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Summary: Message about Jesus’ time praying at Gethsemane and His ultimate surrender to the Father’s plan.

Gethsemane – “Not My Will”

Matthew 26:36-46

August 16, 2009


Me: I can be rather selfish and self-seeking at times. Okay, a lot of times…

I like having my way most all the time.

I can be honest here, right?

We: I would guess that I’m in pretty good company.

Because if we’re honest, we all think, at least at times, that us and our priorities and wants should be everybody else’s priorities and wants, right?

We’re not like this society I’ve heard about – the Doormats Society.

“Doormats” stands for, “The Dependent Order of Really Meek and Timid Souls.”

Their official symbol is the yellow caution light, and their motto is: “The meek shall inherit the earth – if it’s okay with the rest of you guys…”

Folks, we all like to have our own way. We all like to be comfortable. We all like to see that our desires and wants are met, and sometimes we don’t care if others are inconvenienced or even hurt in getting those things met.

It’s not a natural reaction for us to consider that our desires and wants might actually be bad for those around us.

And it’s totally not natural for us to consider sacrificing our desires and wants for others, especially if we think those people aren’t deserving of that sacrifice.

God: For Jesus, on the other hand, this kind of thinking and sacrifice was part of His fiber from before the beginning of time.

But that came to the test in the hours just before He was arrested and crucified.

Matthew 26:36-46 (p. 703-704) –

(This takes place right after the Last Supper. Judas had left the dinner to set up the betrayal of Jesus, and now we find Jesus coming to a place called Gethsemane.)

36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."

39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."

40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. 41 "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

42 He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done."

43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

Luke adds a bit to the account when in chapter 22 of his gospel he writes –

43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

Scholars are divided in whether or not Luke was speaking literally or figuratively about Jesus sweating blood.

There is a physical condition known as “hematidrosis,” in which there can be hemorrhaging into the sweat ducts during periods of acute emotional distress.

When that happens, the skin becomes fragile and tender, and capillaries just under the skin can dilate to such an extent that they burst, causing blood to ooze from the skin. [On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ, Journal of the American Medical Associatio. Dr. William Edwards (Mayo Clinic), Wesley Gabel (biblical scholar), and Floyd Hosmer (Mayo Clinic), 1986]

So it’s certainly not outside the realm of possibility that Jesus actually sweat blood during the agony He suffered in Gethsemane.

Then back to Matthew, picking it up at verse 45 –

45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!"

Let’s step back for a moment and just do a bit of review:

The Bible says that Jesus, the divine Son of God, left heaven to become our Savior.

That was the plan since the beginning.

When on earth, He was constantly aware of His mission.

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