What does Mark 14:47 mean?
ESV: But one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear.
NIV: Then one of those standing near drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
NASB: But one of those who stood by drew his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear.
CSB: One of those who stood by drew his sword, struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his ear.
NLT: But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest’s slave, slashing off his ear.
KJV: And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
NKJV: And one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
Verse Commentary:
The other gospels elaborate on Mark's action-filled scene. Jesus admits that He is the Jesus of Nazareth they are looking for—and identifies Himself with such power the guards fall to the ground (John 18:4–6). He then negotiates for the release of the eleven remaining disciples. Throughout His ministry, Jesus has kept the eleven safe (John 17:12), and it is still not yet time for them to face danger (John 18:8–9). These words are still floating in the air when Peter draws his sword and cuts off Malchus' ear (John 18:10).

The disciples are still thinking that Jesus will free the Jews from Roman rule and they will rule under Him. When they presume authority, they do so mainly by bossing people around (Mark 9:38; 10:13). Peter amplifies this presumption to violence and Jesus responds sharply. He heals Malchus, giving the guards no real reason to arrest Peter (Luke 22:51) and, again (Mark 8:31–33), reprimands Peter for trying to keep Him from obeying God (Matthew 26:52–54; John 18:11). Jesus then points out that resorting to violence will lead to a lifestyle of violence with dire consequences (Matthew 26:52). Jesus also puts the situation into perspective. If He wanted to, Jesus could pray and God would send twelve legions of angels to defend Him. But He won't, because this arrest must happen according to the Scriptures (Matthew 26:53–54).

Peter's brash act prevents him from fulfilling his brash vow of loyalty to Jesus (Mark 14:31). When they first arrive at Gethsemane, Peter cannot imagine any circumstance in which he would deny following Jesus. Soon, he will be in the courtyard of the high priest, listening to the Sanhedrin interrogate and beat Jesus. He may have been able to remain loyal, as John does. But Peter is also surrounded by the friends, co-workers, acquaintances, and one relative of the man he just tried to maim (John 18:26–27).

Fellow apostles or not, John seems to have a sort of rivalry with Peter. While the synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke include that "someone" with Jesus cut off the ear of the servant, only John identifies this would-be swordsman as Peter (John 18:10). John is also careful to note that he runs faster than Peter (John 20:3–4).
Verse Context:
Mark 14:43–50 happens about one week after Jesus rode past the garden of Gethsemane in the daylight, surrounded by people declaring His coming to reestablish David's kingdom (Mark 11:1–10). For several days, He displayed His superior understanding of God over the Jewish religious leaders (Mark 11:27–12:40). Earlier this night, He spent a meaningful Passover meal with His disciples (Mark 14:17–31). Now, He is back in Gethsemane. It is the dead of night and a group has come to take Him before a series of sham trials before He is crucified. The story of Jesus' betrayal is also recorded in Matthew 26:47–56, Luke 22:47–53, and John 18:1–11.
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 9:02:49 PM
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