Mark 14:37 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Mark 14:37, NIV: "Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. 'Simon,' he said to Peter, 'are you asleep? Couldn't you keep watch for one hour?"

Mark 14:37, ESV: "And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour?"

Mark 14:37, KJV: "And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour?"

Mark 14:37, NASB: "And He *came and *found them sleeping, and *said to Peter, 'Simon, are you asleep? Could you notkeep watch for one hour?"

Mark 14:37, NLT: "Then he returned and found the disciples asleep. He said to Peter, 'Simon, are you asleep? Couldn't you watch with me even one hour?"

Mark 14:37, CSB: "Then he came and found them sleeping. He said to Peter, "Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn't you stay awake one hour?"

What does Mark 14:37 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The night before the crucifixion, Jesus asks Peter, John, and James to stay awake and watchful as He prays (Mark 14:34). They have finished the long, leisurely Passover meal with its accompanying cups of wine with an evening walk to the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus is so distressed He feels like He could die then and there (Mark 14:34), but the men are tired.

Jesus has told the disciples that they will fall away when He is arrested (Mark 14:27). In fact, only John will be devoted enough to approach the cross with the women (John 19:25–26). And Jesus has prophesied that Peter will deny Him three times before the night is over (Mark 14:29–31). But Jesus has also prayed that although Peter may lose his courage, he will not lose his faith (Luke 22:32).

"Watch" is from the Greek root word gregoreuo. It specifically means to pay special attention so that you can avoid or prevent a catastrophic tragedy. Mark 14:38 mentions specifically that they should pray to avoid entering into temptation. Beyond scattering and abandoning Jesus, there isn't a lot of active temptation the disciples can fall into, but there are more passive threats. They can fall into despair, which they do. They can fear the Jewish leaders more than they trust God (John 20:19). They can reject the news of Jesus' resurrection (Luke 24:10–11) as vehemently as they denied the prophecies of His death (Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:32–34).

In the Bible, passive verbs of feelings and beliefs are treated as actions. What we believe and think directly affects what we do. Faith that does not result in an action is not real faith, but a self-delusion (James 2:14–26). The disciples claim to follow Jesus, but their actions here, during the crucifixion, and the days after say differently.