Mark 13–14: Betrayal & Arrest

Read the Bible in 2011–2021* ◊ Week 17: Saturday

And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me, as you would against a robber? Every day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize Me; but this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures.”
Mark 14:48–49

Today’s Bible reading is Mark 13–14. Before you begin reading, remem­ber to pray and ask God to teach you and give you understanding of His Word.

These chapters continue to record the days of Holy Week. The drumbeat of Jesus’ betrayal mark everything that occurred as events build up to His crucifixion.

In chapter 13 Jesus prophesies the destruction of the Temple, and then goes with His disciples to the Mount of Olives where He warns them of the times to come, the persecution they will experience, and the signs of His return. Chapter 14 begins:

Now the Passover and Unleavened Bread were two days away; and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to seize Him by stealth and kill Him; for they were saying, “Not during the festival, otherwise there might be a riot of the people.”
Mark 14:1–2

Next Jesus is eating in Bethany at the home of Simon the Leper. After Mary anoints His feet, Judas leaves.

Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went off to the chief priests in order to betray Him to them. They were glad when they heard this, and promised to give him money. And he began seeking how to betray Him at an opportune time.
Mark 14:10–11

Mark next describes the Passover meal Jesus ate with the twelve. Here He predicts His betrayal:

When it was evening He *came with the twelve. As they were reclining at the table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me—one who is eating with Me.” They began to be grieved and to say to Him one by one, “Surely not I?” And He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who dips with Me in the bowl. For the Son of Man is to go just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”
Mark 14:17–21

They return to the Mount of Olives, and at a place called Gethsemane, we read Jesus’ heart-rending cry as He prays before facing His coming death.

And He *came the third time, and *said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough; the hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!”
Mark 14:40–42

And then:

Immediately while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, *came up accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs, who were from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. Now he who was betraying Him had given them a signal, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the one; seize Him and lead Him away under guard.” After coming, Judas immediately went to Him, saying, “Rabbi!” and kissed Him. They laid hands on Him and seized Him.
Mark 14:43–46

Chapter 14 concludes with Jesus before the high priest, the priests, the elders, and the scribes, and Peter’s denial.

Betrayal, betrayal, betrayal, hammers out those last few days. Alan Cole writes:

“All the Gospels make plain the Lord’s knowledge that one of the Twelve would betray Him; the quotation here [Mark 14:20] of Psalm xli.9 makes plain some of the agony in the Lord’s heart.”1

Even my close friend in whom I trusted,
Who ate my bread,
Has lifted up his heel against me.

Spend time in prayer, thanking God for His Son, Jesus, who loved us, and suffered for us that we could be forgiven and made new in Him.


Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications. (Site has been deleted since posting).
Olive Trees in the Garden of Gethsemane: Chad Rosenthal. (CC BY 2.0).
1R. A. Cole, The Gospel of Mark: An Introduction and Commentary (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids MI: 1961) 213.

*In 2011 I started a year-long series of posts, “Read the Bible in 2011.” You can find the other posts in the navigation menu in the header. If a day doesn’t have a link to a post, the post was simply a brief reminder about the reading. I’m filling in some of those gaps with new posts with “Read the Bible in 2011 Redux” as a category.

Copyright ©2011–2021 Iwana Carpenter

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