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Bible Commentaries

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible
Mark 14

 

 

Verse 24

Mark 14:24.This is my blood. I have already remarked that, when we are told that the blood is to be shed —according to the narrative of Matthew — for the remission of sins, these words direct us to the sacrifice of the death of Christ, without the remembrance of which the Lord’s Supper is never observed in a proper manner. And, indeed, it is impossible for believing souls to be satisfied in any other way than by being assured that God is pacified towards them.

Which is shed for many. By the word many he means not a part of the world only, but the whole human race; for he contrasts many with one; as if he had said, that he will not be the Redeemer of one man only, but will die in order to deliver many from the condemnation of the curse. It must at the same time be observed, however, that by the words for you, as related by Luke — Christ directly addresses the disciples, and exhorts every believer to apply to his own advantage the shedding of blood Therefore, when we approach to the holy table, let us not only remember in general that the world has been redeemed by the blood of Christ, but let every one consider for himself that his own sins have been expiated. (197)

Of the new testament. Luke and Paul (1 Corinthians 11:25) express it differently, the new testament in my blood, but the meaning is the same; for it is only by a spiritual drinking of blood that this covenant is ratified, so as to be firm and stable. Yet it may easily be inferred from it, how foolishly superstitious the Papists and others of the same stamp are in rigidly adhering to the words; for, with all their bluster, they cannot set aside this exposition of the Holy Spirit, that the cup is called blood, because it is the new testament in blood. But the same argument applies to the bread; from which it will follow that it is called the body; because it is the testament in the body They have no right now to contend that we ought to rely on the simple words of Christ, and shut our ears against expositions from without. It is Christ himself that speaks, and surely they will not deny that he is well qualified to interpret his own words. Now Christ openly declares that he called the bread his body, for no other reason than because he has made with us an everlasting covenant, that, the sacrifice having been once offered, we may now be spiritually fed.

There are two things here which deserve our attention; for from the word testament, or covenant, ( διαθήκη,) we infer that a promise is included in the Holy Supper. This refutes the error of those who maintain that faith is not aided, nourished, supported, or increased by the sacraments; for there is always a mutual relation between the covenant of God and the faith of men. By the epithet New he intended to show that the ancient figures now cease, and give way to a firm and everlasting covenant. There is an indirect contrast, therefore, between this mystery and the shadows of the law; from which it is evident how much better our condition is than that of our fathers, since, in consequence of the sacrifice which was completed on the cross, we possess the truth in perfection.


Verse 26

Mark 14:26.When they had sung a hymn. Our three Evangelists leave out those divine discourses, (198) which John relates to have been delivered by our Lord, both in the house and on the road. For, as we have elsewhere stated, their object was rather to embrace the history of our Lord’s actions than his doctrine. They glance only at the fact, that he went out of his own accord where Judas was to come; and their object is to inform us that he made such an arrangement of his time, as willingly to meet him who betrayed him.


Verse 51

Mark 14:51.And a young man. How some persons have come to dream that this was John (221) I know not, nor is it of much importance to inquire. The chief point is, to ascertain for what purpose Mark has related this transaction. I think that his object was, to inform us that those wicked men — as usually happens in riotous assemblies stormed and raved without shame or modesty; which appeared from their seizing a young man who was unknown to them, and not suspected of any crime, so that he had difficulty in escaping out of their hands naked. For it is probable that the young man, who is mentioned, had some attachment to Christ, and, on hearing the tumult by night, without stopping to put on his clothes, and covered only with a linen garment, came either to discover their traps, or, at least, that he might not be wanting in a duty of friendship. (222) We certainly perceive — as I just now said — that those wicked men raged with cruel violence, when they did not even spare a poor young man, who had left his bed, almost naked, and run, on hearing the noise.

 


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Bibliography Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Mark 14:4". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/mark-14.html. 1840-57.

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