Mark 14:12-25 | Discussion Questions

Mark 14:12-25

Preached at SoBo on October 9, NM on October 16, 2022


    • Share a time when you forgot something really important. What happened? What were the consequences?
    • Many of you probably know somebody who has gotten Alzheimer's disease. This tragic disease slowly robs a person's memories until nothing is left. Why is memory so important to our experience as humans? 
  • CONTEXT: We are in the final week of Jesus’ life. On Sunday, Jesus entered Jerusalem riding a donkey, while large crowds laid down palm branches and hailed him as the Messiah (11:9-10). On Monday, Jesus cursed a fruitless fig tree (a symbol of fruitless Israel), and then he entered the Jerusalem temple and drove the money changers, who perverted the worship of God (11:12-19). On Tuesday, Jesus entered the temple again and began to expose that Israel, like the fig tree he cursed the day before, had become barren and dead. Ultimately, Jesus’ day in the temple ended with a prediction of the temple’s destruction (11:27-13-37). On Wednesday, Simon the leper hosted a dinner for Jesus in which Mary anointed him with oil, preparing him for his death (14:1-11).
  • SNAPSHOT: Our text today takes place on Thursday. Jesus’ disciples prepare for the Passover meal, and during the meal, Jesus transforms its meaning and fills it with radically new significance.


MARK 14:12-25
12 And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 13 And he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him, 14 and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15 And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.” 16 And the disciples set out and went to the city and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.

17 And when it was evening, he came with the twelve. 18 And as they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” 19 They began to be sorrowful and to say to him one after another, “Is it I?” 20 He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the dish with me. 21 For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”

22 And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24 And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”


  • Begin by examining the text together. What do you notice? What stands out? What is unexpected? What contrasts do you see in the text? Who are the main characters? What is surprising? 1
  • Verses 17-21. Jesus predicts that one of his disciples will betray him. Read John 13:21-30. What does John’s account add that helps fill in the scene?
  • Verses 22-25. Every year during Passover, Jewish families would slaughter a lamb and prepare a meal of bread, wine, lamb, fruit, and bitter herbs. This meal was a way of remembering and celebrating how God had delivered Israel from Egyptian slavery.  The lamb was a reminder of how God killed every firstborn among the Egyptians, but when he saw the blood of a lamb painted over the doorposts of Israel’s houses, he “passed over” them and spared their lives. The wine was a symbol of God’s blessing and deliverance. The unleavened bread reminded them of how the Israelites left Egypt in such haste that they didn’t even have time to leaven their bread. And the bitter herbs reminded them of the bitter slavery from which God had delivered them. 
    • Why do you think God commanded the Israelites to celebrate this meal of remembrance? Why is remembering so important?
    • How does Jesus transform the meaning of this meal?
  • Jesus says, “This is my body” (22) and “This is my blood” (24). Christians have long argued about what Jesus means. Is he speaking literally or symbolically? In other words, are we in some mysterious way eating the literal body and blood of Jesus, or are the bread and wine just symbols that point us to the body and blood of Jesus? Don’t worry; we won’t solve this tonight! But one principle of biblical interpretation to keep in mind is this: hold confidently to what is clearly revealed and be open-handed with things that are less clear.  With this in mind, read 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. What does this passage say clearly about the Lord’s supper? 2


  • The first thing we know clearly about the Lord’s Supper is that it is an act of remembrance. As a group, share what you typically think about during your participation in the Lord’s supper. What specifically are you remembering? What are you praying for?
  • The second thing we know clearly about the Lord’s Supper is that it is a proclamation of the Lord’s death. In other words, as we eat the bread and wine, God is preaching the gospel to us, not in words but in sacraments. As a group, list all the gospel blessings proclaimed in the Lord’s supper. 
  • At Fellowship, we observe the Lord’s supper every week. Some resist this frequency out of fear that the Lord’s supper would become perfunctory and routine. What do you think about this?


Father, we thank you for the blessing of this meal of remembrance and proclamation. As we celebrate this meal week by week, we pray that you would root us ever deeper in the love and grace of Christ. Amen.
1 Example Observations:
  • It is the first day of Unleavened Bread. Likely Thursday morning.(1)
  • The disciples are looking for a man carrying a jar of water. In Jesus’ day, men didn’t carry jars of water; this was strictly work reserved for women, so this man would have stood out. (13)
  • Did Jesus arrange all of this, or was this some kind of weird prophecy? (13-15)
  • “Reclining at table”. In Jesus’ day, people didn’t sit at tables the way we do. Instead, most tables were low to the ground, surrounded by cushions. And people would recline on their side to eat meals.(17)
  • Jesus predicted one of the disciples would betray him (18-20).
  • The death of Jesus was both pre-ordained (“as it is written”) and the result of Judas’ choice. Here we see the balance of God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility. The Son of Man goes to the cross because of the pre-ordained plan of God, but the one who betrays the Son of mans and sends him there will be judged (21)
  • “This is my body”. Literal? Symbolic? Why or why not?
  • Jesus said his blood is “poured out for many” and not “poured out for all.” This is very interesting. What do you make of this?
2  It is an act of “remembrance” (24-25) and a “proclamation” of the Lord’s death (26).