Summary: We must be eternally grateful to Christ because he submitted to the Father’s will in Gethsemane so that we can be saved. I would be delighted if you could rate this sermon and give brief feedback.


Can you imagine the most painful situation that you faced in your life?

We all experience agony and pain in our lives.

People who lived during the Bible times also faced painful situations.

Imagine the pain that Abraham went through as he prepared to offer his son, Isaac as a sacrifice (Genesis 22:5).

Or think about the grief that David felt when his son, Absalom died (2 Samuel 18:33).

We can’t even fathom the agony that Job went through when he lost all his children and his own health.

But James Edwards says that “Nothing in all the Bible compares to Jesus’ agony and anguish in Gethsemane.”

He didn’t go through all that distress and trouble for himself.

But he had experienced all that pain and agony for your sins and my sins.

Would you take God’s Word and turn your Bibles with me to MARK 14:32-42 (READ)?

I have entitled today’s sermon as: “THE BATTLE IN GETHSEMANE.”

Mark 14 & 15 describe the betrayal, abandonment, arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Christ, which is referred to as “passion” (which is the Latin word for “suffer”).

The theme of chapter 14, which is the longest chapter in Mark, is the abandonment of Jesus.

In the passage that we read today, we see that:

CENTRAL PROPOSITION OF THE TEXT: Jesus prepares for the cross by praying, but the disciples failed to watch and pray with him.

In this passage, Mark takes us to the holy ground and gives a glimpse of what Jesus went through before he went to the cross.

FALLEN CONDITION FOCUS: Already dealt with.

THE PURPOSE BRIDGE: To help the members of EAGC to realize how Jesus submitted to the Father’s will so that we can be saved.

CENTRAL PROPOSITION OF THE SERMON: I have used inductive proposition for this sermon.


Mark 14:32-34.

A. Jesus asks his 8 disciples to sit at a place.

Mark 14:32: And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”

Gethsemane is described as a garden (John 18:1), which is located on the lower slopes of the Mount of Olives.

Gethsemane means “olive press” as it was surrounded by olive trees.

This is where Jesus’ heart would be pressed due to sorrow and anguish.

John 18:2 tells us that Jesus often visited this place along with his disciples.

B. Jesus takes Peter, James, and John a little further and asks them to watch.

Mark 14:33-34.

Mark 14:33: And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled.

The three disciples who claimed that they are willing to suffer for Christ (Mark 10:38-39; 14:28, 31) were given the opportunity to stand with Christ and support him.

These three disciples witnessed Jesus’ glory when he was transfigured on a mountain and now, they would witness the agony that Jesus would go through in Gethsemane.

Jesus did not suffer like a Stoic.

Rather, Jesus’ suffering was real and extremely painful.

Jesus’ agony is underlined by the use of two words, “distressed” and “troubled.”

Luke 22:44 adds that “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Hematidrosis?)

Jesus was not so distressed and troubled about the physical torture as much as he was troubled about the spiritual horror of being made sin (2 Corinthians 5:21) and becoming a curse for us (Galatians 3:13).

Jesus was troubled about being separated from the Father (Mark 15:34).

Mark 14:34: And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.”

Here, Jesus quotes Psalm 42:5 or 11.

Christ’s soul is so sorrowful that it was almost killing him.

However, Psalm 42:5 and 11 ends with faith and hope in God.

So, though Jesus is “very sorrowful,” he knows that the Father will eventually vindicate him.

The Lord asks his disciples to remain there and “watch.”

Jesus asks his disciples to watch so that they can share Jesus’ agony.


Mark 14:35-36.

A. Jesus fell on the ground and prayed.

Mark 14:35: And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.

Generally, the Jews would stand and pray (Mark 11:25).

Mark tells us that “Jesus fell on the ground and prayed.”

This reveals Jesus’ spiritual anguish (cf. Numbers 16:22).

Luke 22:41 tells that Jesus just a stone’s throw away from Peter, James, and John, and these disciples could probably hear what Jesus prayed.

B. Jesus prayed that if it is possible, the hour might pass from him.

Mark 14:35: And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.

Then, in Mark 14:36, this prayed is repeated in different words.

The ‘hour’ refers to the passion and death of Christ.

C. Jesus submits to the Father’s will.

Mark 14:36: And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

Abba is an Aramaic word, which is preserved by Mark.

This word was later used in Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6.

Even in his darkest moment, Jesus addresses the Father as ‘Abba’ or ‘Daddy.’

Jesus was aware of his Father’s goodness even when he was in anguish!

When we truly understand the Father’s goodness and character, we can bear any trial that comes our way.

The “cup” is a symbol of suffering.

Jesus uses the same term in Mark 10:38 while talking to James and John.

The “cup” is also an allusion to Psalm 75:8, Isaiah 51:17, and Jeremiah 25:15, which points out that Jesus was to bear the wrath of God.

David Guzik writes: “Jesus became, as it were, an enemy of God, who was judged and forced to drink the cup of the Father’s fury so that we would not have to drink from that cup – this was the source of Jesus’ agony.”

“if it were possible.” Jesus was not praying to the Father to save him and let the humans perish.

