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Mark  ◦   Chapter 14

1The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were just two days away, and the senior church leaders and theology professors who taught a legal theology were looking for some underhanded way to arrest Jesus and have him executed.2"But," they insisted, "we best not do it during the feast lest the people riot against us."

3While Jesus was in Bethany, he was eating a special dinner hosted by Simon who was known for having had leprosy. While they were dining, a woman came in with a jar of very expensive perfume made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on Jesus' head.

4Some of the people eating with Jesus became hostile toward the woman and what she had done. They began murmuring to each other, "Why has she wasted this perfume?5It could have been sold for more than an entire year's salary, and the money given to us to manage for the poor." So they verbally rebuked her, alleging her wasteful and not caring for the poor.

6But Jesus would have none of their ugliness, and he said: "Leave her alone. Why are you so unkind to her? Don't you realize what a beautiful thing she has done to me?7You will always have the poor with you, and you can minister to them at any time. But I will not be with you much longer.8She did what she could for me: she poured this perfume upon me to prepare my body for burial.9Truly, wherever in the world the Remedy is taken and my kingdom presented, what she has done will also be told in memory of her."

10It was then that Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, turned and went to the senior church leaders and agreed to betray Jesus to them.11They were so thrilled when they heard Judas' offer that they promised him money. So he kept watch for the best moment to hand him over.

12On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was customarily sacrificed, Jesus' disciples asked him, "Where would you like to celebrate Passover? Tell us, and we will get everything ready."

13He sent two disciples, instructing them, "Go into the city. You will find a man carrying a jar of water. Follow him home.14Find the owner of the house and say to him, 'The Teacher asks: What room do you have for me to celebrate the Passover with my disciples?'15He will show you a great room on the second floor, already set up and ready. Make our preparations there."

16The disciples went into the city and found things exactly as Jesus told them, so they got everything ready for the Passover.

17That evening, Jesus arrived at that house with the Twelve.18They were eating together around the table when Jesus said, "Listen carefully: The truth is, one of you will turn against me and betray me–one who is eating this meal with me."

19They were heartsick, and — one at a time — they said to him, "It isn't me, is it?"

20Jesus answered, "It is one of my closest — one of the Twelve; one so close that he dips his bread into the bowl with me.21The Son of Man will fulfill all that the Scriptures say he will. But misery will be the portion of the one who betrays the Son of Man! Better never to be born than to do this."

22During their meal, Jesus paused, took some bread, thanked his Father in heaven, then broke the bread and gave the pieces to his disciples, telling them, "Eat it; this is symbolic of my body."

23Then he took the cup, thanked his Father in heaven, and passed it around. After they had all taken a drink from it,24he said, "This is symbolic of my perfect character — the lifeblood of the Remedy, which is poured out for many.25I tell you the plain truth: I will not again drink the juice of grapes until the day when I drink it fresh in God's kingdom."

26They sang a hymn, then went out to the Mount of Olives.

27Jesus told them, "All of you will run away and leave me, for it is written: 'Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will scatter.'28But after I rise from the dead, I will go into Galilee ahead of you."

29But Peter protested, "No way, Lord! All the others may run and hide, but I will not."

30Jesus calmly told him, "Yes, Peter, you will. The truth is, tonight, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times."

31But Peter refused to believe it and said, "Absolutely not! I will stay by you even if I have to die. I will never abandon you." And all the others made similar promises.

32When they arrived at Gethsemane, Jesus said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray."33But he took Peter, James and John with him. Soon he was in deep anguish and emotional distress.34He told them, "My heart is breaking with overwhelming sadness. I feel like I am dying inside. Please, stay here and stay alert."

35Going a short distance farther, Jesus fell to the ground and asked that, if possible, this burden might be taken from him.36He cried out, "Papa, Daddy, it hurts so bad! Please... I know you can do anything... Please take this cup from me; but Daddy, not as my feelings desire — do only what is in harmony with your will."

37Then he went back to his disciples and found them sleeping. He said to Peter, "Simon, you're not sleeping, are you? Could you not stay awake for one hour?38Keep your minds alert and talk with God so that you will not succumb to temptation. Your heart desires to do right, but your body is weak."

39Jesus again went a short distance away and prayed the same prayer as before.40When he returned to his disciples, he found them sleeping again (as they were exhausted); but they didn't make any excuses.

41He came back to them a third time and said, "Are you still asleep? Well, that will have to be enough, for the time has come: It's time for the Son of Man to be betrayed into the hands of the selfish.42Get up! Let's go! Here comes my betrayer."

43Just as he finished saying this, Judas — one of the Twelve — walked up. He brought with him a mob armed with clubs and swords, sent from the senior clergy, theologians who teach a legal religion and the church leadership team.

44The traitor had arranged a signal with the mob: "The person I kiss is the one; arrest him and take him away under guard."45Without wasting time, Judas walked right up to Jesus and said, "Master!" and kissed him on a cheek.46Men grabbed hold of Jesus and arrested him.47One of his followers standing close by drew his sword and attacked, striking the servant of the high priest and cutting off his ear.

48Jesus spoke to the mob: "Why have you come out in the night, with clubs and swords, to capture me? Do you think I am some terrorist leading a rebellion?49I am not in hiding. Daily I came to you, teaching openly in the temple courts, but you did not arrest me. But these events will take place just as the Scripture foretold."50Then all his followers abandoned him and fled, trying to save themselves.

51One young man was there covered only in a bed sheet. When they tried to grab him,52he let go of the sheet and ran away naked.

53The mob took Jesus to the high priest, and all the senior church leadership, pastors, and theology professors who promote a legal religion were there.54Peter, following from a safe distance, walked right into the courtyard of the high priest. He sat down with the guards to get warm by the fire.

55The senior pastors and the entire high court were searching for any evidence they could use against Jesus so that they could execute him, but they could not find any.56Many people gave false testimony against him, but their accounts contradicted each other.

57Finally, some came forward with this false testimony against him:58"We heard him say, 'I will destroy this temple made by human hands and in three days build replace it with one not built by humans.'"59But, even their testimonies did not agree.

60Exasperated, the high priest confronted Jesus and asked, "Aren't you going to say anything? What do you have to say for yourself? What answer to these allegations do you give?"61But Jesus stood silent and gave no answer. So the high priest asked him directly, "Are you the Messiah, the promised Son of the Blessed God?"

62Jesus said, "I am! You will see with your own eyes the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Almighty, returning on the clouds of heaven."

63Immediately the high priest tore his clothes. "Do we need any more witnesses?" he asked.64"You have heard his blasphemy for yourselves. What do you think?" So they condemned him as deserving to die.65Them some of the church leaders began to spit on him; they put a blindfold on him and punched him, saying, "Prophesy!" And the guards took him and beat him some more.

66While Peter was out in the yard, one of the house maids of the high priest walked by.67When she saw Peter warming himself, she paused and took a good look at him. Then she said, "You are one of the followers of Jesus, the Nazarene."

68But Peter denied it. "I don't know what you're talking about," he said, and walked toward the entryway.

69When the house maid saw him there, she repeated her concern to those standing around: "This man is one of Jesus' followers."70Again Peter denied it. But a little while later, some of the people standing by said to Peter, "You must be one of his followers, for you're from Galilee."

71So he began cursing, and said, "I swear, I don't know this man you are talking about."

72Immediately the rooster crowed the second time and Peter remembered Jesus' words "Before the rooster crows twice you will deny me three times." And Peter broke down and cried bitterly.