What does Mark 14:65 mean?
ESV: And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.
NIV: Then some began to spit at him; they blindfolded him, struck him with their fists, and said, 'Prophesy!' And the guards took him and beat him.
NASB: And some began to spit on Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him with their fists and say to Him, 'Prophesy!' Then the officers took custody of Him and slapped Him in the face.
CSB: Then some began to spit on him, to blindfold him, and to beat him, saying, "Prophesy! " The temple servants also took him and slapped him.
NLT: Then some of them began to spit at him, and they blindfolded him and beat him with their fists. 'Prophesy to us,' they jeered. And the guards slapped him as they took him away.
KJV: And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands.
NKJV: Then some began to spit on Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him, and to say to Him, “Prophesy!” And the officers struck Him with the palms of their hands.
Verse Commentary:
The trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin was a mix of legalistic adherence to the law and blatant disregard for God's standards (Mark 14:53–64). First, the late-night / early-morning gathering is irregular, if not illegal, since it's purposefully being done in secrecy (Mark 14:1–2).

The council is searching for some way to convict Jesus of a crime, instead of weighing evidence of a specific infraction. They are willing to accept any false accusation—an egregious violation of the ninth commandment—but in a flagrant display of hypocrisy, will only condemn Jesus on the witness of two identical testimonies. When none of the lies match, the high priest gets frustrated. In what may have been a spur-of-the-moment explosion, he asks Jesus, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" (Mark 14:61). Although Jesus refuses to defend Himself against false testimony, He does acknowledge His own identity (Mark 14:62). Finally, the Sanhedrin has its charge, as they are all witness to His "blasphemy."

Under the Mosaic law, blasphemy against God is punishable by death (Leviticus 24:15–16). This establishes that Jesus—in the judgment of the Jewish court—is "worthy" of death. That doesn't mean the Sanhedrin's work is done. Under Roman rule, Jews are not allowed to execute their own prisoners (John 18:31). Only appointed officials, such as governors, can make that sentence. Soon, Jesus' enemies will have to find a non-religious charge to give to Pilate so Jesus can be crucified. Until then, they are free to vent their anger and frustrations on the prisoner.

Although the Romans do not allow the Jews to perform capital punishment, they could not have cared less about corporal punishments. Spitting and beating were traditional responses to inappropriate behavior. A woman who is denied a levirate marriage to carry on her husband's name is told to spit in the face of her brother-in-law (Deuteronomy 25:9). The Old Testament also specifically prophesies that the Suffering Servant will face such abuse. Isaiah 50:6 says, "I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting."
Verse Context:
Mark 14:53–65 happens immediately after Jesus' arrest in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus will face four separated trials, in multiple segments. The first is with the Sanhedrin, the council that judges if Jews have broken the Mosaic law. The second trial is with Pilate, the Roman governor (Mark 15:1–5). Pilate sends Jesus to Herod Antipas, who rules over Jesus' home district of Galilee and happens to be in town (Luke 23:6–16). Herod sends Jesus back to Pilate who, at the Sanhedrin's insistence, sentences Jesus to death (Mark 15:6–15). Jesus' interview with the Sanhedrin is also found in Matthew 26:57–68, Luke 22:63–71, and John 18:12–14, 19–24.
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 9:12:33 PM
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