Betrayal & Arrest: Mark 14:43-72
The persecution of enemies is one thing, the abandonment of friends another. The former we expect. The latter always catches us off guard. Those who are close to us have the power to hurt us in deep, personal ways that others do not. This is session seven of Jesus’ Final Week series.
What does being loyal to a friend mean to you?
What pressures in your life test your loyalty to Jesus Christ? Tell him what you are feeling.
In this study we find Jesus not only betrayed by one of his disciples but abandoned by all the others and denied by one of his closest friends. All this added to the cruel and unlawful treatment by the Sanhedrin. This account reveals how intense pressures can test the quality of our discipleship. Read Mark 14:43-72.
- What mixed motives do you see among the main characters in this passage?
- In particular, what mixed motives may have inspired Judas’s words and action of betrayal (vv. 43-45)?
- How does Jesus respond to his betrayal?
- The unnamed young man (vv. 51-52) seems symbolic of all Jesus’ followers. How does his predicament reflect Jesus’ earlier warnings about the cost of discipleship (Mark 8:34-38)?
- What aspects of Jesus’ trial before the Sanhedrin does Mark emphasize?
- Up until this point Jesus has regularly withheld his identity, but in verse 62 he openly confesses his identity as the Christ. Why do you think he does so now?
- How is the charge against Jesus (v. 64) both justifiable and unjustifiable?
- What traits or actions of Jesus, in contrast to his disciples, are an example of what he desires his followers to be like (vv. 55-65)?
- What mix of motives brings Peter into the high priest’s courtyard yet keeps him from acknowledging his relationship to Jesus (vv. 66-72)?
- How are your motives mixed in following Jesus?
- How is Judas’s betrayal of Jesus different from Peter’s?
- In what circumstances are you most tempted to be ashamed of Jesus or to deny him?
- What warnings and encouragement can you draw from Peter’s experience?
Ask the Lord to sort out your motives and to help you be faithful to him.
Now or Later
Read Mark 14:32-42. In verse 34 and again in verse 38 Jesus encourages the disciples to watch and pray so that they will not fall into temptation. What particular temptations were they about to face?
How might prayer have changed the outcome?
How might these same exhortations make the difference in your own life between resisting and falling into temptation?
What can you do to ensure that the next weeks are a time for you to “watch and pray”?