6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane

Faithful Servant

Matthew 26:36-46

Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, "Sit here, while I go over there and pray." And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me." And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will." And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, "So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, "My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done." And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, "Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand."

1. Setting the scene

Following the Passover meal, Jesus gathered his disciples, excluding Judas Iscariot, together in the garden of Gethsemane. His instructions were to “sit here, while I go over there and pray. It's likely He left these eight sitting at the garden's gate.

2. Witnesses to all

Jesus took Peter, James and John with Him to a section of the garden to pray. His selection of disciples wasn't accidental. Peter, James, and John were witnesses to the Transfiguration, and were chosen as Christ's inner circle.

3. A heavy burden

Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to take upon the sins of the world, and lay down His life. Jesus felt the emotional and spiritual burden of that calling.

4. A passionate prayer

Notice what Jesus asked:

a) if it is possible, fulfill this calling some other way.

b) let it be your will, not mine, regardless of what happens.

5. A rebuke to Peter

Peter's lack of spiritual maturity was revealed earlier when he stated he would never deny Jesus. Now Peter continues to show himself lacking, as he sleeps instead of praying. Jesus reprimands him, and instructs Peter to pray in order to avoid temptation.

6. The acknowledgment and acceptance of God's plan

After twice returning to His sleeping disciples, Jesus acknowledges His role in God's plan, and accepts His calling.

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