Summary Two days before the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the chief priests and scribes are looking for a way in stealth to have Jesus killed; they are, however, afraid of the crowds following him, believing any incident with "their Messiah" could cause them to riot. Jesus has retreated to the house of Simon, a leper whom he has healed, and is resting; a woman comes with a costly jar of unguent and anoints his head. Because the ointment was expensive, some observing become angry at the woman.
Events develop rapidly, as narrated by Mark:
10 Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. 11 When they heard it, they were greatly pleased, and promised to give him money. So he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.
Next, we have the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover Lamb is slain. The disciples ask Jesus where he would like to go to celebrate the Passover; they are instructed
, "Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, 14 and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there." 16 So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.
This day pushes on into evening, and while they are eating, Jesus predicts that one of them present will betray him. He identifies this person as one of the twelve who is to betray the Son of Man and says it would be better if that man had not been born.
The next session has come to be recognized as the institution of the Last Supper:
22 While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, "Take; this is my body." 23 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. 24 He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."
Jesus indicates he will next drink of the fruit of the vine only in the kingdom of God. Finishing the dinner, Jesus goes with his disciples once again to the Mount of Olives. Jesus predicts that they will all become deserters, that he himself will be struck but only to be raised up. Peter denies that he could be capable of such desertion.
Next, Jesus prays in Gethsemane. Peter, James, and John, instructed to wait, begin to be agitated and restless, sensing events about to come it would seem. Jesus himself reveals a degree of emotional upheaval:
34 And he said to them, "I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake."
Jesus returns from praying three times only to find his disciples sleeping:
"Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come; the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand."
Jesus himself seems to have a premonition of what is about to befall, for he has addressed his Father, asking if possible that the cup he is to drink be taken from him:
"Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want."
Such is not, however, to be the case; he is to drink the bitter dregs. Judas arrives with a crowd holding swords and clubs, among them, the chief priests, scribes, and elders. Judas addresses Jesus as "Rabbi" and betrays him with a kiss. Jesus reminds this religious group that he has been with them for days in the temple teaching and that they have not arrested him. One follower has hastily donned only linen cloth and no outer cloak; in the turmoil of the moment, he loses his linen coat and runs from the scene naked.
Jesus is taken to the high priest, chief priests, elders, and scribes. The council and chief priests are looking for a reason to put Jesus to death, but among the testimonies against him, much is revealed and nothing is consistent. When Jesus is first questioned, he is quiet; next, though, he is asked outright: "Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?" Jesus replies, , "I am; and ‘you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power,’ and ‘coming with the clouds of heaven.’ " The high priest tears his clothes at this blasphemy and turns Jesus over to the crowds, all condemning him as deserving death, blindfolding him, spitting on him, and commanding him to prophesy.
Chapter fourteen ends with the ever adamant Peter's denial. As predicted, Peter denies Jesus, denying, also, that he himself is a Galilean. On hearing the cock crow after his third denial, Peter remembers that Jesus has told him he, too, will forsake.
Interestingly, the question here is asked by the high priest relative to Jesus' being the Messiah. Michael Turton has explored the scholarship relative to interpreting the question and the answer credited to Jesus. In sorting through this, Turton points out that Jesus deflects the question in Matthew and Luke; original manuscripts made Jesus' answer less directly; the "I Am" could have been stated ironically as a question, "Am I?"; in Hebrew, "I Am" would be translated YHWH, leading to the accusation of blasphemy, although to claim to be Messiah is not in itself blasphemous; the "coming with clouds of heaven" has associations with God's Temple (1 Kings 8); Christians have associated the Messiahship with Psalms 110:1; this section may be associated with Jehoiada's bringing out the "true king" to Queen Athaliah in 2 Kings 11:14 and her cries of "Treason" and resulting tearing of clothes. Turpin concludes, saying that scholars agree that Jesus did not commit blasphemy, and even if he had, the appropriate punishment would not have been crucifixion <http://www.michaelturton.com/Mark/GMark14.html> .
Looking at the "Son of Man" titles, it is interesting to see it occur here as one seated in heaven in the same context with "Messiah"; curiously, if "Son of the Blessed One" be interpreted as a circumlocution to avoid naming YHWH, then "Son of God" also is used in this same context, only reopening the question already discussed of what "Son of God" means; considerable credibility is given to the idea that Jesus becomes Son of God/Son of David/Son of Man through radical and model obedience to the Father, through his suffering, and eventually through his death. Certainly, Michael Turton concludes this:
Since Mark's avowed purpose was to present Jesus as the Son of God, we can only assume that he reports those words and deeds of Jesus which, when rightly understood, reveal him as the Son. The origin of Mark, and the rise of the Gattung "Gospel," was thus the direct result of a historical Christology and the preservation of those historical traditions which were Christologically significant <http://www.michaelturton.com/Mark/GMark10.html#10.35.37> .
