accurate title to call Jesus, it is interesting that Judas never calls Jesus “Lord” (Greek: kurios).

kissedkataphileo – this is a more “intense” form of “kiss”. It means to kiss much, kiss again and again, kiss tenderly.


More than Passion

We all like kisses. But a kiss isn’t everything.
A man was crossing a road one day when a frog called out to him and said, “If you kiss me, I’ll turn into a beautiful princess.” He bent over, picked up the frog, and put it in his pocket. The frog spoke up again and said, “If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will tell everyone how smart and brave you are and how you are my hero.” The man took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it, and returned it to his pocket. The frog spoke up again and said, “If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will be your loving companion for an entire week.” The man took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it, and returned it to his pocket. The frog then cried out, “If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I’ll stay with you for a year and do ANYTHING you want.” Again the man took the frog out, smiled at it, and put it back into his pocket. Finally, the frog asked, “What is the matter? I’ve told you I’m a beautiful princess, that I’ll stay with you for a year and do anything you want. Why won’t you kiss me?” The man said, “Look, I’m a computer programmer. I don’t have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog is cool.”
A kiss isn’t everything.
It’s good to be passionate in our worship of God.
One of the New Testament words for “worship” is proskuneo, which means to “kiss toward”.

I think this speaks of the sense of adoration and passion that we ought to have towards God.

Jesus said,

(John 4:23-24 NKJV) "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. {24} "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

But passion alone doesn’t prove anything. Be careful that you don’t equate passion with sincerity or faithfulness.
(Luke 22:48 NKJV) But Jesus said to him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"

Judas had passion. Judas betrayed Jesus.

It’s not how high you jump when you go to church, but how straight you walk when you leave church that counts.
What God wants in worship is more than just passion. He wants our entire life.
(Rom 12:1-2 NKJV) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. {2} And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

:46 Then they laid their hands on Him and took Him.

:47 And one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.

swordmachaira – a small sword, as distinguished from a large sword

struckpaio – to strike, smite; to sting; it’s not the strongest word for the stroke of a sword.  I guess it’s not an expert swing.  He’s hacking.

Before going out to the Garden of Gethsemane, the disciples had asked Jesus if the two swords they had with them were enough.

(Luke 22:38 NKJV) So they said, "Lord, look, here are two swords." And He said to them, "It is enough."

Luke also records that someone asked Jesus for permission to use the swords:

(Luke 22:49 NKJV) When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, "Lord, shall we strike with the sword?"

But apparently Jesus didn’t have a chance to answer before someone started swinging.

John gives us a few more details:

(John 18:10 NKJV) Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.

Peter was the one with the sword.

Luke, the physician, records:

(Luke 22:51 NLT) … And he touched the place where the man's ear had been and healed him.

Jesus healed the servant. Why? It has been suggested that if Jesus hadn’t healed Malchus, that Peter would also have been arrested and there would have been four crosses at Calvary.


Cutting or healing?

I find it interesting that the type of sword that people were swinging around in the Garden was the machaira, the short sword. This is the same word used to describe God’s Word:
(Heb 4:12 NKJV) For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The machaira not only could describe a short sword, but also a sharp knife, like something a surgeon might use in an operation.

How do we use God’s Word when we share with people?  Are we cutting people or healing people?
Five doctors - a general practitioner, a pediatrician, a psychiatrist, a surgeon and a pathologist - went duck hunting together. After awhile, a bird came winging overhead. The first to react was the GP, who raised his gun and then hesitated. “I’m not sure it’s a duck. I think I will have to get a second opinion.” By that time, the bird was long gone. Another bird appeared in the sky. This time, the pediatrician drew a bead on it. He too was unsure if it was really a duck in his sights and, besides, it might have babies. “I’ll have to make some more investigations,” he muttered, as the creature made good his escape. Next to spy a bird flying was the sharp-eyed psychiatrist. Shotgun shouldered, he was certain of his prey’s identity. “Now, I know it’s a duck,” he postulated, “But does it know it’s a duck?” And the fortunate bird disappeared as he wrestled with his dilemma. Finally, a fourth fowl sped past. This time, the surgeon’s weapon pointed skywards. BOOM! The surgeon lowered his smoking gun and turned nonchalantly to the pathologist beside him. “Go see if that’s a duck, will you?”
Some people like to use the Scriptures to pound people over the head.  When you’re done talking with them, you will know exactly why you are a bad person, why you are wrong, why you are stupid, with twenty-five verse references.
Don’t misunderstand me.  God’s Word will certainly show us the sin in our lives.  But it will also bring the healing we need.

Some people will use God’s word like a surgeon slicing a person open and declaring, “There’s the cancer!” and then walk out of the room.  God’s desire is not just to expose the cancer, but to remove it and suture up the wound.

In the Scriptures, the Law will expose a person’s sin.  The Law brings conviction and shows us where we fall short of God’s plan for our lives.  When we share our faith, it’s good to talk about the Law because it’s important for a person to understand how much they need God.
But don’t stop there.
(John 1:17 NKJV)  For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Share the grace and truth of Jesus Christ.
When I misuse the Scriptures only to hurt and wound people, could it be that the people I talk to no longer have “ears to hear” what the Spirit is saying?  How could they if I’ve cut their ears off?

:48 Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me?

:49 "I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize Me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled."

(Isa 53:7-9 NKJV) He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth. {8} He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. {9} And they made His grave with the wicked; But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

:50 Then they all forsook Him and fled.

When Jesus told the disciples to not resist what was happening, they freaked out. They all took off.

:51 Now a certain young man followed Him, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body. And the young men laid hold of him,

young manneaniskos – someone in his early twenties.

linen clothsindon – linen cloth, esp. that which was fine and costly, of a light and loose garment worn at night over a naked body; think pajamas or night shirt.

:52 and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked.

None of the other gospels have a record of this particular event. This is one reason why most scholars feel that this must be Mark’s own account. He was the young man. His family had been very involved in the early church. His mother apparently was one of the women who followed after Jesus and helped with the ministry. It has been suggested that the “upper room” had been in the home of Mark’s family in Jerusalem.

What was Mark doing in the garden in his pajamas?

It’s very likely that Mark was present at the Last Supper because it was at his father’s house. When Jesus and the disciples left for Gethsemane, Mark got into his pajamas and went to bed. Would it have been possible that when Judas took the soldiers to arrest Jesus, that he went to the upper room first, where he had last seen Jesus?  Perhaps as Judas went off to Gethsemane to find Jesus, Mark went with the crowd, maybe even to warn Jesus.  When the soldiers tried to seize Mark as well, he fled naked.


The Cross

In talking about the grace of Jesus Christ … John recorded Jesus saying to Peter,
(John 18:11 NKJV) "Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?"

Jesus had already settled the question of the cross in the Garden of Gethsemane when He was praying.

Matthew tells us:
(Mat 26:52-54 NKJV) But Jesus said to him, "Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. {53} "Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? {54} "How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?"

Jesus was not going to avoid the cross.  His arrest wasn’t because He wasn’t well-defended.  If He hadn’t consented to being arrested, He would not have been arrested.

He was supposed to die.  He had to die.  He died for us.
He died for our sins.  He paid for our sins.  He paid a debt He didn’t owe because we owed a debt we couldn’t pay.
That is the love of God.
God has loved you so much that He sent His Son to die on a cross to pay for your sins.
God now offers you the free gift of eternal life.  He offers you complete forgiveness for all your sins.
What must you do?

You must repent.  You must realize that your sins have separated you from God and you must be willing to turn from your sins.

You must believe.  You have to trust Jesus to forgive you.  You must open your heart to the love of God.