What does Mark 14:23 mean?
ESV: And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it.
NIV: Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
NASB: And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
CSB: Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
NLT: And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
KJV: And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.
NKJV: Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
Verse Commentary:
We don't have many details about how the Passover was observed in Jesus' time. It was probably more involved than the simple meal of lamb, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs that God originally established (Exodus 12:8), but not as elaborate as the meal Jews celebrate now. The modern Seder didn't come into being until after AD 70. When the temple and Jerusalem were destroyed by the Romans and the Jews scattered, scribes wrote down the extra-scriptural Oral Law so it wouldn't be lost; it includes the specifics of the Seder. This is the same "law" that Jesus condemned the Pharisees for valuing over the instructions God gave them (Mark 7:1–13). That doesn't mean that the Seder is wicked or contrary to the Law, just that Jews are not required to celebrate the Passover with such pomp and circumstance.

Today, the Seder wine may be diluted or even replaced with grape juice, depending on which scholar the family follows. No matter the alcohol content, Jesus drank wine and gave wine—"the fruit of the vine" found in Mark 14:25—to the disciples to drink. He acknowledges drinking wine in Luke 7:33–35. He doesn't get drunk. He drinks in accordance with the Old Testament, in celebration (Psalm 104:14–15). This does not mean that every Christian should drink. But to declare that all Christ-followers should avoid all alcohol is akin to the same manmade rules that Jesus preached against.

The text is clear that Jesus and the disciples drink from one cup. To drink from someone's cup is to accept a deep relationship with them. When Jesus asked James and John if they would share His destiny, He said, "Are you able to drink the cup that I drink…?" (Mark 10:38). When the disciples drink the cup of wine that represents Jesus' blood, they identify with Him in a stronger way than they realize. That drink represents accepting the work of Jesus on the cross, taking it into themselves and changing their hearts. It does the same for believers when we share the Lord's Supper today.
Verse Context:
Mark 14:22–25 occurs almost 1500 years after the event that Passover commemorates. Here, Jesus radically repurposes the God-given tradition, creating the Lord's Supper we celebrate today. Instead of escaping Egypt, we escape hell. Instead of gifts from Egyptian neighbors (Exodus 11:2), we receive gifts from the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4–11). Instead of sacrificing a lamb, we remember the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. Matthew 26:26–29 is nearly identical; Luke 22:14–23 adds a bit more detail; John doesn't mention the Lord's Supper, but Paul goes into more detail about how it should be observed (1 Corinthians 11:23–32).
Chapter Summary:
Jesus is anointed in a symbolic anticipation of His death. Judas decides to secretly cooperate with local religious leaders to arrest Jesus in secret. During the Passover meal, Jesus predicts His betrayal by Judas, and Peter's denial. He also institutes the Lord's Supper, also known as communion. After praying on the Mount of Olives, Jesus is captured when Judas identifies Him to a hostile mob sent by Jewish authorities. He endures a corrupt, prejudiced trial, ending in a conviction for blasphemy. Peter, fearing for his life, lies about knowing Jesus, before remembering Jesus' prediction and breaking down in sobs.
Chapter Context:
Jesus has finished His public teaching ministry and now prepares for the crucifixion. His sacrificial loyalty will provide the means by which the disciples' abandonment will be forgiven. Next, the Romans, as representatives of Gentiles throughout history, will join the Jews and kill Jesus. Jesus will be buried, but He will rise again with the promise that His sacrifice will redeem the world. Matthew 26 and Luke 22 follow Mark 14 more closely while John 13:1—18:27 records more of Jesus' teaching in the upper room.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 5/29/2024 8:29:03 PM
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