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Eyewitness Stories: Matthew 26:39
The Message: Mark 14:32-36; Luke 22:43,44
In Your Bible: Mark 14:32-36
At Gethsemane, Jesus took the disciples aside with him to pray. This would be the last time he’d speak with them prior to the daunting task he would meet at the cross. At this critical time, he needed to affirm what the Father wanted. Jesus did what we should do—we too should ask what God wants of us.
Jesus’ Earnest Prayer
The Master took those closest to him (James, Peter, and John) further aside, to be nearer in this difficult time. These three had seen his glory at the Transfiguration and would now see his suffering at Gethsemane. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” (Mark 14:34 Message).
Now we see the intimacy of his plea to the Father . . . “He went about a stone’s throw away, fell to his knees, face to the ground, and prayed [emphasis mine]. ‘My Father, everything is possible for you. Let me escape this suffering. Nevertheless, I want your will, not mine’” (Matthew 26:39 Eyewitness Stories).
The Disciples Failed In Their Vigil
- Jesus prayed then stopped and returned to the disciples, but found them asleep. He chastened them.
- He returned to pray, then went back and found them asleep again!
- He returned to pray, a third time and returned to find them asleep!
- Jesus chastened them, told them to get up and leave Gethsemane with him because his time had come.
Help From An Angel
Only in the Gospel of Luke do we find God sending an angel to comfort and help to his Son. Selah. “At once an angel from heaven was at his side, strengthening him. He prayed on all the harder. Sweat, wrung from him like drops of blood, poured off his face” (Luke 22:43,44 Message).
At Gethsemane, Jesus’ deep intimate prayer was interrupted by the disciples’ physical inability to stay alert and wait for him. This should be a notice for believers today to be strong in prayer and not slumber in it! Jesus did what we should do—we too should ask what God wants of us.
Prayer: Father, I need your help to be steadfast in prayer. Please help me.
Question: How do you feel about falling asleep when you pray? It is human to do so, but yes, we feel guilty, don’t we? The Spirit will help in overcoming our weaknesses. Can Jesus can help us be more diligent here? YES.