Summary: Pray that you will not fall into temptation. Jesus knew what was to come he told them pray!
Are you ever tempted aside from the tasks of work, house work, looking after the kids, doing your homework. Have you ever thought of doing something different from the norm, taking the day off to just relax, go bush a walk along the sea shore? I really like the story Jesus walking along the sea shore, of the disciples calling and how they just went and followed him.
The disciples of Jesus were a group of men, not to dissimilar to the people we come across every day, though their lives were probably initially a bit less complicated. I personally like the accounts of the fishermen called by Jesus. They were going about their work of fishing and how they laid down their nets and followed Jesus. There is something in this that grabs me about this account of their calling. I can even picture myself at the lakeside with my nets receiving Jesus invite and heading off to follow Him.
But what if I had the advantage of foresight? If this was going to be a day of record catches, if this was going to be one of those out of the box kind of days when the sun shone and the sea was flat, lapping quietly at the side of the boat, the gulls we playing games above the waves, song birds were hanging overhead singing sweet nothings to the gentlest of breezes, as a the drone of cicadas filled the air so much so that it could be heard from well off the shore.
Then when the day was ending, I could be found with friends around a bonfire on the beach, my pockets bulging with cash from good price I got for the catch. Seated in a group of friends around that fire as it died down, enjoying the taste of the fresh cooked fish the pick of the catch, pickled olives. The sweetness of dried apricots, almonds, ripe figs and fresh bread, enjoyed with a song of celebration at the abundance of the Lord’s provision. If it was going to be one of those days, a day of days when all was right with the world and life was without challenge, would I leave my nets? Would you leave your nets?
The truth is they left their nets, the truth is that life has its challenges, the truth is those great days occur, but not with a regularity that can be depended on, life is often challenging. Over the next few years this Rabbi Jesus who called them from their nets was going to journey with these men. He was going to challenge their thinking and change their futures. He was going to turn their world inside out and upside down. He was going to change the very way that they approached every day and every person they came into contact with.
As we roll forward in time from the sea shore from the boats from the young disciples starting down the road of a new faith and adventure we find ourselves on a hillside in a an olive garden called Gethsemane at a place where the Rabbi had often gone. This was a practice of his, to retreat to this place, his disciples followed him. On reaching that place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s…………(Luke 22: 39-46).
This passage comes just before Jesus arrest the time when this teacher would be taken from his disciples, tried, tortured and killed. We are all familiar with him, we are here today to worship him as Divine. But within or belief we are aware that he was not only God, he was human, he was flesh and he was blood, and as such, with our knowledge of his resurrection from the dead he is still human and divine. As a church we have a doctrine that says, “We believe that in the person of Jesus Christ the Divine and human natures are united, so that He is truly and properly God and is truly and properly man.”
The emotions felt by people were felt by Jesus, the sharpness of a stone between his foot and sandal would have hurt Jesus, the heat of anger was felt by Jesus, compassion for those lost in their sins brought Jesus sorrow. We also see in Jesus though a man who felt power drain from him as a woman was healed from years of unstoppable bleeding, a man who commanded storms to cease, a man who taught things that would change people’s thinking for all of time, a man who drove legion of demons from a man, a man who walked on water and a man who forgave sins!
This is Jesus and here he is alone on a hill side, well not quite alone, his disciples are a stone’s throw from him. He had left them to pray alone. But first he said to them “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”