Mark 14:34 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Mark 14:34, NIV: "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,' he said to them. 'Stay here and keep watch.'"

Mark 14:34, ESV: "And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.”"

Mark 14:34, KJV: "And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch."

Mark 14:34, NASB: "And He *said to them, 'My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here andkeep watch.'"

Mark 14:34, NLT: "He told them, 'My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.'"

Mark 14:34, CSB: "He said to them, "I am deeply grieved to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake.""

What does Mark 14:34 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus and the disciples have celebrated the Passover and are now in the garden of Gethsemane, on the Mount of Olives, just east of the Temple Mount. Although some scholars say the group spent every night in Bethany with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, Scripture merely says they slept on "the mount called Olivet" (Luke 21:37). Gethsemane is at least familiar enough to the disciples that Judas knows where to find them (John 18:2).

Now, as Jesus prays for strength to face the next few hours, He tells Peter, James, and John to pray and watch (Mark 14:34). "Watch" is from the Greek root word gregoreuo and means to pay attention to avoid calamity. Jesus knows that their watching can't prevent the crucifixion, or even Peter's denial (Mark 14:30). He knows the disciples will scatter in just a few hours (Mark 14:27). He wants them to be aware that they will soon be greatly tempted to sin (Mark 14:38). As Jesus prepares to have His relationship with Father God severed, He wants His three closest friends to have the strength enough to endure for their own sakes and meet Him again after the resurrection (Mark 14:28).

"Sorrowful" is from the Greek root word perilupos and is also translated "deeply grieved" and "overwhelmed with sorrow." It is true the Jesus suffered a worse hardship than anyone else in the world. After an infinite existence in perfect harmony and love with the other members of the Trinity, He is brutally cut off, rejected and despised. We need to remember this moment in His life when we lose a loved one or know someone who has. Loss is real. Sorrow is real. Logical thinking like, "We'll see them again someday" or "God has a purpose" isn't enough to wash Jesus' agony away here, and we shouldn't expect such words to fully restore us, either. Jesus shows us how to acknowledge our most agonizing feelings while still walking in obedience to the God who has put us on this path.