Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives. The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version. At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture. To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.
Questions & Observations
Q. (Mark 14:32): Do you know what the name “Gethsemane” means. Just wondered if it is of any significance.
A. It means “oil press,” referring to the large press for the olives trees in the area. Remember the hill they are walking towards is the Mount of Olives. Olive oil was a precious commodity in the ancient world, and used for all kinds of things. As to significance, well, I would say you would be hard pressed (pun intended) to miss the notion of Jesus feeling “pressed in” on all sides when He is praying among an oil press.
Q. (14:34): What does Jesus mean by “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.”
A. Jesus knows the agony that awaits Him, and it surely caused His human self to be anxious and grief stricken. He was under so much pressure, that He felt that He was going to die.
Q. (14:36) And what does he mean by “cup of suffering?”
A. Over the next 20 or so hours of this story, Jesus will suffer unbelievable agony before He dies. He is thinking of it as a bitter cup that He must drink.
Q. (14:38): Is Jesus just warning to be careful of temptation, because it is seriously easy to give into?
A. Almost all of His followers will abandon Him by the end of today’s reading. I would say that is falling into the temptation to flee.
Q. (Mark 14:45): Why a kiss?
A. In Jesus’ day, a rabbi or other teacher would have been greeted by a student or other person wishing to show respect by offering the person a kiss on the hand or cheek. So don’t miss the irony of Judas using a symbol of love and respect to betray His master.
O. (14:48): Jesus delivered a good punch here when he asked them why they didn’t arrest Him in the temple. And, from what we read, Jesus was harmless and unarmed, so why did they come to get him with such force.
Q. (14:500): I guess the disciples ran because they were afraid that they may be arrested too?
Q. (Matthew 26:50): I wonder why Jesus calls Judas his friend?
A. I believe that Jesus still considered him a close friend. He loved Judas just as much as His other followers. Judas’ actions (and ours as well) did not keep Jesus from loving him and calling him friend.
Q. (26:51, 56): I know Jesus healed the priest’s slaves’ ear because Jesus said that his arrest must happen in order for the scriptures to be true. But, are we to follow in Jesus’s non-violent example? I don’t recall Jesus hurting anyone as a form of punishment. Also, Rob can you tell us who said this prophecy in the OT? Why was Jesus’s death necessary? It was foretold in the OT. My guess is that nothing else worked long-term for making the Israelites see the way, the truth and the life.
A. Isaiah in particular wrote about the Suffering Servant (which Christians consider to be a Suffering Messiah), and the classic passage for such examination is Isaiah 53. What Jesus is referring to is the path that He will walk to heal all of us. As Isaiah predicted, by His suffering, we are healed. As to why it was necessary, let’s revisit that one when we get to the actual crucifixion: the imagery there will be helpful for a full understanding of what is going on, at least as much as I am privy to.
Q. (John 18:3-11): John has probably the most different account of this encounter. Why is John much more descriptive of Jesus greeting the religious officials who were going to arrest Him? In v. 11, Jesus says, “Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given me?” I would think that this would be addressed to future readers to mean that we must follow the path God gives us even if it includes suffering.
A. John spends more time than any other Gospel on the last night of Jesus’ life (He will be dead before sundown the next day), so it is little surprise to me that he gives some details about the Garden that the others do not include. As to why Jesus said, “I’m going to drink the cup the Father has given Me,” it is significant because HE WILL. I wouldn’t try to read too much into what He is saying, Jesus is describing a plan already in motion that God the Father has set in motion. What Jesus is saying here is that what will happen to Him is no accident: it is His very purpose in coming to earth.
Q. (John 18:15-18): Why was it important for Peter to deny Jesus?
A. Peter failed his Master at the worst possible time, after BRAGGING about how HE WOULD NEVER FAIL.