Mark 14:49:

Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, 
and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.

I understand this as "although I was everyday in the temple, you didn't come to arrest me. But as at this specific moment and place you are coming to arrest me - this is according to the scriptures", i.e. not the arrest, but the specific conditions of the arrest were prophesied.

So, which scripture did Jesus refer to?

3 Answers 3


In Young's Literal Translation, he starts verse 49 with, "Daily I was with you in the temple teaching". That might refer to the week he was in Jerusalem, from his acclaimed entry, up till that night. The gospels do not give every detail of his week in Jerusalem, so we cannot point to any verses that show he was teaching in the temple every single day that week. I have always thought the verse meant every day that he was in the temple, teaching. But that's just a detail, by way of introduction to my answer.

The question asks what scriptures were being fulfilled, that Jesus said must be fulfilled. In one sense, there were myriad prophecies in the Hebrew scriptures all pointing to this momentous event, but in another sense Jesus might just have been referring to how he would be betrayed and falsely accused, then his followers would desert him (which happened seconds later).

Isaiah 53:2-12 fits the bill with respect to being despised and rejected, God's people hiding their faces from him.

Of note is how - at the start of going to the Mount of Olives and Gethsemane - Jesus himself quoted from the prophecy in Zechariah 13:7 as one that would be fulfilled:

"And Jesus saith unto them, 'All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written',"I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered"." Mark 14:27 K.J.V.

There may be further scope to invoke Daniel's prophecy about when Messiah would appear, then be "cut off" in the middle of a prophetic "week". This is in Daniel 9, particularly verses 26 and 27, for Christ's sacrificial death did, indeed, put an end to all sacrifice that was acceptable to God.

So, there are three prophesies, the first one taking up a whole chapter, and full of many details.


Mark reports Jesus as prefacing this remark by saying “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me?" If a specific scripture is referenced it might be this:

And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death. (Isaiah 53:9)

Both Mark 14:49 and Isaiah 53:9 also have resonance with the fact of Jesus being crucified with two men convicted of violence.

Jesus also mentions that he was teaching for many days but was not arrested. The quote in the OP may thus be a more general reference to the fact that his captors did not act sooner. Instead, they waited until Jesus had provided a pretext for his arrest by disrupting the commerce of the moneychangers, who were an important part of the Temple economy. In this case, case Jesus would be speaking simply of his need to suffer, and not to his being counted among the wicked.

To conclude: if Mark's Gospel has a specific scripture in mind here, it is likely a reference to Isaiah 53's mention of the Suffering Servant being counted among the wicked. But other possibilities also exist.


The record of Matthew of this detail is more helpful. Let me quote Matt 26:55, 56 -

At that time Jesus said to the crowd, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as you would an outlaw? Every day I sat teaching in the temple, and you did not arrest Me. But this has all happened so that the writings of the prophets would be fulfilled.”

Note that Jesus' comment includes the following detail about His arrest:

  • that it was at night (compare Luke 22:52 "... But this hour belongs to you and to the power of darkness."
  • as if He were an outlaw
  • away from the people at the temple
  • betrayed by a friend (Judas) in a violet and insidious manner, etc

Here are some of the scriptures to which Jesus may have been alluding:

  • Ps 41:9 - Even my close friend whom I trusted, the one who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.
  • Zech 13:7 - Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, against the man who is My Companion, declares the LORD of Hosts. Strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn My hand against the little ones.
  • Ps 22:16 - For dogs surround me; a band of evil men encircles me ...
  • Isa 53:3 - He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. Like one from whom men hide their faces, He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.
  • Isa 53:8 - By oppression and judgment He was taken away, ...
  • Isa 53:12 - ... and He was numbered with the transgressors... (see Luke 22:37)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.