Mark's Gospel

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The Garden of Gethsemane

(Mark 14:32-42)

Jesus takes with him his closest disciples to the garden: Peter, James and John. These disciples had been present both at the raising of Jarius' daughter (Mark 5:37) and at the Transfiguration (Mark 9:2-8). Just as the transfiguration had been a glimpse of Jesus' glory as the Son of God, the Garden of Gethsemane reveals his true humanity. Jesus was afraid at the prospect of what was to happen to him the following. He was naturally frightened at the idea of being crucified. He prayed that his 'cup' of suffering might be taken away. However, he conquered his fear and prayed, 'But let if be as you not I would have it'. This final prayer shows his complete submission to the will of God. The disciples, despite Jesus' numerous predictions of his death, appear to be oblivious of their master's anguish and fall asleep.

The scene is interupted with Judas and the armed men. Jesus is identified by Judas and he is put under arrest. One of the disciples takes out his sword and cuts off the ear of one of the guards. The fact that some of Jesus' disciples carried weapons may be further proof that his disciples were associated with the Zealots. Even Jesus' closest disciples still thought of him as a political Messiah. Jesus emphasizes the fact that his ministry was religious rather than revolutionary.

Mark closes the scene with a reference to the young man running away naked. Some scholars suggest that this is a reference to Mark himself as there is no other possible explanation as to why the writer would have mentioned it. However, some see it as a literary devise. The next time we come across a young man in the Gospel is in the tomb dressed in a white robe. The panic of the young man running away naked is contrasted with the young man sitting in the tomb dressed in white reassuring the women.

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