Jesus is anointed, remembered, betrayed, arrested, tried and denied
- Do you think Mark recalled the story in verses 1-9 because of Jesus’ prediction (v 9)?
- Do you think Jesus simply knew what responses would be given (vv 12-16)? Or had he already made arrangements to use the upper room?
- Can you imagine what Peter must have felt like in verses 27-31?
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Going Deeper – from 'Words of Life'
Jesus separates himself from the group of disciples, but takes along those closest to him – Peter, James and John – those who have had the privilege of experiencing his transfiguration (Mark 9:2). Jesus shares with them the feelings of his heart: ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death’ (v 34). It’s an intimate and rare declaration from Jesus – personal, confidential words.
‘My soul is overwhelmed.’ This expression, unique in the New Testament, finds an echo in Psalm 42 verses 5, 6 and 11 within a somewhat different context. The psalmist talks to his own soul and invites it to turn towards God. ‘Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.’
As Jesus is overwhelmed with the distress enveloping his soul, he turns firstly to his friends, and then to his Father. ‘Stay here and keep watch,’ (v 34) says Jesus to his friends. It’s like an appeal for help and a final request: ‘Watch at my side; remain as close as possible. I will pray alone, but you watch, watch close by me.’ Matthew’s Gospel relates the same declaration but with a different touch: ‘Stay here and keep watch with me’ (26:38). To watch means watching with Jesus.
‘Show me, Holy one, how I may draw closer to you in daily life. Give me the courage to seek you alone in all I do and all I am.’ (Joan Chittister – Benedictine nun).
Beverly IvanyTags: Mark