Mark 14:12
And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said to him, Where will you that we go and prepare that you may eat the passover?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12-21) And the first day of unleavened bread.—See Notes on Matthew 26:20-25.

When they killed the passover.—Better, when they used to sacrifice; the Greek tense implying a custom. Here, again, both St. Mark and St. Luke write as explaining the custom for their Gentile readers.

Mark

THE NEW PASSOVER

A SECRET RENDEZVOUS

Mark 14:12 - Mark 14:16
.

This is one of the obscurer and less noticed incidents, but perhaps it contains more valuable teaching than appears at first sight.

The first question is-Miracle or Plan? Does the incident mean supernatural knowledge or a preconcerted token, like the provision of the ass at the entry into Jerusalem? I think that there is nothing decisive either way in the narrative. Perhaps the balance of probability lies in favour of the latter theory. A difficulty in its way is that no communication seems to pass between the two disciples and the man by which he could know them to be the persons whom he was to precede to the house. There are advantages in either theory which the other loses; but, on the whole, I incline to believe in a preconcerted signal. If we lose the supernatural, we gain a suggestion of prudence and human adaptation of means to ends which makes the story even more startlingly real to us.

But whichever theory we adopt, the main points and lessons of the narrative remain the same.

I. The remarkable thing in the story is the picture it gives us of Christ as elaborately adopting precautions to conceal the place.

They are at Bethany. The disciples ask where the passover is to be eaten. The easy answer would have been to tell the name of the man and his house. That is not given. The deliberate round-aboutness of the answer remains the same whether miracle or plan. The two go away, and the others know nothing of the place. Probably the messengers did not come back, but in the evening Jesus and the ten go straight to the house which only He knew.

All this secrecy is in strong contrast with His usual frank and open appearances.

What is the reason? To baffle the traitor by preventing him from acquiring previous knowledge of the place. He was watching for some quiet hour in Jerusalem to take Jesus. So Christ does not eat the passover at the house of any well-known disciple who had a house in Jerusalem, but goes to some man unknown to the Apostolic circle, and takes steps to prevent the place being known beforehand.

All this looks like the ordinary precautions which a man who knew of the plots against him would take, and might mean simply a wish to save his life. But is that the whole explanation? Why did He wish to baffle the traitor? {a} Because of His desire to eat the passover with the disciples. His loving sympathy.

{b} Because of His desire to found the new rite of His kingdom.

{c} Because of His desire to bring His death into immediate connection with the Paschal sacrifice. There was no reason of a selfish kind, no shrinking from death itself.

The fact that such precautions only meet us here, and that they stand in strongest contrast with the rest of His conduct, emphasises the purely voluntary nature of His death: how He chose to be betrayed, taken, and to die. They suggest the same thought as do the staggering back of His would-be captors in Gethsemane, at His majestic word, ‘I am He. . . . Let these go their way.’ The narrative sets Him forth as the Lord of all circumstances, as free, and arranging all events.

Judas, the priests, Pilate, the soldiers, were swept by a power which they did not know to deeds which they did not understand. The Lord of all gives Himself up in royal freedom to the death to which nothing dragged Him but His own love.

Such seem to be the lessons of this narrative in so far as it bears on our Lord’s own thoughts and feelings.

II. We note also the authoritative claim which He makes.

One reading is ‘my guest-chamber,’ and that makes His claim even more emphatic; but apart from that, the language is strong in its expression of a right to this unknown man’s ‘upper room.’ Mark the singular blending here, as in all His earthly life, of poverty and dignity-the lowliness of being obliged to a man for a room; the royal style, ‘The Master saith.’

So even now there is the blending of the wonderful fact that He puts Himself in the position of needing anything from us, with the absolute authority which He claims over us and ours.

III. The answer and blessedness of the unknown disciple.

{a} Jesus knows disciples whom the other disciples know not.

This man was one of the of ‘secret’ disciples. There is no excuse for shrinking from confession of His name; but it is blessed to believe that His eye sees many a ‘hidden one.’ He recognises their faith, and gives them work to do. Add the striking thought that though this man’s name is unrecorded by the Evangelist, it is known to Christ, was written in His heart, and, to use the prophetic image, ‘was graven on the palms of His hands.’