Felix Just provides the following references to these terms:
For Son of Man, he provides the following:
Just also provides a full list and set of explanations for Christological titles that prove useful for this discussion (http://catholic-resources.org/Bible/Christological_Titles.htm ). What is interesting is that most Christological titles include references both to what is strictly human as well as to God. Felix Just points out that names were tied to geographical origin, occupation, sometimes siblings, and mothers; titles on the other hand have different origins and meanings, sometimes referring to past kings, masters, and as denoting relationship and descendancy.
In interpretations of Mark, it is always possible to read in meanings that may not be there. With chapter fourteen, one lingers briefly with the apocalyptic "end of time" of chapter thirteen before passing on to some of the strangeness of chapter fourteen--an unnamed woman who anoints Jesus with costly unguent, the betrayal by Judas with an expanded set of details, Jesus' palpable remark that he will next drink of the fruit of the vine only in the kingdom of God, his poignant acquiescence to the will of his father, Abba; the sleeping disciples unable to keep awake, the dramatic denials of Peter that he is from Galilee and a follower of Jesus, Jesus' reply to the council and priests "I am; and ‘you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power,’ and ‘coming with the clouds of heaven.’" Regarding this "Son of Man" reference, I discovered intriguing dialogue that included the following from Adela Yarbro Collins concerning whether the Son of Man was pre-existent and enthroned:
And who can forget the naked young man who flees from the turmoil of the moment. Concerning the young man, perhaps no detail more clearly attests to Mark's attention to detail as attested in this remark from Theodore C. Pease in his "Peculiarities of Form and Color in Mark's Gospel":
Equally intriguing is the prepared room, ready and waiting for the Son of Man, Son of God, Messiah:
‘The Teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.” 16So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.
Pasted from <http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=33581269>
And the man who brings this message is engaged in the menial task of carrying water, richly laden with connotations in the context of the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
I have already remarked in the introduction on an intriguing possibility for connecting the authorship of Mark to the nameless woman who anoints Jesus:
Crossan (1991, p416) has noted that one could make a much better case for the woman here being the author of Mark, than for the young man in 14:51-2. Her confession of Jesus' identity opens a frame that closes with the centurion's confession in 15:39. Though her memory will last forever, her name is never given. Markan irony again? Wills (1997, p117) points out that she is an ironic counterpart to the disciples, who do not understand (as usual). It should be added that the irony is increased because we know the disciples' names, while hers is not recorded.
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Turton additionally takes up the question of Judas historically, pointing out that he occurs three times, once in chapter 3 and twice in chapter 14. He states, "Some exegetes, such as Helms, see this as a creation from Zech 11, but then says the link in Mark is tenuous; he does not ask for money, nor does the reader learn why the chief priests wish to do away with Jesus. Turton then says, "Mark scholar Ted Weeden (2001) summarizes the reasons why Judas' betrayal should be considered fiction in a short essay posted to the discussion group Kata Markon." These reasons include Paul's not appearing to know of Judas' betrayal, that 1 Cor. 11:23 is vague. 1 Corinthians addresses twelve disciples, not eleven.
Weeden sees the election held for Judas' replacement in Acts to be a fiction, invented to counter the invention of the story that an insider betrayed Jesus into the hands of his enemies. Note that while almost all exegetes believe that the famous passage in 1 Cor 15 where Jesus appears to the apostles is in fact genuine, some have argued that it is an interpolation and thus, this piece of evidence for Weeden's argument would fail. In fact, in addition to the arguments of Price, the fact that the passage contains a reference to the Twelve, the only one in the entire Pauline corpus, when it should say 11. Recognizing this as an "error," numerous ancient manuscripts have been corrected by scribes from "12" to "11."
A second reason is that other traditions seem not to know about Judas, and finally, the story seems to have precedence in 2 Samuel:
The Gethsemane scene, as Weeden and many other scholars have noted, is built out of 2 Sam 15-17 and 2 Sam 20:4-10. In that sequence David is betrayed by his right-hand man, Ahithophel. Weeden argues that Mark modeled Judas after Ahithophel. In addition to the connections to the David epic, Weeden summarizes Shelby Spong's arguments for OT creation:
Weeden summarizes Shelby Spong's arguments for OT creation:
"....Among the interesting parallels between the two biblical stories Spong notes are the following (267): (1) Joseph was handed over "by a group of twelve who later became known as the leaders of the twelve tribes of Israel," (2) in "both stories [the story of Joseph and the story of Jesus] the handing over or betrayal was into the hands of gentiles,' (3) in "both stories money was given to the traitors- twenty pieces of silver for Joseph, thirty pieces of silver for Jesus," and (4) "one of the twelve brothers of Joseph who urged the others to seek money for their act of betrayal was named Judah or Judas (Gen. 3726-27)." Weeden, following Spong, also points to the traditional hostility between northern and southern Palestine, writing:
"Mark's choice of IOUDAS as the name of Jesus' betrayer was carefully designed, in my view, to symbolize the southern kingdom of Judah (IOUDAS) and its successor the province of Judea in Mark's day."
Pasted from <http://www.michaelturton.com/Mark/GMark14.html>
Pasted from <http://www.michaelturton.com/Mark/GMark14.html>