Mark 14:1 the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death
Not too good for the religious leaders of the day to plot a murder. They were not plotting the murder of one worthy of death, but they were plotting the murder of the Son of God. One Jewish commentator was aghast at what the Jews are accused of by the Christians. He called it deicide-meaning to kill god. Do we accuse the Jews of deicide? No! We accuse the chief priests and the scribes of deicide because that is what the scripture says. Not only did they turn Christ over to Pilate, but they incited the people to demand his crucifixion. Last of all was the forboding assignment of guilt, "His blood be on us, and on our children." (Matt. 27:25) This passage has been the source of much suffering for the Jewish people. Certain Christians, falsely called, have used that passage as an excuse to persecute the covenant people. We should not hold today's Jews responsible for Christ's death anymore than we hold today's Germans responsible for Hitler's crimes. At the same time, we have nothing but fear for the fate of those who made the mistake of sending Christ to his crucifixion and plotting his death.
Mark 14:3 Simon the leper
James E. Talmage
No other mention of this man, Simon, appears in scripture... he must have been previously healed of his leprosy, as otherwise he could not have been allowed within the town, far less to be one of a festal company. It is reasonable to think that the man had once been a victim of leprosy and had come to be currently known as Simon the leper, and that he was one among the many sufferers from this dread disease who had been healed through the Lord's ministrations. (Jesus the Christ, 474)
Mark 14:3-9 a woman having an alabaster box of ointment... poured it on his head
"There are several incidents when the Savior was a guest at dinner and an uninvited person approached him. One of the best known occurred at the home of Simon... (See Luke 7:36-50.) During the dinner, a woman whom Simon knew was a sinner approached the Savior, carrying an alabaster box of ointment, and 'began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.' (Luke 7:38.)
"That the Lord would allow such a woman to minister to him aggravated Simon, who thought, 'This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.' (Luke 7:39.)
"The Lord then gave the parable of the creditor, with the point that the one who was forgiven the greater debt had the greater love. Referring to the practices involving the treatment of guests, he gently pointed out that Simon had offered no water to wash his feet, had given him no kiss, and had not anointed his head with oil whereas the woman had performed these courtesies fully and turned them into acts of devotion and love. Simon showed little respect for the Savior because, as the Savior said, 'To whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.' (Luke 7:47.)
"In a similar incident six days before the last Passover of the Savior's life, Mary the sister of Martha also anointed the Savior's feet with costly oil and wiped them with her hair. Judas Iscariot objected, but the Lord declared, 'Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept' the oil. (See John 12:1-9.) In the two cases, the women's actions fit the general custom of anointing guests of honor, but the differences from the traditional approach-anointing the feet instead of the head and wiping them with hair instead of cloth-showed unusually deep respect, honor, and love." (Richard D. Draper, "Home Life at the Time of Christ," Ensign, Sept. 1987, 58-59)
Mark 14:10 Judas Iscariot... went unto the chief priests, to betray him
James E. Talmage
On earlier occasions [the chief priests] had made futile attempts to get Jesus into their hands; and they were naturally dubious as to the outcome of their later machinations. At this juncture they were encouraged and gladdened in their wicked plots by the appearance of an unexpected ally. Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, sought an audience with these rulers of the Jews, and infamously offered to betray his Lord into their hands. Under the impulse of diabolic avarice, which, however, was probably but a secondary element in the real cause of his perfidious treachery, he bargained to sell his Master for money, and chaffered with the priestly purchasers over the price of the Savior's blood. "What will ye give me?" he asked; "and they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver." This amount, approximately seventeen dollars in our money, but of many times greater purchasing power with the Jews in that day than now with us, was the price fixed by the law as that of a slave; it was also the foreseen sum of the blood-money to be paid for the Lord's betrayal. That the silver was actually paid to Judas, either at this first interview or at some later meeting between the traitor and the priests, is demonstrated by after events.
