What does Mark 14:32 mean?
ESV: And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”
NIV: They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, 'Sit here while I pray.'
NASB: They *came to a place named Gethsemane; and He *said to His disciples, 'Sit here until I have prayed.'
CSB: Then they came to a place named Gethsemane, and he told his disciples, "Sit here while I pray."
NLT: They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, 'Sit here while I go and pray.'
KJV: And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.
Verse Commentary:
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?
Verse Context:
Mark 14:32–42 contains Jesus' wait in the garden of Gethsemane. This describes Jesus' example and the disciples' catastrophic failure to follow the general theme of Jesus' admonition in Mark 13:32–37. Jesus watches how God moves and prays for His part in it. The disciples sleep. Three times, their Master finds them unconscious, both physically and spiritually (Mark 13:35–36). They do not take the time, as Jesus does, to prepare for the hardships in front of them. They so expect Jesus' victory over the Roman occupiers they don't prepare for His spiritual war on the cross. This story is also in Matthew 26:36–46 and Luke 22:39–46.
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 4/16/2024 1:33:42 PM
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