Mark 14:32 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Mark 14:32, NIV: "They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, 'Sit here while I pray.'"

Mark 14:32, ESV: "And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”"

Mark 14:32, KJV: "And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray."

Mark 14:32, NASB: "They *came to a place named Gethsemane; and He *said to His disciples, 'Sit here until I have prayed.'"

Mark 14:32, NLT: "They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, 'Sit here while I go and pray.'"

Mark 14:32, CSB: "Then they came to a place named Gethsemane, and he told his disciples, "Sit here while I pray.""

What does Mark 14:32 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Gethsemane is a garden on the Mount of Olives. The name derives from references to an "oil press" and still boasts olive trees over 900 years old. The garden is very near where the paths from the East Gate and the Sheep Gate meet. The East Gate, or Beautiful Gate, is directly east of the front of the temple and allows the sunrise to shine onto the gold-covered stones. The Sheep Gate is on the eastern end of the north side of the Temple Mount. It is where the sheep come through to be sacrificed for the Passover.

Jesus is God incarnate. He is fully God and fully man. The question arises as to how, as God, He can pray to God. When He became man, He "emptied himself" from the full expression of His deity (Philippians 2:7). We don't fully understand the extent of this emptying. When Jesus perceives "in his spirit" what the scribes are thinking after He healed the paralytic (Mark 2:1–12), we don't know if His deity reveals the information or if the Holy Spirit tells His spirit. When John 2:24–25 says that Jesus knows what is in the hearts of all people, we don't know if that's because of His natural wisdom or if He can read their intent through more supernatural means. If He has the infinite power of God, it's unclear how He can feel power leave Him when the woman with the issue of blood touched Him (Mark 5:27–30).

The issue of Jesus praying, however, is not as complicated. God knows all Jesus' thoughts. God doesn't need Jesus' prayer to know what Jesus wants and thinks. But Jesus' human side requires effort to maintain His part of the connection. Several times throughout His ministry Jesus tries to find a quiet place to pray (Mark 1:35; 6:46). Jesus is one person, but He has two natures: God and man. Each of these natures has its own will. Jesus has no sin nature and cannot sin, but His human will requires intentional effort to stay in sync with God's will. This is not to say that Jesus' human will would act in a way contrary to God's—as He cannot sin, His human will always submits to God's will. But there will always be a difference between doing the right thing because it is the right thing and it is yours to do versus doing the right thing because the person you serve is with you, encouraging you, walking through the hardship together in a mutual expression of love.

Soon, that expression of love will be one-sided. God will turn His back on Jesus as the weight of humanity's sin falls on Him. Jesus takes this time to remember why He will go through the next few hours. Even as His human will wants to avoid the pain of the cross and separation from God, it wants even more to do what God wants. Jesus is not an automaton who does the right thing because He is programmed to. He does not numb His emotions with an excuse that people suffer because justice and holiness glorify God as much as love and praise. He feels when people are in pain (John 11:33–35). How much more will He feel when God removes the loving connection they have lived with for eternity?