In contrast to Jesus’
popular support when He entered Jerusalem
(11:8-10), now He was alone and rejected. Everyone, from the crowd to His own
disciples, either turned against Him or deserted Him. Just as Jesus had predicted
(10:33; 14:41), the humble Servant, the Son of God, was judged and condemned by
“So they cried out again, ’Crucify
Him!’ Then Pilate said to them, ’Why, what evil has He done?’
But they cried out all the more, ’Crucify Him!’” (15:13-14).
Did You Know…?
Kiss (14:44): A kiss on the cheek or hand was a
common gesture of affection and reverence given to a rabbi by his disciples.
The one who cut off the ear of the servant of
the high priest (14:47) was Simon Peter (cf. Jn 18:10). He was probably one of
the disciples who took a sword with him in response to Jesus’ words
during the Passover meal (cf. Lk 22:36-38; for what Jesus had meant, read the
Luke Bible Study Guide, Lesson 29, Questions 16-17).
The young man who fled naked (14:51) is
mentioned only in the gospel according to Mark, and is very likely to be Mark
himself. Perhaps he was in such a hurry to warn Jesus about the crowd that he
did not have time to get dressed properly (wearing only a sleeping garment).
His linen garment suggests that he was from a wealthy family (more common
garments were made of wool).
Sanhedrin (14:55): The 71-member Jewish high
court, which originated from the council of Moses and the 70 elders (cf. Num
11:16-17). It was composed of chief priests, elders, and scribes, and was
headed by the high priest. The Sanhedrin was given much authority in religious
and civil affairs, including the power to sentence a person to death. However,
it was required to submit the sentence to the Roman governor for approval and
“Tore his clothes” (14:63): A sign
of grief or shock; it became a formal judicial act of the high priest
expressing the opinion that he has heard blasphemy, which was a capital crime
according to Jewish laws.
Pilate (15:1): A Roman of the upper middle class
and governor (“praetor”) of Judea and Samaria from A.D. 26-36. He
commanded a cavalry of 120 and an infantry of 2,500-5,000. As the governor, he
had the power to approve or reverse a capital sentence passed by the Sanhedrin.
Barabbas (15:7): An insurrectionist against the
Romans, which probably made him a hero among the Jews.
Scourged/flogged (15:15): The Jews limited
flogging to forty lashes, but the Romans were restricted by nothing but their
strength and whim. Flogging was used to weaken a prisoner before crucifixion
(although many did not survive the ordeal itself). The prisoner was stripped,
tied to a post, and whipped. The leather whip, known as the
“scorpion,” had sharp pieces of bone or lead, which reduced the
flesh to a bloody pulp, often exposing the victim’s bones and innards.
Praetorium (15:16): The Roman
governor’s residence, which also functioned as his headquarters.
Purple robe, crown of thorns (15:17): These were
used to mock Jesus’ claim to be a king. The robe was probably an old
military cloak, whose purple color suggested richness and royalty. The crown
was pressed into Jesus’ scalp (which has many blood vessels), which
caused severe bleeding.
1a. List the characters that betrayed and/or rejected Jesus. How did
they betray or reject Him?
1b. What do you do when many people are against you? What can you learn
1. Why did the arresting party
come armed with swords and clubs?
2. Judas needed a signal to
identify Jesus. What does this tell you about Jesus’ physical appearance?
3a. What was Jesus’
reaction to Judas’ kiss?
3b. Have you ever felt betrayed?
How did you react? What can you learn from Jesus’ reaction to
4a. Why did Peter draw his sword?
4b. What might have happened if
Jesus had allowed His disciples to fight with swords?
4c. Do you ever feel like you
need to take immediate action? Compare this to Peter’s reaction? What
would Jesus tell you? (cf. Mt 26:52; Lk 22:51; Jn 18:11)
5. Explain 14:48-49. Why did
Jesus tell those who came to arrest Him these words? How do the words
“the Scriptures must be fulfilled” (14:49) explain why the crowd
was arresting Him now?
6. Who were the only ones
mentioned who followed Jesus after He was arrested?
7. What do the false testimonies
tell you about the people’s understanding of Jesus?
8. How did Jesus answer His
accusers? What does this teach you about dealing with those who attack the true
9a. List common misconceptions
about Jesus, Christianity, and the True Jesus Church.
9b. When someone says something
false about your faith, how should you answer?
List the terms used to describe God in verses 14:61-62. Why were there so many?
11. Why did the high priest ask
Jesus if He is the Christ?
12. For what charge did the
Sanhedrin sentence Jesus to death?
13. Have you ever been falsely accused
of something? How did you react? What can you learn from Jesus’ reaction
to the false testimonies against Him?
14. Have you ever felt
under-appreciated? How did you react? What can you learn from Jesus’
reaction to how the people repay Him for His ministry?
15. Have you ever falsely accused
or jumped to conclusions about a person? What were the consequences? How do you
avoid making the same mistake again?
16. Contrast Peter when he drew
his sword to protect Jesus to when he denied Jesus three times. How are we like
17. When a stranger asks if you
are a Christian or a True Jesus Church member, what is your reaction? How
should you answer?
18. When Pilate asked,
“What evil has [Jesus] done?” (15:14), what was the crowd’s
19a. What was on the mind of the
crowd at this time? Why were the people so against Jesus?
19b. How do we avoid being easily
20. Jesus was sentenced to die,
while a murderer (Barabbas) was set free. How is this an analogy of our
salvation through Jesus Christ?
21a. Why did the Roman soldiers
21b. Have you ever bullied or
made fun of someone? How did it affect that person and yourself?
21c. What is the worst insult you
have ever received? How does it compare to the soldiers’ mockery of
Jesus? What is the Christian teaching on dealing with insults?