He had pledged himself to the blackest deed of treachery of which man is capable, and from that hour he sought the opportunity of superseding his infamous promise by its more villainous fulfilment. We are yet to be afflicted by other glimpses of the evil-hearted Iscariot in the course of this dread chronicle of tragedy and perdition; for the present let it be said that before Judas sold Christ to the Jews, he had sold himself to the devil; he had become Satan's serf, and did his master's bidding. (Jesus the Christ: A Study of the Messiah and His Mission According to Holy Scriptures Both Ancient and Modern [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], 548.)
Mark 14:16 his disciples went forth...and they made ready the Passover
Howard W. Hunter
Finally, preparations for the Passover meal were complete, in keeping with nearly fifteen hundred years of tradition. Jesus sat down with his disciples and, after the eating of the sacrificial lamb and of the bread and wine of this ancient feast, he taught them a newer and holier meaning of that ancient blessing from God.
He took one of the flat, round loaves of unleavened bread, said the blessing over it, and broke it into pieces that he distributed to the Apostles, saying: "This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me." (Luke 22:19.)
As the cup was being poured, he took it and, giving thanks, invited them to drink of it, saying, "This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you." (Luke 22:20.) Paul said of it: "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come." (1 Cor. 11:26.)
The bread and wine, rather than the animals and herbs, would become emblems of the great Lamb's body and blood, emblems to be eaten and drunk reverently and in remembrance of him forever.
In this simple but impressive manner the Savior instituted the ordinance now known as the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. With the suffering of Gethsemane, the sacrifice of Calvary, and the resurrection from a garden tomb, Jesus fulfilled the ancient law and ushered in a new dispensation based on a higher, holier understanding of the law of sacrifice. No more would men be required to offer the firstborn lamb from their flock, because the Firstborn of God had come to offer himself as an "infinite and eternal sacrifice." ("Christ, Our Passover," Ensign, May 1985, 18-19)
Mark 14:18-21 One of you which eateth with me shall betray me
Bruce R. McConkie
Better for Judas if he had never been born! Yea, and better for all those who knowingly and willfully reject the truth and defy the Christ, better for them also if they had never been born!...
As to the sign by which the traitor might be known-dipping with Jesus in the common bowl and the taking of the sop from his hand-such was neither designed nor intended to identify Judas with clarity and certainty, and it did not have such an effect. All who sat at the table dipped their hands in the bowl, and all received a sop from Jesus' hand as part of the Passover rituals, as we shall see shortly, though it would appear that Judas was the first so served, or, perhaps, that he received an additional sop. In any event Jesus then "dipped the sop" and gave it to Judas, and then, and then only, did Judas ask, "Master, is it I?" Jesus answered: "Thou hast said," apparently whispering the reply only to Judas, without making the others aware in words who the traitor was. (The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979-1981], 4: 44.)
Mark 14:21 good were it for that man if he had never been born
Of all God's children, only the sons of perdition are worse off in the final judgment than they were prior to beginning their second estate. All the rest will be saved with some degree of glory. When the scriptures speak of a fate worse than never being born, it has reference to the sons of perdition. However, some, out of a misguided sense of mercy, would excuse Judas' actions. Others have thought that he could not possibly be a son of perdition because he could not have committed the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. The Gift of the Holy Ghost was not given to the disciples until the Day of Pentecost. He was dead by that day; how could he possibly have blasphemed against the Holy Ghost? Hence, they wonder, "Is Judas a son of perdition?"
The answer is unequivocally-yes! Those who have rationalized otherwise have not understood the scriptures. During the intercessory prayer, Christ referenced Judas when he said, "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled." (John 17:12) What about the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost? Well, maybe Judas did not commit that sin. It is hard to say. However, the criteria for becoming a son of perdition includes more than just sin against the Holy Ghost. It is also defined as those who have "denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame." (D&C 76:35) For this sin, Judas is the poster child.
There are two sins against which this [sealing] power does not secure or prevail. They are the sin against the Holy Ghost and shedding of innocent blood, which is equivalent to crucifying the Son of God afresh and putting him to an open shame. Those who do these, it is impossible to renew unto repentance. (Kent P. Jackson, comp. and ed., Joseph Smith's Commentary on the Bible [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1994], 208.)
