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March 21st: A Missing Ear, A Naked Man, and An Unjust Trial

Today’s devotional is from Taryn Flake.  Taryn brings up the armed arrest of Jesus in her devotional.  This is a bit of a head scratcher for others as well.  They were likely armed because Jesus was the Messiah.  Their hopes, including possibly the hopes of Judas, was that the Messiah would be a conquering King.  However, Jesus rode into town on a donkey .  Which was the sign that he was going to be a King of peace.  Why were they armed?  They were probably just scared.  Also, as I was reading ahead preparing for devotionals and enjoying rereading the Gospel of Mark, I jumped up from my desk to share something with the Church Administrator.  “Do you want proof that the Bible has a sense of humor? Verse 51 has a young man running away naked.” 

Scripture: Mark 14:43-65


A Missing Ear, A Naked Man, and An Unjust Trial

The title sounds like the start of a joke, but it’s just a brief description of what happens in today’s passage: Jesus is betrayed by a friend, the high priest’s servant’s ear is cut off by one of the disciples, Jesus is arrested, a young man flees away naked, Jesus is questioned by the Sanhedrin, and Jesus is beaten. These verses are action packed because a lot happens between midnight and 9 AM on the day of Jesus’ crucifixion.


It’s about 1 AM and Jesus has just finished praying when Judas arrives with an armed crowd. They must believe Jesus is powerful because why else would they approach an unarmed man with such a number and weapons? Notice that the Sanhedrin isn’t doing the dirty work; they sent this armed crowd out on their behalf. Judas kisses Jesus, signaling that this is the one they are to arrest. Judas is the epitome of a betrayal. The disciples were supposed to be there supporting Jesus, praying with Him before His arrest. Instead Judas is on the other side, with those who are trying to sentence Him to death.


There’s a little arguing and then Caiphas’ servant gets his ear cut off by a disciple. Jesus rebukes this disciple in Matthew 26:52-54. In Luke 22:51, it says, “But Jesus answered ‘No more of this!’ And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.” This healing is not mentioned in the other gospels. In John 18:10, it names Simon Peter as the one cutting off his ear, and even gives the servant's name — Malchus. Jesus rebukes Peter in verse 11 of John 18.


Mark states that the other disciples leave Jesus in verse 50 and that “A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.” (Mark 14:51-52) This young man is only mentioned in Mark’s gospel, and adds a little humor to the picture today. My Bible states, “A young man flees naked from the scene, graphically portraying the severity of this crisis.” The disciples are so scared that they are willing to leave their undergarments behind in order to escape with their lives.

Jesus is left utterly alone. He is friendless, he is betrayed, and only Peter is left following at a distance. This is the rock bottom for Jesus’ life so far. Of course God is going to use this to redeem the world, but Jesus would prefer not to have to go through it. He does it anyway, for us.


There would have been 71 chief priests, elders, and teachers of the law in the Sanhedrin. We have 66 bishops serving the United Methodist Church in the US and abroad. So picture all of them getting together and holding a trial for a pastor who is blatantly accusing them of false teachings. Not only that, but apparently they are so mad at Jesus, they are willing to get up in the middle of the night to attend this trial. Jesus didn't answer any of their questions and He “remained silent.” (Mark 14:61) The only question He did answer was “Are you the Messiah?” and He responds, “I AM,” echoing God’s words to Moses in calling Himself “Yahweh.” (Mark 14:61-62)


Finally, after condemning Jesus to death, they spit on him, hit him with their fists, and the guards beat him, only the beginning of the physical pain that Jesus endured on His path to the cross.



  1. Have you ever had a friend betray you? How do you feel about that situation now?

  2. Have you ever been in a situation so scary that you would have ran away naked just to get away?

  3. When in your life have you felt like you hit rock bottom? What helped you overcome that? Have you shared that testimony with others?



Dear God, Betrayals are hard. Situations are scary. Sometimes it feels like I have hit rock bottom in my life. Just as You used Jesus’ rock bottom to redeem the world, please use my challenging times to bring me closer to You.  In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

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Such powerful and yet wonderful emotions! I'm so thankful He did it all for us, His love reigned thru the fear and pain. My God!!

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