The lion of St Mark


The Passion and Resurrection of Jesus: Mark 14-16

With the last three chapters of the Gospel, Mk 14,1-16,8, we have reached the climax of the Gospel story as we hear of the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus.
As we begin our explorations, it's best to start by reading through to 16,8. We soon see that chapter 14 is very long, that chapter 15 is shorter while chapter 16 is very short (because we will be taking verse 8 as the end of the Gospel).
Traditionally, chapters 14 and 15 are the account of the Passion according to Mark. It's good to consider during our first reading how chapter 15 is different from chapter 14.

Chapter 14: Overview

We begin our reading of the Passion with chapter 14. This is not only the longer of the two Passion chapters but it is also the more complex. We can note that 14,1 marks a new beginning after 13,37. A detail here is to see when Jesus is first named in this chapter, where he is not simply a pronoun. It's useful to compare this opening with Mt 26,1-3.

Then we can take a closer look at the chapter and see how best to read it. Where are the breaks? Look for two sandwich constructions of the sort we have come across before. What is the major contrast between Jesus and his disciples that is being presented?

Consider the different places mentioned and how they provide a framework for the chapter. Then take a look at my response.

Our Reading

From all this and based on the locations given in the chapter, we now have the following outline for our reading:

14,1-11: Plotting and anointing (Bethany)
14,12-25: The Supper (Upper Room)
14,26-52: Predictions (Mount of Olives) followed by prayer and arrest (Gethsemane)
14,53-72: Trial (High Priest's House)

Chapter 14: Another Look

Before we move on, there is another way of looking at this chapter which is interesting and helpful. Consider how every alternate scene has the same theme and what that theme might be. It's best to make a list of the incidents of the chapter with this theme in mind.

Then go back to my response.

At this point, I have provided a page which will enable us to explore the Old Testament background to the Passion narratives. This will help us to see how a few passages are used frequently.
This page will simply list the references for you to consider. There will be no response page and I will then bring you back to this point.

We are now ready to begin our reading of the Passion in detail with the plotting against Jesus coming to a climax.