Mark 14:26 when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives
"What hymn did the Savior of mankind sing on his way to Gethsemane? Here the scriptures are silent. Perhaps it was the Hallel, the name given to Psalms 113-18, which Israel sang at the great feasts. Or perhaps it was Psalm 136, known as the 'great Hallel.' Family circles at the Passover and in the temple recited these psalms. All of them are hymns of praise and thanksgiving for the Lord's might and deliverance. Psalm 118 is a messianic hymn reflecting upon the Savior's redemption of mankind from physical and spiritual death. Psalm 116 also speaks of deliverance from death." (Terry W. Treseder, "Passover Promises Fulfilled in the Last Supper," Ensign, Apr. 1990, 23)
Bruce R. McConkie
This was part of the prescribed Passover procedure and would have been Psalms 115-118, which accompanied the fourth Passover cup. (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 1: 744.)
Mark 14:32 they came to a place which was named Gethsemane
"In Hebrew the word Geth [gath] means 'press,' and semane [shemen] means 'oil' or 'richness.' Gethsemane therefore means 'the press of oil' or the 'press of richness.' This refers to the huge presses for olives or grapes that were used to squeeze the oil or wine out of the pulp and that would be appropriately found in an olive grove like Gethsemane. Olives or grapes were put into the presses and squeezed until their juices flowed out of them.
"What an appropriate name for the Garden where Jesus took upon himself the infinite weight of the sins and sorrows of the world and was pressed with that tremendous load until the blood flowed through his skin. (See Luke 22:44; D&C 19:18.) Just as olives and grapes are squeezed in the press, so Jesus, the true vine (see John 15:1), was squeezed in Gethsemane, 'the press,' until his richness, his juice, his oil, his blood, was shed for humanity. No wonder that the wine of the Last Supper and of the Christian sacrament is such a fitting symbol for the blood of Christ-they are obtained by the same process." (Stephen E. Robinson, Believing Christ: The Parable of the Bicycle and Other Good News, 119)
Mark 14:33 he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy
We may surmise the reason Joseph Smith altered the translation for this verse. The concept the Prophet is avoiding is the notion that Jesus could be amazed or surprised by anything that happened. Detractors might argue that Jesus was omniscient and therefore could not be surprised by anything. They might say, "how could he be 'sore amazed'? How could the creator of the universe be awestruck or astonished by anything?" The Joseph Smith Translation avoids this potential problem.
Yet, for the faithful, this concept is not unsettling. We understand that Christ was omniscient in the Spirit, 'yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered' in the flesh (Hebrews 5:8). Indeed, Christ's infinite foreknowledge did not include personal experience until Gethsemane. Elder Maxwell noted that the physical suffering "was so much worse than the keenest of intellects could have imagined." (That Ye May Believe [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1992], 207.) James E. Talmage doesn't seemed bothered by this concept either, for he declared that Jesus "was soon enveloped by deep sorrow, which appears to have been, in a measure, surprising to Himself, for we read that He 'began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy.'" (Jesus the Christ, 566)
Neal A. Maxwell
"We read how in Gethsemane Jesus began to be 'sore amazed,' or, according to the Greek, 'astonished'! (Mark 14:33.) 'Astonished,' mind you. And this reaction from Him Who, among Father's spirit children, was and is 'more intelligent than they all.' (Abraham 3:19.) The Savior, with His unsurpassed brilliance, began to be 'very heavy,' or, again according to the Greek, 'dejected' or 'in anguish.' (Mark 14:33.) Here we read of the Creator of this and other worlds, Who knew well beforehand what He must do. Nevertheless, Jesus had never before known personally the process of atonement. And it was much worse than even He in His brilliance had ever imagined!" (We Talk of Christ, We Rejoice in Christ [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1984], 44.)
Neal A. Maxwell
"Jesus' being 'very heavy' or 'depressed' ensured His perfect empathy-born of actual experience-for all of us when we feel overwhelmed or depressed (see Mark 14:33; Psalm 69:20). Christ 'descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things' (D&C 88:6; see also 122:8).