{b} The true blessedness is to be ready for whatever calls He may make on us. These may sometimes be sudden and unlooked for. But the preparation for obeying the most sudden or exacting summons of His is to have our hearts in fellowship with Him.

{c} The blessedness of His coming into our hearts, and accepting our service.

How honoured that man felt then! how much more so as years went on! how most of all now!

Our greatest blessedness that He does come into the narrow room of our hearts: ‘If any man open the door, I will sup with him.’14:12-21 Nothing could be less the result of human foresight than the events here related. But our Lord knows all things about us before they come to pass. If we admit him, he will dwell in our hearts. The Son of man goes, as it is written of him, as a lamb to the slaughter; but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed! God's permitting the sins of men, and bringing glory to himself out of them, does not oblige them to sin; nor will this be any excuse for their guilt, or lessen their punishment.See the notes at Matthew 26:17-19.

Mark 14:12

They killed the passover - The "paschal lamb," which was slain in keeping the Passover.

Go and prepare - Go and provide a lamb, have it roasted, and properly prepared with the usual things to eat with it.

Mr 14:12-26. Preparation for, and Last Celebration of, the Passover—Announcement of the Traitor—Institution of the Supper. ( = Mt 26:17-30; Lu 22:7-23, 39; Joh 13:21-30).

See on [1501]Lu 22:7-23; [1502]Lu 22:39; and see on [1503]Joh 13:10, 11; [1504]Joh 13:18, 19; [1505]Joh 13:21-30.

See Poole on "Mark 14:10" And the first day of unleavened bread,.... Being come, which was the fourteenth of Nisan:

when they killed the passover; that is, "the Jews", as the Syriac and Persic versions supply; for any Israelite, that not a priest, might slay it: their canon runs thus (x),

"an Israelite kills (the passover), and a priest receives (the blood), and gives it to his neighbour, and his neighbour to his neighbour, and he receives (the basin) full, and returns it empty; the priest that is near to the altar sprinkles it, at one sprinkling, over against the bottom of it.''

Upon which the commentators (y) observe, that the slaying of the passover by strangers; that is, such as are not priests, lawful. And so Philo the Jew, speaking of the passover, says (z);

"at which time the common people do not bring their sacrifices to the altar, and the priests slay; but by the command of the law, , "the whole nation", does the work of a priest; every one particularly bringing the sacrifices for himself, and then slaying them with his own hands.''

But then it was always killed in the court of the temple, and after the middle of the day; See Gill on Matthew 26:17;

his disciples said unto him, where wilt thou that we go and prepare, that thou mayst eat the passover: for it was now Thursday morning, and the passover was to be slain after the middle of the day, between the two evenings, and eaten in Jerusalem at night; and they were now at Bethany, near two miles from the city; and it was usual for servants to get ready the passover for their masters; See Gill on Matthew 26:17.

(x) Misn. Pesachim, c. 5. sect. 6. (y) Jarchi, Maimon. & Bartenora in ib. (z) De Vita Mosis, l. 3. p. 686.

{6} And the first day of unleavened bread, {b} when {c} they killed the {d} passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?

(6) Christ being made subject to the law for us celebrates the passover according to the law: and in addition by a miracle shows that even though he will immediately suffer in the flesh, that he is yet God.

(b) That is, upon this day, and at the evening of the same day, which was the beginning of the fifteenth. See Geneva (G) Mt 26:17.

(c) They used to sacrifice.

(d) That is, spoken thus, by the figure of speech called metonymy, which is commonly used when talking about sacraments, and by the passover is meant the paschal lamb.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Mark 14:12-16. See on Matthew 26:17-19. Comp. Luke 22:7-13. The marvellous character of the ordering of the repast, which is not as yet found in Matthew with his simple πρὸς τὸν δεῖνα, points in Mark and Luke to a later form of the tradition (in opposition to Ewald, Weiss, Holtzmann, and others), as Bleek also assumes. Comp. Matthew 26:18. This form may easily, under the influence of the conception of our Lord’s prophetic character (comp. Mark 11:2 f.), have originated through the circumstance, that the two disciples met the servant of the δεῖνα, to whom Jesus sent them, in the street with a pitcher of water. Assuredly original, however, is the sending of only two disciples in Mark, whom thereupon Luke 22:8 names.

