What does Mark 14:37 mean?
ESV: And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour?
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?
NASB: And He *came and *found them sleeping, and *said to Peter, 'Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour?
CSB: Then he came and found them sleeping. He said to Peter, "Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn't you stay awake one hour?
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?
KJV: And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour?
NKJV: Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour?
Verse Commentary:
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.
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 5/25/2024 1:38:59 AM
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