"His suffering thereby permitted Jesus to 'be filled with mercy,' because He knows 'according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities' (Alma 7:12; see also Hebrews 5:8; Matthew 8:17). Alma and Paul agreed: Jesus' capacity to help was fully perfected through His supernal obedience. Jesus thus understands the full range of human suffering personally and perfectly." (Lord, Increase Our Faith [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1994], 14.)
Mark 14:34 My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death
"The hours of anguish and alienation had begun. That for which the Lamb of God had been foreordained and that of which the prophets had spoken for millennia was under way. 'When the unimaginable burden began to weigh upon Christ,' Elder Neal A. Maxwell has observed, 'it confirmed His long-held and intellectually clear understanding as to what He must now do.'
"There is no weight heavier than the burden of sin, and the Sinless One...began to sense and feel the bitterness of this singular occasion, a time when the weight of the world was about to be placed upon the shoulders of Him who had made the world." (Robert L. Millet, eds., Studies in Scripture, Vol. 5: The Gospels [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1986], 431.)
B. H. Roberts
"Had he been a mere man, His knowledge of the sufferings before Him could not have been sufficient to cause such sorrow. The human fear of death will not explain it...The conflict, therefore, was a specific agony of itself. He felt the whole burden and mystery of the world's sin, and encountered the fiercest assaults of Satan...His sorrow did not spring from His own life, His memory or His fears, but from the vicarious nature of the conflict. The agony was a bearing of the weight and sorrow of our sins, in loneliness, in anguish of soul threatening to crush His body, yet borne triumphantly, because in submission to His Father's will." (Seventy's Course in Theology [Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1907-1912], 2: 127 - 128.)
Mark 14:35 he went forward a little, and fell on the ground
Neal A. Maxwell
"When suffering and burdened Jesus entered Gethsemane, He 'fell on the ground' (Mark 14:35). He did not merely kneel down, pray intensely and briefly, and leave. His agonies were so great that He began to bleed at every one of thousands of His pores (see D&C 19:18)." ("Enduring Well," Ensign, Apr. 1997, 10)
Mark 14:36 he said, Abba, Father
Russell M. Nelson
"The word Abba is significant. Ab means 'father'; Abba is an endearing and tender form of that term. The nearest English equivalent might be Daddy." (Perfection Pending, and Other Favorite Discourses [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1998], 171, footnote 38.)
Jeffrey R. Holland
"In that most burdensome moment of all human history, with blood appearing at every pore and an anguished cry upon His lips, Christ sought Him whom He had always sought-His Father. 'Abba,' He cried, 'Papa,' or from the lips of a younger child, 'Daddy.'
"This is such a personal moment it almost seems a sacrilege to cite it. A Son in unrelieved pain, a Father His only true source of strength, both of them staying the course, making it through the night-together." ("The Hands of the Fathers," Ensign, May 1999, 16)
Mark 14:36 Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me
"This was the Father's Chosen and Beloved Son, his Only Begotten, pleading for an escape from the experiences that resulted in his blood oozing through the pores of his skin. Yet the Father did not excuse him nor devise another way. If there were another way, this would have been the time to put it into operation. The fact that no other system was used, even at the Son's pleading, suggests in the strongest terms that no other way was possible. Surely the Father would have hearkened when his Son thus pled if there were any other way." (Robert J. Matthews, Studies in Scripture, Vol. 2: The Pearl of Great Price, ed. by Robert L. Millet and Kent P. Jackson, [Salt Lake City: Randall Book, 1985], 128.)
Neal A. Maxwell
"'And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me.' (Mark 14:36.) It was the cry of a Child, in deep distress, for His Father.
