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Mark - Who is Christ?
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to MARK
PART 8 - Christ's Passion and Death (Mark 14:1 - 15:47)

6. Going to the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:26-38)

MARK 14:26-38
26 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 27 Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of me tonight, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ 28 However, after I am raised up, I will go before you into Galilee.” 29 But Peter said to him, “Although all will be offended, yet I will not.” 30 Jesus said to him, “Most certainly I tell you, that you today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” 31 But he spoke all the more, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” They all said the same thing. 32 They came to a place which was named Gethsemane. He said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I pray.” 33 He took with him Peter, James, and John, and began to be greatly troubled and distressed. 34 He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here, and watch.” 35 He went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass away from him. 36 He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Please remove this cup from me. However, not what I desire, but what you desire.” 37 He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn’t you watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

There are different types of people. Some suppose themselves to be mighty heroes. Others bind themselves to complexes and fear so that they become ashamed of lifting up their eyes towards the others, while their backs are bowed and pressed down.

The first are reproved by the Lord for their pride and haughtiness, and the others are comforted and encouraged by him, that they may overcome fear.

God loves sinners notwithstanding their sins, and guides them to repentance and faith in the meek Christ.

Peter was the most prominent and influential among the disciples. Being bred a fisherman, he was accustomed to stand boldly against dangers and overcome them. At the same time, he had a great stock of confidence. He did not recognize the authority’s trick, or the power of darkness that fell upon Christ at that time. He was unaware of the limits of his power, and his pride was not broken.

He protested when Christ told them about the great stumbling block which was coming upon all the disciples.

God himself allowed this stumbling block. It belongs to his loving plan, for he had decided beforehand, to strike the shepherd that the sheep might be scattered.

Peter did not understand the meaning of that prophecy. He was prepared to struggle even against God’s design and Satan’s trick only to protect Christ, and keep him from death. He was convinced that Jesus was the faithful one and the champion of the holy war. This reveals to us that Peter did not actually know himself. Moreover, he knew neither God’s will, nor Satan’s power. Accordingly, his failure was unavoidable.

Yet Christ knew that his cross was the only way to extinguish God’s wrath, which was about to fall on his disobedient sheep. The Shepherd suffered for the sheep, and preferred to die instead of them.

Before his death, Jesus was assured that he would rise and gather his scattered sheep to guide them and greatly multiply them. Since that time, the comforting emblem for believers was Jesus’ statement: “I will go before you.”

He goes before us in all the problems of our life. We are neither alone, nor defeated. The Good Shepherd stands beside us. He strengthens us and waits for us wherever we reach and wherever we are.

However, Peter wanted to lead his life by himself. He did not hear the clear warning of Christ, but believed in himself.

Of course, he did not mean to deny Christ. He was true in his determination to defend Jesus, as the disciples testified with him that he was prepared to die for or with Christ. But all these words were full of emotion. Emotions are not sufficient in following Christ, for the way leading to hell is paved with good intent.

Jesus foresaw Peter’s fall and denial, and warned the most prominent among his apostles. He gave him a sign of God’s faithfulness when he explained to him the crowing of the rooster, to help him repent.

Some churches put a brass image of a crowing rooster on their towers to remind those who enter of their sins, and their inability to struggle against Satan, also of the necessity to come to the mighty Savior penitently and give up themselves to his love.

Paul explained to us the meaning of following Jesus, saying: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for his good pleasure.”

This is the mystery of those who win the obedience of faith. It is that they neither rely on themselves, nor trust their emotional faithfulness, nor believe in their own power, but come brokenly to Christ, asking him to perform his will in spite of their weakness, and to fill up their lack of power, that his kind designs may be realized through his Holy Spirit.

PRAYER: O merciful Lord, forgive my exaggerated trust in myself. Take away my ideas about my faithfulness. Keep me from speaking hastily. Help me to deny myself by your power. Give me harmony with your will, and lead me to carry out the directions of your love that I may not go astray, but follow you wherever you go before me together with all those who follow you thankfully. Amen.


  1. What was Peter’s fault when Jesus warned him?


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