See this passage explained in the notes at Matthew 26:1-16.
Mark 14:1 "After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death."
And of unleavened bread - So called because at that feast no other bread was used but that which had been made without leaven or yeast.
By craft - By subtlety (Matthew); that is, by some secret plan that would secure possession of him without exciting the opposition of the people.
Mark 14:3 "And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head."
Ointment - This word does not convey quite the proper meaning. This was a perfume. It was used only to give a pleasant odor, and was liquid.
Of spikenard - The "nard," from which this perfume was made, is a plant of the East Indies, with a small, slender stalk, and a heavy, thick root. The best perfume is obtained from the root, though the stalk and fruit are used for that purpose.
And she brake the box - This may mean no more than that she broke the "seal" of the box, so that it could be poured out. Boxes of perfumes are often sealed or made fast with wax, to prevent the perfume from escaping. It was not likely that she would break the box itself when it was unnecessary, and when the unguent, being liquid, would have been wasted; nor from a broken box or vial could she easily have "poured it" on his head.
Mark 14:5 "For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her."
Three hundred pence - About forty dollars (or 9 British pounds). See the notes at Matthew 26:7.
Mark 14:8 "She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying."
She hath done what she could - She has showed the highest attachment in her power; and it was, as it is now, a sufficient argument against there being any "real" waste, that it was done for the honor of Christ. See this passage explained in the notes at Matthew 26:1-16.
Mark 14:12-16 "And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover? 13 And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him. 14 And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? 15 And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us. 16 And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover."
See the notes at Matthew 26:17-19.
Mark 14:12 "And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?"
They killed the passover - The "paschal lamb," which was slain in keeping the Passover.
Go and prepare - Go and provide a lamb, have it roasted, and properly prepared with the usual things to eat with it.
Mark 14:13 "And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him."
The city - The city of Jerusalem. They were now in Bethany, about 2 miles from the city.
A man bearing a pitcher of water - This could have been known only by the infinite knowledge of Christ. Such a thing could not have been conjectured, nor was there any concert between him and the man that "at that time" he should be in a particular place to meet them, for the disciples themselves proposed the inquiry. If Jesus knew a circumstance like that, then he in the same way must have known all things; then he sees "all" the actions of men - hears every word, and marks every thought; then the righteous are under his care, and the wicked, much as they may wish to be unseen, cannot escape the notice of his eye.
Mark 14:14 "And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?"
The goodman of the house - This signifies simply the "master" of the house. The original word expresses nothing respecting his character, whether it was good or bad.
The guest-chamber - A chamber for guests or friends - an unoccupied room.
Mark 14:15 "And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us."
A large upper room - The word used here denotes the upper room devoted to purposes of prayer, repose, and often of eating. See the notes at Matthew 9:1.
Furnished and prepared - Literally, "spread" and "ready." Spread with a carpet, or with "couches" such as were used in eating. See the notes at Matthew 23:6.
See this passage explained in the notes at Matthew 26:20-35.
Mark 14:31 "But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all."
More vehemently - More earnestly, more confidently.
See the notes at Matthew 26:36-46.
Mark 14:36 "And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt."
Ἀββα Abba This word denotes "father." It is a Syriac word, and is used by the Saviour as a word denoting filial affection and tenderness. Compare Romans 8:15.
Mark 14:40 "And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him."
Neither wist they ... - Neither "knew" they. They were so conscious of the impropriety of sleeping at that time, that they could not find any answer to give to the inquiry why they had done it.
Mark 14:41 "And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners."
It is enough - There has been much difficulty in determining the meaning of this phrase. Campbell translates it, "all is over" - that is, the time when you could have been of service to me is gone by. They might have aided him by watching for him when they were sleeping, but now the time was past, and he was already, as it were, in the hands of his enemies. It is not improbable, however, that after his agony some time elapsed before Judas came. He had required them to watch - that is, to keep awake during that season of agony. After that they might have been suffered to sleep, while Jesus watched alone. As he saw Judas approach he probably roused them, saying, It is sufficient - as much repose has been taken as is allowable - the enemy is near, and the Son of man is about to be betrayed.
See the notes at Matthew 26:47-57.
Mark 14:45 "And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him."
Master, Master - As if expressing great joy that he had found him again.
Mark 14:51 "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:"
A certain young man - Who this was we have no means of determining, but it seems not improbable that he may have been the owner of the garden, and that he may have had an understanding with Jesus that he should visit it for retirement when he withdrew from the city. That he was not one of the apostles is clear. It is probable that be was roused from sleep by the noise made by the rabble, and came to render any aid in his power in quelling the disturbance. It is not known why this circumstance is recorded by Mark. It is omitted by all the other evangelists. It may have been recorded to show that the conspirators had instructions to take the "apostles" as well as Jesus, and supposing him to be one of them, they laid hold of him to take him before the high priest; or it "may" have been recorded in order to place his conduct in strong and honorable contrast with the timidity and fear of the disciples, who had all fled. Compare the notes at Matthew 26:56.
A linen cloth cast about his naked body - He was roused from sleep, and probably threw around him, in his haste, what was most convenient. It was common to sleep in linen bed-clothes, and he seized a part of the clothes and hastily threw it round him.
The young men - The Roman soldiers. They were called "young men" because they were made up chiefly of youth. This was a Jewish mode of speaking. See Genesis 14:24; 2 Samuel 2:14; Isaiah 13:18.
Laid hold on him - Supposing him to be one of the apostles.
See this fully explained in the notes at Matthew 26:57-75.
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