"As Jehovah, Jesus had said to Abraham: 'Is any thing too hard for the Lord?' (Gen. 18:14.) Jesus had taught this very truth about what was feasible for believers in His mortal ministry. Had not an angel told a perplexed Mary about her own impending miracle, saying, 'For with God nothing shall be impossible'? (Luke 1:37.) And so in His anguish, Jesus actually pled that the hour and cup might pass from Him. In His anguish, He even quoted back to the Father those special, significant words-'All things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me.' (See Matt. 16:26; 26:39.) This was not theater-this was shuddering reality! Did the Lamb, in this extremity, hope for a ram in the thicket? I do not know, but the suffering was enormously multiplied by infinity. His soul-cries are understandable." ("The New Testament-A Matchless Portrait of the Savior," Ensign, Dec. 1986, 26)
Joseph Fielding Smith
"Can you imagine the suffering, the extent of the anguish of soul that our Savior passed through-He who is the Son of God-in order that we might receive the resurrection, and resurrection, and that we might receive the remission of our sins through obedience to the principles of the Gospel, and an exaltation in the presence of the Father and the Son? Do we realize what all of that means?
"I think it is understood by many that the great suffering of Jesus Christ came through the driving of nails in His hands and in His feet, and in being suspended upon a cross, until death mercifully released Him. That is not the case. As excruciating, as severe as was that punishment, coming from the driving of nails through His hands and through His feet, and being suspended, until relieved by death, yet still greater was the suffering which He endured in carrying the burden of the sins of the world-my sins, and your sins, and the sins of every living creature. This suffering came before He ever got to the cross, and it caused the blood to come forth from the pores of his body, so great was that anguish of His soul, the torment of His spirit that He was called upon to undergo.
"Are we not indebted? Yes. Are we ungrateful? Yes, unless we are willing to abide by every word that comes from the mouth of God, unless we are obedient, unless our hearts are broken, in the scriptural sense, unless our spirits are contrite, unless within our soul is the spirit of humility and faith and obedience." (Conference Report, April 1944, Afternoon Meeting 49)
Neal A. Maxwell
"The atonement was a most wondrous and glorious moment. In fact, it was the central act in all of human history!" ("The New Testament-A Matchless Portrait of the Savior," Ensign, Dec. 1986, 26)
Mark 14:36 nevertheless, not what I will, but what thou wilt
"In the first estate, the premortal world, the great Jehovah declared: 'Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever' (Moses 4:2). In Gethsemane, as the hours of atonement began, he said in prayer: 'Not my will, but thine, be done' (Luke 22:42; see also Matthew 26:39; Mark 14:36). As he breathed his last breath on the accursed cross of Calvary, Jesus said, as the capstone to his incomparable life: 'Father, it is finished, thy will is done.' He then 'yielded up the ghost' (JST, Matthew 27:54). That sacred submission-coupled with his divine inheritance from the Eternal Father-is what made him who he was. That sublime relinquishment of will enabled him to do what no other mortal could do. That quest to know the will of the Father and then follow it opened him to incomprehensible powers of God. There is a lasting lesson here for us. Spiritual maturity manifests itself in our prayers as we become more and more willing to submit, more and more anxious to learn and carry out the will of him who knows best what to do with us." (Selected Writings of Robert L. Millet: Gospel Scholars Series [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 2000], 440.)
Neal A. Maxwell
"So it is that discipleship, far from being ascetic, is to choose joy over pleasure. It is to opt for the things of eternity over the trendy and appealing things of the moment. Eventually, we become readied for the final moment of consecration, when, gladly and completely, we let our wills be swallowed up in the will of the Father. Jesus did this in Gethsemane, where he said, 'Not my will, but thine, be done' (Luke 22:42). What was God's will? That Jesus complete the Atonement. Even so, Jesus prayed, 'Take away this cup from me' (Mark 14:36); and still later he cried out, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' (Matt. 27:46). Yet Jesus yielded." ("Becoming a Disciple," Ensign, June 1996, 16)
Mark 14:37 couldest not thou watch one hour?
If we compare the greatness of the Master with the strength of men, we find little comparison. Jesus was asked by his Father to bear the weight of the sins of the world-to suffer as no one had ever suffered before. The Savior accomplished that inconceivable task. At the same time, the disciples were asked by Jesus to watch and pray for one hour. Though they were three of the greatest men that ever walked the earth, they could not seem to stay awake. Jesus bore the burden of the sins of the entire world successfully; the oppressive weight was not too heavy for him. In contrast, the disciples, bearing only the burden of a full stomach, found that the weight of their own eyelids was too heavy for them. That moment of moments, when the Master felt so alone, found his closest friends to be no support. He might hope for angelic ministration, but in the end the burden was his to bear alone. Indeed, none of us can teach him anything about loneliness.
