Devotional Day #19: Mark 14:27-51

This Devotional message is part of the Clayton Church Value-Based Discipleship series, which was launched on Sunday 23 July 2017. View the series index here.

Passage: Mark 14:27-51

“You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written:

I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.

But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.

Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.”

“Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “today – yes, tonight – before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.”

But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.

They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”

Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

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? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.

Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders.

Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. The men seized Jesus and arrested him. Then one of those standing near drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.

“Am I leading a rebellion,” said Jesus, “that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” Then everyone deserted him and fled.A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus.


The quote of scripture by Jesus is significant in itself:

I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.

My Words

Retelling the story for someone else (you – my audience).

Jesus was teaching his disciples that everyone would abandon him, as prophesied by Zechariah:

I will strike the head, and the body of believers will all go their separate ways.

However, Jesus did not just say this to give them a sense of hopelessness, but added that after his resurrection, he would still prepare the way for them to Galilee. In response, Peter stated that although others may turn and be swayed, he alone would not. Jesus prophesied further that Peter would deny Him three times, and later that same night too. Peter remained fixed that his loyalty would not be compromised – and that he was even prepared to die for Christ. This time, the rally from Peter received group support from the other disciples.

The disciples went with Jesus to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. Whilst the main group was left at one location, Jesus took his closest disciples in Peter, James and John further into the garden and shared with them that he was beginning to feel the stress and pressure of the upcoming events, sorrowful and overwhelmed. The three were to keep watch whilst Jesus prayed. He prayed to God the Father begging that, along with the characteristic nature of the Father making all things possible, if it was the will of God for him to not have to undergo the events of the future – death and crucifixion. When he returned to check on the disciples he found them asleep and had to wake them up. This did not just happen once, but three times, the third last time differing in that the time had come for his arrest and the time for praying was over.

Judas Iscariot led a crowd of armed men to Gethsemane. Via a prearranged signal, Judas identified Jesus by kissing him. The men grabbed Jesus and arrested him. In the struggle with the disciples, the high priest servant’s ear was severed. Jesus did not however resist arrest himself, instead questioning his accusers that they could only find the courage to arrest him in the middle of the night instead of in broad daylight at the temple. Upon hearing this, the disciples fled the scene. One of the disciples fled naked, because sacrificing his linen garment was the only way for him to not get arrested himself.


What I Discovered

Even the disciples, at this point in time, struggled to remain obedient to Jesus in the face of serious danger and threat to their own lives. The case can be made that prior to Jesus transformation and resurrection on the cross, the disciples did not have complete clarity and understanding to the significance of what Jesus taught.

Peter’s arrogance and misunderstanding of what Jesus was saying led him to out-rightly claim that he would remain loyal and obedient, not knowing that this would bring about a specific prophecy for his acts of denial.

Obedience Step

“I Will”

I will trust God and accept that He knows better. After all, He is God! I will be careful to not put myself on the throne, especially given the fact that I help to lead a life-group – we want to model Jesus not myself or any of the leaders.

Threadless Artist Shop Design

Today’s devotion is summarised in the single design graphic above and has been added to my Threadless Artist Shop under the collection Discipleship Devotionals as Who Is Your Shepherd?.