Summary: Showing how Jesus surrendered to His Father's will
It is the VETERAN, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion. It is the VETERAN, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the VETERAN, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble. It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial. It is the VETERAN, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote. It is the VETERAN who salutes the Flag, It is the VETERAN who serves under the Flag, to all who are serving and have served: THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!
Jesus surrenders to His Father’s will LK 22:39-46
I. His prayer lets me know how much God loves me.
Jesus' prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane helps me understand Jesus better and love him all the more. It is a simple prayer, but not complex. It is profound. We must use it in its context. Jesus gave this prayer on the Mount of Olives. The Mount of Olives is frequently mentioned in the New Testament as the route from Jerusalem to Bethany and the place where Jesus stood when he wept over Jerusalem. Jesus is said to have spent time on the mount, teaching and prophesying to his disciples, including the Olivet discourse, returning after each day to rest it includes Jesus' descriptions of the end times and Jesus' warning to his followers that they will suffer tribulation and persecution before the ultimate triumph of the Kingdom of God and also coming there on the night of his betrayal. At the foot of the Mount of Olives lies the Gethsemane. The New Testament tells how Jesus and his friends sang together "When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives". Jesus ascended to heaven from the Mt of Olives as recorded in the book of Acts and it will be the Mt of Olives to which he is to return as stated in the book of Acts."Jesus went out as usual "according to his habit or custom." Luke explains, "Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives". It was a rhythm of life that week of the Festival, days in the temple, evenings on the Mount of Olives, located across the Kidron Valley from the city.
II. HIS prayer helps me know how to come to the Father.
Matthew and Mark mention that Jesus takes Peter, James, and John with him, and then moves a bit farther from them. How far is a stone's throw? The point is that Jesus is alone. The usual Jewish prayer posture of the day was standing, with eyes open and lifted to heaven. Here Jesus kneels, perhaps because to reflect his urgency and humility. It is remarkable that we see Jesus in this posture only once, but that in our day kneeling is considered by some traditions preferable over standing for prayer. Our prayer posture should not be decided by tradition but by our relationship and the needs of our communication with God. If we stand or walk whatever suits the situation, then that is proper. If kneeling or bowing or lying prostrate fits, then that is correct. There is no Jewish model for folding hands in prayer, and much indication that hands would be lifted in prayer. The content of Jesus' prayer no doubt heard and remembered by disciples who later fell asleep, is amazing. "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."
III. His Prayer lets me know I can Resist Temptation.
Jesus gives his disciples the same advice that he himself will shortly follow: to pray in the crisis, that the temptation will not get the better of them. Jesus doesn't encourage them to pray that they won't be tempted. They will be tempted. Temptation is a fact of human life that neither we nor Jesus can escape. But He prays that they won't "enter into" or give into the temptation. How do we resist temptation? It is through prayer. In our relationship with God, He helps us to be strong in our spiritual life.
I would like for us to focus on four parts of this prayer. Jesus is surrendered to the will of His Father.
A. He Addresses the Father.
The disciples had the advantage of watching Jesus when He was under a great amount of difficulty. Jesus' simply said, "Father". Jesus is Son of God, King of kings, Lord of lords, Only Begotten, Suffering Servant, Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, Bright and Morning Star, Alpha and Omega, Lamb of God, Jesus has nothing to prove. When he prays, he simply calls God "Father." He is still our Father when our whole world seems wrong. I recall when my son was at a young age; broke his arm and we were far from home. They put him in a cast but said he would have to stay in the hospital overnight with his arm in an elevated position. He looked at me and said, “Please will you stay with me?” I could have said “NO” but as a father I knew I needed to stay with him. So God is forever Father. Jesus says “if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." Jesus states a condition in this prayer: "If it is possible," Or Everything is possible for you." Jesus is asking if the Father can, in the realm of his will and purpose, create a way for Jesus to avoid the cross. We can fail and get out of the will of God, but when we surrender, God can create a whole new future for us. But Jesus' desire is for the Father's best, for the Father's highest, for the Father's desire and intention. Only if Jesus' prayer can be answered within the scope of his Father's intention does he want it answered.