"Elder Orson F. Whitney, a young missionary in the eastern states, says that one night in a vision:
"'I seemed to be in the Garden of Gethsemane, a witness of the Savior's agony. I saw Him as plainly as ever I have seen anyone. Standing behind a tree in the foreground, I beheld Jesus, with Peter, James and John, as they came through a little wicket gate at my right. Leaving the three Apostles there, after telling them to kneel and pray, the Son of God passed over to the other side, where He also knelt and prayed. It was the same prayer with which all Bible readers are familiar: 'Oh my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.'
"'As He prayed the tears streamed down his face, which was toward me. I was so moved at the sight that I also wept, out of pure sympathy. My whole heart went out to him; I loved him with all my soul, and longed to be with him as I longed for nothing else.
"'Presently He arose and walked to where those Apostles were kneeling-fast asleep! He shook them gently, awoke them, and in a tone of tender reproach, untinctured by the least show of anger or impatience, asked them plaintively if they could not watch with him one hour. There He was, with the awful weight of the world's sins upon his shoulders, with the pangs of every man, woman and child shooting through his sensitive soul-and they could not watch with him one poor hour!'" (Ivan J. Barrett, "He Lives! For We Saw Him," Ensign, Aug. 1975, 20-21)
Mark 14:38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation
With fairness, we may apply this charge to ourselves. We might imagine the Savior saying to each of us, "watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation." We must always be on the lookout for Satan's tricks. We must always petition our Father for the strength to resist. And in many ways, we are as the apostles-witnesses who are only a stone's throw away from the Master. Have we not imagined the scene in Gethsemane? Through the scriptures and our spiritual memories, have we not witnessed these events over and over again? If so, then we are as Peter, James, and John-witnesses of Christ's great suffering. Yet, while he has asked us to watch and pray, still we fall prey to temptation. With the scenes of Gethsemane before our spiritual eyes, we still sin. In full view of the Savior's suffering, as it were, we fall asleep on our watch. It is as if he has to come to us every hour, wake us up, and remind us to "watch and pray." Then, when he leaves to return to his task of redeeming us, we fall asleep again. Hereby, we too have proven that our spirit is willing, but our flesh is weak. How sad if the Savior reviewed our mortal experience, according to his compressed timeframe, only to conclude, 'Couldest not thou watch one hour?'
Mark 14:41 Sleep on now, and take your rest
It's not time to sleep, it's time to go. Judas and company are already approaching. What then did the Master mean? He meant:
"Sleep on now, I no longer need you to watch and pray for me. Sleep on now, I have drunk the bitter cup. Sleep on now, I have tread 'the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God' (Rev. 19:15). Sleep on now, the terrible price has been paid. Sleep on now, Satan can't have you now.
"Sleep on now, and take your rest. I have redeemed you, now 'come unto me...And I will give you rest' (Matt 11:28). Now you can rest from all your troubles. Now you can be relieved of the burden of sin. I have suffered this night so that your rest might be glorious. I have suffered this night that you might sleep in death and not suffer even as I have. Sleep on now, and take your rest. I am your Redeemer."
Mark 14:45 he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him
"It is not unlikely that as Judas employed this singular method of greeting, the Savior remembered the prophetic words of "Proverbs 27:6: 'Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.'" (Andrew Skinner, Studies in Scripture, Vol. 5: The Gospels Kent P. Jackson and Robert L. Millet, eds., [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1986], 441.)
Bruce R. McConkie
"A more traitorous token could not have been chosen. Among the prophets of old, among the saints of that day, and even among the Jews, a kiss was a symbol of that love and fellowship which existed where pure religion was or should have been found...Judas, thus, could have chosen no baser means of identifying Jesus than to plant on his face a traitor's kiss. Such act not only singled out his intended victim, but by the means chosen, desecrated every principle of true fellowship and brotherhood." (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 1: 781.)
Mark 14:48 Are ye come out as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me?
If we take the liberty to complete the thoughts of the Savior, He is saying, "Why are you treating me as a thief? Do you really think you will need those weapons? You could have taken me when I was quietly preaching in the temple, but no! You come to take me in private because you are afraid of the people. You come to take me at night because you are the children of darkness. You come in the strength of your weapons to compensate for the weakness of your character. All of this, that the scripture might be fulfilled."
Mark 14:55-59 The chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death
Bruce R. McConkie
"They had before them a prisoner charged with no crime. Innocent of all crimes, as he was, even these conspiring Satanists had not been able to come up with an offense for which he could be arraigned. Annas had failed in his attempt to charge the disciples with sedition and Jesus with teaching false and apostate doctrines. Their dilemma was real, for they themselves were sharply divided on all major issues save one-that the man Jesus must die...the charge must be one that the Romans would consider to be a capital offense, 'the chief priests, and elders, and all the council' (after counseling with Satan whose servants they were) chose the most evil of all possible courses. They 'sought false witness'! (Matt. 26:59)
"Read it again, for it is forever inscribed in the records of eternity-they sought not witnesses, but false witnesses. Let none come forward but those who will perjure their souls; who will condemn the Holy One and the Just; who will cry, 'Away with him. Crucify him, crucify him.' No voice must be raised in his defense; no lie must be refuted; no falsehood shall be denied. This is God's Son (oh, the shame of it all!) and the leaders of his own people-acting for their constituents; reflecting the feelings that smoldered like the fires of hell in the breasts of all recalcitrant Jewry of the time-these leaders 'sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death.' He must not live; let him die the death, and whatever perjured word is needed to nail him to a Roman cross, so be it!" (The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979-1981], 4: 150.)
James E. Talmage
"When Jesus, the object of their bitter hatred and their predetermined victim, was brought in, a bound Prisoner, He was immediately put upon trial in contravention of the law, both written and traditional, of which those congregated rulers of the Jews professed to be such zealous supporters...Any sitting of the Sanhedrin at night, and more particularly for the consideration of a capital charge, was directly in violation of Jewish law...That Jesus was to be convicted on some charge or other, and be put to death, had been already determined by the priestly judges; their failure to find witnesses against Him threatened to delay the carrying out of their nefarious scheme...they had unlawfully caused Jesus to be arrested at night; they were illegally going through the semblance of a trial at night; their purpose was to convict the Prisoner in time to have Him brought before the Roman authorities as early as possible in the morning-as a criminal duly tried and adjudged worthy of death. The lack of two hostile witnesses who would tell the same falsehoods was a serious hindrance. But, 'at the last came two false witnesses'...
"Thus the judges in Israel, comprising the high priest, the chief priests, the scribes and elders of the people, the Great Sanhedrin, unlawfully assembled, decreed that the Son of God was deserving of death, on no evidence save that of His own acknowledgment. By express provision the Jewish code forbade the conviction, specifically on a capital charge, of any person on his own confession, unless that was amply supported by the testimony of trustworthy witnesses... Jehovah was convicted of blasphemy against Jehovah. The only mortal Being to whom the awful crime of blasphemy, in claiming divine attributes and powers, was impossible, stood before the judges of Israel condemned as a blasphemer." (Jesus the Christ, 576-583)
Mark 14:61 he held his peace, and answered nothing
"Jesus listened in silence while His disunited enemies hopelessly confuted each other's testimony. . . . But that majestic silence troubled, thwarted, confounded, maddened them. It weighed them down for the moment with an incubus of intolerable self-condemnation. They felt, before that silence, as if they were the culprits, He the judge. And as every poisoned arrow of their carefully-provided perjuries fell harmless at His feet, as though blunted on the diamond shield of His white innocence, they began to fear lest, after all, their thirst for His blood would go unslaked, and their whole plot fail. Were they thus to be conquered by the feebleness of their own weapons, without His stirring a finger, or uttering a word? Was this Prophet of Nazareth to prevail against them, merely for lack of a few consistent lies? Was His life charmed even against calumny confirmed by oaths? It was intolerable." (Farrar, 646-647 as taken from Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979-1981], 4: 152.)
Mark 14:61-62 Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am
Elder William J. Critchlow, Jr.
"In the minds of many people, Jesus is still on trial. Two-thirds of this earth's inhabitants are non-Christian. To them, he is not, the Son of God. Among the skimpy Christian third are many who accept him merely as a great moralist a great teacher, a great spiritual leader, perhaps a prophet. To them, he is not the Son of God.
"On trial 2,000 years ago, Jesus said: 'I am'-the Son of God. (See Mark 14:61-62.) With cries of 'Crucify him crucify him,' the earlier court of the people-the rabble-sealed his doom. (See ibid., 15:14.)
"If Jesus is not the Son of God, he did blaspheme; he also lied. Why not compound the charge of blasphemy with perjury? Add fraud, deceit, or whatever else you will, the truth must come out, for every knee must bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Son of God. (See Phil. 2:10-11.)" (Conference Report, October 1962, Afternoon Meeting 111.)
Mark 14:64 they all condemned him to be guilty of death
James E. Talmage
"By a provision that must appear to us most unusual, if all the judges voted for conviction on a capital charge the verdict was not to stand and the accused had to be set at liberty; for, it was argued, a unanimous vote against a prisoner indicated that he had had no friend or defender in court, and that the judges might have been in conspiracy against Him. Under this rule in Hebrew jurisprudence the verdict against Jesus, rendered at the illegal night session of the Sanhedrists, was void, for we are specifically told that 'they all condemned him to be guilty of death.'" (Jesus the Christ, 581)
Mark 14:65 some began to spit on him...to buffet him, and to...strike him with the palms of their hands
'I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting...therefore have I set my face like a flint' (Isa 50:6-7)
Gerald N. Lund
"He it was who sweat blood for us in a garden of olive trees; who endured mockery and cruel jibes; who stood with spittle running down his face; who endured the lacerating pain of a Roman scourging and the unspeakable horror of death by crucifixion-all that he might save us from the results of our foolishness and rebellion." (Jesus Christ, Key to the Plan of Salvation [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1991], 2.)
Mark 14:71 I know not this man of whom ye speak
Neal A. Maxwell
"Peter's temporary denial of his friendship with Jesus occurred because of the fear of men, who had actually done nothing to him at that time but clearly might have (see Mark 14:66-72). Mere 'fear of persecution' causes some to falter (see D&C 40:2). Brigham Young so observed: 'People suffer more in the anticipation of death, than in death itself. There is more suffering in what I call borrowed trouble, than in the trouble itself.'" (Lord, Increase Our Faith [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1994], 86.)
Mark 14:72 Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him...And...he wept
Hugh B. Brown
"Shortly after Peter said that, Christ came out of that chamber. Peter, crouching in a corner, saw Christ go by, and Christ looked at Peter. I hope none of us will ever have to endure that look because of faithlessness. But Christ loved Peter, and He knew his weakness, and the beauty of it is, my brethren and sisters, He forgave him. He did not condemn him. What a great character Peter became afterwards." (The Abundant Life [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965], 296.)
Thomas S. Monson
"Jesus changed men. He changed their habits, their opinions, their ambitions. He changed their tempers, their dispositions, their natures. He changed men's hearts...Where was Peter, who had promised to die with Him and never to deny Him? The sacred record reveals, '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.' (Mark 14:54) That was the night when Peter, in fulfillment of the Master's prophecy, did indeed deny Him thrice. Amidst the pushing, the jeers, and the blows, the Lord, in the agony of His humiliation, in the majesty of His silence, turned and looked upon Peter.
"As one chronicler described the change, 'It was enough. Peter knew no more danger, he feared no more death. He rushed into the night to meet the morning dawn. This broken-hearted penitent stood before the tribunal of his own conscience, and there his old life, his old shame, his old weakness, his old self was doomed to that death of godly sorrow which was to issue in a new and a nobler birth.' (Frederic W. Farrar, The Life of Christ, Portland, Oregon: Farrar Publications, 1964, p. 604.)" (Be Your Best Self [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979], 113.)