ὅτε τ. πάσχα ἔθυον] on which day they killed the paschal lamb (Exodus 12:21; Deuteronomy 16:2; Deuteronomy 3 Esdr. Mark 1:1, Mark 7:12), which occurred on the 14th Nisan in the afternoon.[163] See on Matthew 26:17.

Mark 14:13. ἄνθρωπος] The connection (see Mark 14:14) shows that the man in question was a slave; his occupation was the carrying of water, Deuteronomy 29:10; Joshua 9:21; Wetstein in loc.

κεράμιον ὕδατος] an earthen vessel with water. Comp. ἀλάβαστρον μύρου, Mark 14:3. “The water pitcher reminds one of the beginning of a meal, for which the hands are washed,” Ewald.

Mark 14:14. τὸ κατάλυμά μου] the lodging destined for me, in which (ὅπου) I, etc. The word ΚΑΤΆΛ., lodging, quarters, is bad Greek, Thom. M. p. 501. But see Pollux, i. 73, and Eustathius, ad Od. iv. 146, 33, Rom.

Mark 14:15. αὐτός] He himself, the master of the house. On the form ἀνάγαιον instead of ἈΝΏΓΑΙΟΝ (Xen. Anab. v. 4. 29), which is preserved in the old lexicographers, see Fritzsche in loc.; Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 12 [E. T. 13]. In signification it is equivalent to ὑπερῷον, עֲלִיָה, upper chamber, used as a place of prayer and of assembling together. Comp. on Mark 2:3, and see on Acts 1:13.

The attributes which follow are thus to be distributed: he will show you a large upper chamber spread, i.e. laid with carpets, in readiness.

ἐτοιμάσ. ἡμῖν] arrange for us, make preparation for us. Comp. Luke 9:52.

[163] Neither here nor elsewhere have the Synoptics expressed themselves ambiguously as to the day of the Last Supper. See Hilgenfeld in his Zeitschr. 1865, p. 96 ff. (in opposition to Aberle in the theol. Quartalschr. IV. p. 548 ff.).Mark 14:12-16. Arrangements for paschal feast (Matthew 26:17-19, Luke 22:7-13). Mk. is much more circumstantial in this section than Mt., his apparent aim being to explain how Judas did not find his opportunity at the paschal supper, the place of celebration being carefully concealed beforehand.12–16. Preparations for the Last Supper

12. the first day of unleavened bread] Wednesday in Passion week would seem to have been spent by our Lord in deep seclusion at Bethany preparing Himself for the awfulness of the coming struggle, and is hidden by a veil of holy silence. That night He slept at Bethany for the last time on earth. “On the Thursday morning He awoke never to sleep again.” Farrar, Life, ii. p. 275.

when they killed the passover] i. e. the Paschal victim. Comp. Luke 22:7, “when the Passover must be killed;1 Corinthians 5:7, “Christ our Passover (= Paschal Lamb) is sacrificed for us.” The name of the Passover, in Hebrew Pesach, and in Aramæan and Greek Pascha, is derived from a root which means to “step over,” or to “overleap,” and thus points back to the historical origin of the Festival. “And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt” (Exodus 12:13).

Where wilt thou] On this Thursday morning the disciples came to our Lord for instructions as to the Passover. They may have expected, considering the complete seclusion of Wednesday, that He would eat it at Bethany, for “the village was reckoned as regards religious purposes part of Jerusalem by the Rabbis, and the Lamb might be eaten there, though it must be killed at the Temple.” Lightfoot, Hor. Heb.

that we go and prepare] The lamb had, we may believe, already been bought on the tenth of Nisan, according to the rule of the Law (Exodus 12:3), the very day on which He, the true Paschal Lamb, entered Jerusalem in meek triumph.Mark 14:12. Τὸ πάσχα ἔθυον, they killed [sacrificed] the passover) viz. The Jews, according to the commandment of the law, and therefore so also the disciples, were killing it.—V. g.]Verse 12. - And on the first day of unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and make ready that thou mayest eat the passover? The first day of unleavened bread would begin on the evening of the Thursday (the 14th day of the month Nisan). Where wilt thou that we prepare? They do not inquire in what city or town. The Passover could not be sacrificed anywhere but in Jerusalem. The question was in what house it was to be prepared.
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