Review of Mark 14

by Victor Fawole

The final week of Jesus’ earthly life is a really long week. Mark 14 reveals a lot of things in this eventful week. Let’s explore some important sections of the chapter…


Mark 14:1-2 After two days it was the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by trickery and put Him to death. But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar of the people.”

We have seen, again and again, that the religious leaders had nothing good in their minds towards Jesus. They continued planning to kill him. That’s exactly the first thing we read in this chapter. In fact, Matthew identifies that the venue of this committee meeting was “the residence of Caiaphas, the high priest” (Matt. 26:3). They planned to kill the Son of God — they had no fear of God. However, they wanted to avoid the uproar of the people — they had great fear for the people. Their motive was evil — to kill!

Not only was their motive evil; their method was equally evil — trickery! It involves secrecy and treachery — full blown deception! They’d do anything, just anything, to get Jesus out of their way (no, to kill Him!).


Mark 14:3-5 And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply.

While the religious juggernauts sought to kill Jesus, this woman sought to adore Him. In John 12:1-8, we are told that this woman was Mary of Bethany, the sister of Lazarus and Martha. Her action here was a really extravagant display of devotion to Jesus. She probably lavished all her life’s savings on her Lord — who lavishes all His love on her. Mary had enjoyed sweet fellowship with Jesus and this is exactly what intimacy with Christ results to. You will want to give your all to the One who gave you His all when you had none.

One would think that her devotion would be applauded by all, but Jesus’ disciples were “indignant” at such kind of “wastage”. They sharply criticized her. Mark didn’t identify who the “they” were. Matthew 26:8 identifies them as “some of the disciples”. John 12:4 singles Judas Iscariot out. This is a pointer that Judas may have started the discussion and, apparently, he voiced out the criticism. Mary’s act of worship brought joy to the heart of Jesus and resentment to the heart of Judas. One action, two different responses. Why? Quality of hearts! In fact, John 12:6 reveals Judas’ hypocrisy. It wasn’t that he truly cared for the poor; he was a thief and wanted to steal the money as he did with other monies put in his charge as the treasurer of the ministry.

Jesus received Mary’s action as a good work. She understood what the disciples did not: that Jesus was about to die, and she did it as a preparation for his burial. Her giving was planned, prioritized, passionate (sacrificial) and personally decided. That, exactly, is PFD! That is what we encourage members of GOG to adopt. God loves it a lot. …God loves a cheerful giver!


Mark 14:22-24 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And He said to them, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.

Jesus’ first “parting gift” to His disciples was a feast. He had feasted with them numerous times, and He also instituted a feast (the Holy Communion) as a practice for them. He changed the meaning and focus of the Feast — from Passover to Communion — from the suffering of Israel in Egypt to suffering of Jesus on our behalf — from anticipation of deliverance to appreciation of deliverance. Hallelujah!

If you have struggles understanding the importance of the Holy communion, or you feel you’re not worthy to eat it, I recommend these vital resources to you.


Mark 14:43-45 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. Now His betrayer had given them a signal, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him and lead Him away safely.” As soon as he had come, immediately he went up to Him and said to Him, “Rabbi, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.

The Sanhedrin had thought that they’d suspend their plans till after the Passover, but Judas Iscariot gave them the joker card. “Guys, I’d hand Jesus over to you. Just tell me how much you will pay me.”

A kiss would do the job for Judas. Why? In that culture, whenever a student kissed his teacher on the cheek, it was an expression of respect and honour. He used a gesture of honour to dishonour His master. His actions showed respect, while his purpose was betrayal. Judas was probably the missing piece in the puzzle facing the Sanhedrin, and they gladly partnered with him in their sin.

There are a lot of lessons to learn from Mary and Judas.

  • Mary was just a follower who enjoyed sitting at her Lord’ feet; Judas was a disciple who enjoyed stealing his Master’s finances.
  • Mary gave what she had to exalt Jesus; Judas took what the enemies had to expose Jesus.
  • Mary loved and blessed her Lord; Judas used and betrayed his Rabbi.
  • Mary is always remembered for her beautiful devotion; Judas is always remembered for his terrible betrayal.


Mark 14:60-62 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, saying, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” But He kept silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”

Jesus was arrested the moment Judas betrayed him. His trial was quite dramatic, as they frantically sought testimonies to nail Him down.

Mark 14:56 For many bore false witness against Him, but their testimonies did not agree.

Mark 14:57, 59 Then some rose up and bore false witness against Him, saying… But not even then did their testimony agree.

Despite the numerous allegations against Jesus, He was found innocent. They could not find Him guilty of any sin or crime. Caiaphas the high priest had to come to their rescue. He took it upon himself to pin Jesus down to a crime. He challenged Jesus to defend Himself against all the “false witnesses and testimonies” but, of course, there was no need. He remained silent. This was in fulfillment of Isaiah 53:7

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth.

Caiaphas then towed the humanity-divinity path. In fact, Matthew 26:63 says that Caiaphas placed Jesus under a solemn oath. He did this to force Jesus to incriminate Himself. “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” If Jesus refuses to answer this question, it would be equal to denying His deity. So, Jesus was like: “You want to know the truth, right? Here you have it!”

Mark 14:62 Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Jesus began His response by declaring Himself as God! I AM! He then quoted Daniel 7:13-14 (a Messianic prophecy) and applied it to Himself. This was the first time that Jesus would be declaring Himself as the Messiah. He was literally saying: “You are standing here as my judge, but I am your Ultimate Judge.” The high priest tore his clothes, an abomination under the law (Lev. 10:6; Lev. 21:10). He declared “blasphemy” as Jesus’ crime. They could use nothing else against Him, other than the truth of His divinity.

The rest of the chapter detailed Peter’s denial of Jesus. When compared with other accounts, Mark was doing a flashback here. Peter’s denial of Jesus didn’t happen as Jesus was beaten, but as He was on trial. It is important that we note the differences between Judas and Peter. They both denied Jesus in one way or another, but Peter was restored and Judas was not. In fact, restoring Peter was important to Jesus. It was done privately (Luke 24:34) and publicly (John 21). Peter’s remorse opened the way for true repentance and a reaffirmation of his loyalty to Jesus (Mark 16:7; John 21:15–19). Peter had a faith in Jesus that could be renewed, but Judas never had faith.

Thanks for reading.

Grace to you. Amen.

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