Summary: Jesus accepting the Father’s will. (PowerPoint slides available for this talk on request - email:

Guilt and Grace in the Garden

Reading: Luke chapter 22 verses 39-53:


Things I have learnt from gardening:

• Nothing ever looks like it does on the seed packet.

• Your lawn is always slightly bigger than your desire to mow it.

• Whichever garden tool you want is always at the back of the shed.

• The only way to ensure rain, is to give the garden a good soaking.

• Weeds grow at precisely the rate you pull them out.

• Autumn follows summer, winter follows autumn, drought follows planting.

• Evergreens go a funny shade of brown in the winter.

• The only way to guarantee some colour all year round is to buy a garden gnome.

• However bare the lawn, grass will appear in the cracks between the patio paving stones.

• "Annuals" mean disappointment once a year.

• When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.

• Our passage this morning has nothing to do with gardening;

• But it is set in a garden – hence the references!


• Story told of a man who under orders from his wife;

• Went into an organic gardening centre to buy some veg.

• Wanting to make sure he had got the right produce;

• He showed his basket to the assistant and said:

• ’These vegetables are for my wife. Have they been sprayed with any poisonous chemicals?’"

• The assistant replied: "Sorry sir, you’ll have to do that yourself.’"

I want this morning just to highlight 4 key words & 4 simple applications:

(1). The Place - Obedience (verse 39-40a):

“Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.

On reaching the place….”

On the western slope of the Mount of Olives is the Garden of Gethsemane:

• Jesus often went to this garden with His disciples,

• To rest, meditate, and pray (Quote: “As usual to the Mount of Olives”).


• Philip Melancthon, the great Reformation theologian,

• He once said to his friend Martin Luther,

• “This day you and I will discuss the governance of the universe.”

• What Luther said in response was unexpected:

• “This day you and I will go fishing;

• And leave the governance of the universe to God.”

Quote: A play on the words of Jesus:

“Come apart and rest awhile;

If you don’t you will just come apart!”


According to a Greek legend,

• In ancient Athens a man noticed the great storyteller Aesop;

• He was surprised to see him playing childish games with some little boys.

• He laughed and jeered at Aesop,

• Asking him why he wasted his time in such frivolous activity.

• Aesop responded by picking up a bow,

• Loosening its string, and placing it on the ground.

• Then he said to the critical Athenian,

• “Now, answer the riddle, if you can. Tell us what the unstrung bows implies.”

• The man looked at it for several moments;

• But had no idea what point Aesop was trying to make.

• Aesop then explained, “If you keep a bow always bent, it will break eventually;

• But if you let it go slack, it will be more fit for use when you want it.”

At this particular time Jerusalem was filled with pilgrims attending the Passover:

• At Passover numbers in the city swelled from 600,000 to 2 million people;

• That’s four times as many people as usual!

• So when Jesus needs some isolation from the crowd,

• He had a place of escape – A garden on the western slope of the Mount of Olives.

• In this quiet place he could get some rest, to recharge his (physical & Spirit) batteries.

• To gain strength and encouragement from his heavenly Father;

Note: The name Gethsemane means "oil press" a place of crushing!’

• Even today there are ancient olive trees in Gethsemane,

• Although certainly not the ones that were there in Jesus’ day.

• The olives from those tress would have been picked and put into the press for their oil.

• What a picture of suffering!

• So Jesus himself would also go through the "oil press" a place of crushing!’

• And taste our judgment for us.

Remember that Jesus fully knew what lay before Him:

• Yet He still went to the garden of Gethsemane;

• He was not concerned about his own personal safety of comfort;

• But rather in doing the Father’s will

• We know from Matthew’s (26:36-46_ and Mark’s (14:32-42) account.

• He left eight of the men near the entrance,

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