Mark 14:43-72 | Discussion Questions

Mark 14:43-72

Preached at SoBo on October 23, NM on October 30, 2022



Have you ever been falsely accused of something or betrayed? How did you feel and respond?
Have you ever failed to follow through on something you were confident you would do? Or have you ever done/said something you thought you would never do or say?

We are in the final week of Jesus’ life. On Sunday, Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey, while large crowds laid down palm branches and hailed him as the Messiah (11:9-10). On Monday, Jesus cursed a fruitless fig tree (a symbol of fruitless Israel), and then he entered the Jerusalem temple and drove out the money changers, who perverted the worship of God (11:12-19). On Tuesday, Jesus entered the temple again and began to expose that Israel, like the fig tree he cursed the day before, had become barren and dead. Ultimately, Jesus’ day in the temple ended with a prediction of the temple’s destruction (11:27-13-37). On Thursday, Jesus and his disciples celebrated the Passover, and Jesus transformed the meaning of the meal as pointing ultimately to his death (14:12-25). Our text takes place following the Passover meal and during Jesus and the disciples' visit to Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed.

Our text is late on Thursday night, after the Passover meal. Jesus is arrested after a prolonged period of prayer. The disciples had fallen asleep multiple times, and they awake to learn that Jesus is about to be betrayed and arrested. Jesus is taken by a large group sent by the chief priests. The disciples panic and eventually desert him. Jesus faces an intense trial before the religious leaders and is beaten. Meanwhile, Peter denies association with Jesus and soon regrets it.


MARK 14:43-72
43 And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard.” 45 And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” And he kissed him. 46 And they laid hands on him and seized him. 47 But one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. 48 And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.” 50 And they all left him and fled.

51 And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized him, 52 but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked.

53 And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. 54 And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting with the guards and warming himself at the fire. 55 Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. 56 For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. 57 And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’” 59 Yet even about this their testimony did not agree. 60 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” 61 But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” 62 And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” 63 And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? 64 You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death. 65 And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.

66 And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came, 67 and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” 68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean.” And he went out into the gateway and the rooster crowed. 69 And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” 70 But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” 71 But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.” 72 And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.


  • Begin by simply examining the text together. What do you notice? What stands out? What is surprising? 1
  • Read Luke 22:47-52. What detail does this account fill into Mark’s account?
  • Why did Judas kiss Jesus to identify him?
  • Earlier in Mark 7:36, Jesus had instructed the people not to tell others of the miracles he had performed, yet in our passage today, he now openly declares himself to be the Christ (v61-62). Why is this? What do we learn about Jesus from this contrast?
  • What are the key themes we see in the passage? What happens to Jesus repeatedly?


  • This is a passage about betrayal and the innocence/sinlessness of Jesus. It contrasts the faithlessness of the disciples with Jesus’ faithfulness.
    • What can we learn from how Jesus responded to betrayal?
    • When are we most tempted to desert Jesus? What kinds of challenges tempt us to deviate from following Jesus?
    • What can we learn from Peter’s story in this passage and other places in Scripture?
  • This part of the Gospel story takes us to the edge of faith, prompting us to consider how much we are willing to suffer for Christ. Where in your life could you be more faithful in the face of suffering? Be specific. What is it about those kinds of suffering that you find challenging?
  • This passage shows us Jesus in some of his darkest hours, unfairly experiencing suffering and persecution. How do you respond to unfair suffering or persecution? What do we need to consider as we weigh our responses to these things? How do our faithlessness and Jesus’ faithfulness inform this?


Father, we thank you that Jesus was faithful to the end. We so often are faithless. Please help us in our weakness and unbelief. Please help us to consider others as we respond to suffering in our lives, no matter how unfair. Please strengthen our faith as we endure suffering and use that suffering for your glory. Thank you that just as you redeemed Peter’s story, you are redeeming ours. Help us look to Jesus as our example, Messiah and Savior. Amen.
1 Example Observations
  • Judas is identified as “one of the twelve,” emphasizing the depth of the betrayal.
  • Judas identifies Jesus with a kiss, a sign of friendship, hospitality and familial love. The disrespect is further emphasized. The sign of the kiss helped identify Jesus at nighttime.
  • Jesus is arrested by a large group of armed agents sent by the religious leaders. It suggests that they were suspicious that Jesus might be staging a rebellion.
  • In Luke 22:51 Jesus heals the servant’s ear. It is only recorded in Luke’s Gospel.
  • The nudity of the man who ran away highlights the chaos of the arrest.
  • Jesus declares himself as the Messiah by affirming he is the Christ. By claiming to be the Messiah, religious blasphemy was charged which could also amount to sedition, a civil charge.
  • The trial would have taken a long time with all the witnesses’ false testimonies, the cross examination (v59), and finally the high priest’s interrogation.
  • The high priest’s garment tearing symbolized a guilty verdict.
  • Spitting was a shaming action.
  • Jesus is mocked by being asked to prophesy, to identify who is hitting him.
  • Peter was recognized by the servant girl, having probably remembered him from the Temple Mount. People were often identified by their place of origin.
  • Peter’s denial is twofold, rejecting being in Jesus’ presence, and knowing him.
  • There is no reason for Peter to be in the courtyard so late, unless he was connected with Jesus.