Summary: A sermon examining the importance of vigilance and devotion to Jesus.
Wake Up, Watch & Pray
Some people are natural early risers. They are up before the sun and ready to start their day. Somehow they do this without the assistance of an alarm clock. Not all of us are so fortunate! During the warmer months I like to get up early and walk 3 to 5 miles each day. I love doing this, but I must admit that it is a struggle for me to get out of bed at 4:30 in the morning. I cannot do this alone, I have a very annoying alert tone on my phone and it goes off and then Amber hits me and lets me know that it is time to get up. The only problem with this alarm is that it comes with a snooze button, and you can hit that snooze button for hours and keep on getting 5 more minutes of sleep at a time. That snooze button has caused me to be late for some very important appointments in the past.
The purpose of an alarm is for us to get up and get busy. When you examine the signs of the times and when you study the scriptures I believe that it is apparent that Jesus is sounding and alarm for His people today. He is calling us to get up and get busy for Him. Unfortunately there are many Christians today who are sound asleep (spiritually speaking). While they are sleeping, there is an enemy that is viciously attacking the church.
I would like to say that this is a new problem, but it is not. In fact, this is an issue that is older than the church itself. You see, the Lord's disciples... went to sleep at a time when Jesus needed them the most. Jesus had faced troubles and persecution many times in the past. Throughout His life and ministry, Jesus had dealt with opposition from the Pharisees and the Sadducees and other adversaries. But this night would be the toughest night of His life.
Some 33 years earlier the Son of God came to earth as a precious Baby born in a stable in Bethlehem. That baby boy grew up to become a man. For approximately 3 1/2 years God's Son walked this earth, He taught with power and authority, He fulfilled many prophecies, He performed many miracles and He changed countless lives.
God had a plan to redeem mankind, and this was the night that things would intensify for the Savior. Earlier that evening, Jesus and His disciples had “celebrated the Passover”. (v12-26)After this, they left the upper room and set out for Jerusalem. Jesus had been teaching these men for over 3 years, and as they traveled through the Kidron Valley to the Garden of Gethsemane, He continued to teach them. Jesus taught them about Heaven, the Peace of God, surrendering to the Lord and the coming of the Holy Spirit.
As they approached Gethsemane, Jesus told 8 of the disciples to sit down for a while. Then He took "Peter and James and John" with Him and the scripture says that He "began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy". During this time of great sorrow, He gave His followers a simple task to obey, He told them to “Watch & Pray.” Unfortunately, instead of watching & praying they fell asleep… not once, but 3 times.
Just as Jesus had some specific instructions for those men that night, He has left some specific instructions for us as well. Before ascending to Heaven, Jesus revealed that “He would return for His bride”. Until that day comes, there is work for us to do. Jesus never promised that it would be easy, but He did promise to empower us to accomplish His will. We are living in a very dark time in history. Christ and His followers are under attack from the enemy like never before. At a time when the church should be actively watching, working and praying... it seems that she is sleeping! I believe that Jesus is calling His people to "Wake Up, Watch & Pray". That is the thought that I would like to consider today.
There are 3 truths I would like to examine from these verses:
1. Trouble Is Coming
2. Words Are Not Enough
3. Obedience Is Necessary
- These three truths should illustrate to us how important it is that God's people "Wake Up, Watch & Pray". Let’s begin in verses 27-28 and examine the fact that:
I. TROUBLE IS COMING - v27 And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. 28 But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee.