Lesson 82

The Gospel According to Mark

World English Bible translation

14:43 Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, came - and with him a multitude with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. 14:44 Now he who betrayed him had given them a sign, saying, "Whoever I will kiss, that is he. Seize him, and lead him away safely." 14:45 When he had come, immediately he came to him, and said, "Rabbi! Rabbi!" and kissed him. 14:46 They laid their hands on him, and seized him. 14:47 But a certain one of those who stood by drew his sword, and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.

14:48 Jesus answered them, "Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to seize me? 14:49 I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you didn't arrest me. But this is so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled."

14:50 They all left him, and fled. 14:51 A certain young man followed with him, having a linen cloth thrown around him, over his naked body. The young men grabbed him, 14:52 but he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked. 14:53 They led Jesus away to the high priest. All the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes came together with him.  

Today's Lesson

After the Passover meal, Jesus led the disciples out of the city to the Mount of Olives. There on the slope of the mount was a garden that was called Gethsemane. Jesus prayed there and asked the disciples to watch over Him, but they fell asleep. After He had wakened them two times, He told them that the time had come for Him to be betrayed. Today's Scripture tells the story of that betrayal: the arrest of Jesus of Nazareth.


Judas Iscariot appears from out of the darkness leading a multitude of people. Many of them had swords and clubs and they were the chief priests, the scribes and the elders. Judas approached Jesus and, in a prearranged signal, kissed Him. The men that had come for Jesus sought to seize Him but one of the disciples of Jesus drew a sword and cut off the ear of one of the servants of the high priest. In another gospel we are told not only that the person who drew the sword was Peter but also that Jesus picked up the ear and healed the man who had been struck,


Jesus spoke up and stopped the violence. He diffused the situation by telling them that He had been in the temple daily and they had not arrested Him. He also told them that their presence and His arrest were done so that "Scripture might be fulfilled."


As they lead Jesus away, we are given an odd detail that is only found in the Gospel of Mark. We are told of a young man that was following Jesus and that the crowd sought to grab him. The boy was able to get free by shrugging off his linen tunic. After this peculiar incident, Jesus was led away. There are two schools of thought about the young man that was there. The first, and more generally accepted version, is that the young man was none other than Mark, the gospel writer. Under this theory Mark had assisted in the serving of the Passover meal and then followed Jesus and the disciples out of curiosity. The other theory is that this young man may have been an angel.


The most poignant image of this lesson, though, was the betrayal of Jesus by the kiss of one of His very own disciples. It was this most intimate of gestures that offends us the most. Only a person close to Him could have done it. Only a person who knew Him could have led them out to arrest Him. Jesus was betrayed by someone He had trusted and given responsibilities. Even knowing that Judas would betray him, Jesus shared the Passover and the first communion ceremony with him. Jesus was betrayed not by a stranger, but by a friend.


Have you ever felt betrayed by someone you loved? Can you imagine what it would take to forgive that person even before they betrayed you?


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