Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Jesus’ Arrest

Mark 14:42-52

“Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand.   And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.” (Mark 14:42-43)

Jesus had told his disciples to watch and pray, while he went off to pray privately, and when he returned he found them asleep. The second time he said they should get as much sleep as they could and didn’t waken them.   A little while later, he woke them up warning them that Judas and the officers were nearby.  Judas knew where they often spent the night when they stayed in Jerusalem so he was able to bring a large group of officers directly to the place. 

“And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely.  And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him.  And they laid their hands on him, and took him.  And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.” (Mark 14:44-46)

The chief priests wanted to avoid publicity if possible, so Judas had agreed to give Jesus a warm personal greeting, to allay suspicion.  When he kissed the Lord the officers were to grab him, catching everyone by surprise.  By the time.  By the time the disciples could react, it would be too late.  They had not counted on any of the disciples being armed.  Peter drew a sword, and attacked but only cut off a guy’s ear because he ducked.  Jesus told Peter to put away his sword, and put the ear back on, showing he cared about them as well. 

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me?  I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled.” (Mark 14:48-49)

Jesus then asked why they had come to arrest him with such a huge force of officers as if he were some dangerous criminal when at any time they could have arrested him downtown without incident if they had a valid case against him.  Obviously, they were trying to make it look like he was a dangerous criminal.   As he pointed out, by doing things that way, they were fulfilling the prophecies about Messiah. 

“And they all forsook him, and fled.  And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him: And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.” (Mark 14:50-52)

It was at this point the disciples realized how determined the Jews were and fled.  Mark tells us about a boy or young man who had undressed and rolled up in a blanket to sleep.  When Jesus woke the disciples, he had just pulled the blanket around him.  When the disciples fled, somebody grabbed hi, but he wriggled free and fled leaving the blanket behind.  Some have speculated Mark may have been the boy, although he was probably too young at the time. 

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