Rather, he was praying that if possible, the Father would choose some other to accomplish the salvation of humankind.

But there was no other way and thus eventually Jesus submitted to the Father’s will.

This shows that salvation is possible only through the death and resurrection of Christ.

There’s no other way!

“Yet not what I will, but what you will.” This sentence summarizes the earthly life of Christ.

Jesus was “obedient to the point of death” (Philippians 2:8).

It’s good to pray such prayers when we are not sure about God’s will.

Such a prayer shows our trust in God.

Now, what caused Jesus so much of anguish?

Did betrayal, denial, abandonment, mockery, scourging, and crucifixion cause him this extreme anguish?

Yes, to some extent, that’s the reason.

But that alone is not the reason for his agony.

Throughout his earthly ministry, Jesus faced opposition and he was fully aware of his betrayal and violent death.

Most of the scholars agree that Jesus was in anguish because of his separation from the Father (Mark 15:34).

Regarding this cup of separation Jesus prayed: “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14:36


Mark 14:37-40.

A. Jesus finds that his disciples are sleeping and exhorts them to watch and pray.

Mark 14:37: And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour?

Jesus was all alone during this time of distress.

His disciples were sleeping as Jesus was in agony.

Jesus finds that his disciples were sleeping and he rebukes Peter (and the rest of the disciples) by saying, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour?”

Jesus calls Peter with his ‘natural’ name, Simon and not Peter probably because he failed to live up to his name.

Peter said that he was even willing to die for Jesus, but he couldn’t even watch one hour.

By rebuking Peter, Jesus gives him another opportunity to be watchful.

Mark 14:38: Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

In Mark 14:34, Jesus tells his disciples to share his agony by watching, but here Jesus is asking them to watch and pray for themselves.

The verb, gregoreite probably reminded the disciples of the parable of the doorkeeper (Mark 13:34-37).

In Mark 13:37, Jesus exhorts his disciples to “Stay awake” (gregoreite in Greek).

The verbs, “watch” and “pray” are in the present tense, imperative mood, and plural in number.

The 3 disciples, not just Peter, were commanded by Jesus to keep watching and praying.

Jesus asked them to watch and pray so that they will not enter into temptation.

This echoes what the Lord taught them in Matthew 6:13 (“And lead us not into temptation.”)

But Peter and the rest of the disciples failed to watch and pray, due to which they fell into temptation.

However, Jesus watched and prayed and won the battle in Gethsemane.

That’s why he could boldly go to the cross.

We must also pay attention to this word of warning.

We must be sober in our spiritual lives.

1 Peter 5:8: Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Jesus says, “Could you not watch one hour?”

The Greek verb, ouk ischusas (could not) is used even in Mark 9:18, where the demon-possessed boy’s father says that his disciples “could not” cast out the demons.

Prayerlessness leads to powerlessness (cf. Mark 9:29).

Jesus asks them to watch and pray because their inner being (spirit) may be willing, but their human weakness (flesh) may cause them to fall.

B. Jesus went back and prayed the same words.

Mark 14:39: And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words.

Some say that repeating the prayers demonstrates a lack of faith.

Not necessarily! Jesus himself prayed the same words until he was sure about God’s will.

C. Jesus again finds that his disciples are sleeping.

Mark 14:40: And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him.

Mark shows that the disciples’ flesh was indeed weak as Jesus “found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy.”

On the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter, James, and John were speechless when they saw Christ’s glory.

Here, they became speechless because they failed to watch and pray.


Mark 14:41-42.

Mark 14:41: And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

When Jesus returns for the third time, they were still sleeping and taking rest.

The mention of the third time suggests that their failure has been complete.

Jesus says, “The hour has come.”

The hour of suffering on the cross has come.

Jesus prayed thrice that if possible, the cup could be taken away from him.

Jesus’ words demonstrate that the Father’s will is revealed to him and thus he says, “The hour (of drinking the cup) has come.”

“The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.” Though Judas betrayed Jesus into the hands of sinners, eventually, it is the Father who hands over Jesus to give his life as a ransom for the very “sinners” who are going to kill him (Mark 10:45).

Mark 14:42: Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”

Jesus doesn’t flee his death.

Rather, he steps forward and meets his betrayer.

Robert H. Stein says, “It is not a weak, effeminate Jesus of much Christian art who goes out to meet his enemies but the conquering Son of Man/Son of God! It is the one who is Lord of nature (Mark 4:35–41), of the demons (Mark 5:1–20), of disease (Mark 5:24b–34), and of death (Mark 5:21–24a, 35–43). Yet he defeats his enemies by dying for them!”


CENTRAL PROPOSITION OF THE SERMON: We must be eternally grateful to Christ because he submitted to the Father’s will so that we can be saved.

Let’s thank Jesus for his amazing sacrifice!

In this passage, we are presented with a perfect model for us to imitate.

We must be like Jesus, watching and praying, as we face trials and temptations.

Jesus died so that we can be victorious over temptations.

So, let’s not slumber, but let’s be spiritually alert.

Watch and pray so that you will not enter into temptation.