Summary: An Exposition of Mark 14:32-52
The Dreadful Will of God
How do you follow God when He is leading you where you don’t want to go?
A Peanuts cartoon shows Charlie Brown lying in bed, dreading another crisis that he knows has to be faced the next day. He offers a universal lament when he exclaims When something bad is going to happen, there shouldn’t be a night before!
Have you ever lay in bed, dreading something that you knew you was coming the next day? Sometimes dreadful things happen suddenly, with no warning. . But there are also times when you know it’s coming, and you know you can’t stop it, but it hasn’t happened yet. How do you handle those times?
Most of us ask God for help. Even when it seems certain what we dread will happen anyway, we still ask God to work it out somehow where it won’t be so bad. I can testify that when I’ve prayed, God has worked and eased my mind and made many of those “next days” a little easier.
But not always. There are days when you will echo the words of Job- another man who knew what it was to dread another dawn:
Job 3:25 For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, And what I dreaded has happened to me.
Have you ever been there? Your heart skips a beat when you hear things like:
- report cards come out tomorrow…
- your bill will be sent to a collection agency this week…
- it looks like you will have to have surgery…
- we’re just going to have to start letting some people go…
- she might not make it through the night…
Do you get the idea? Now add one more ingredient to the mix- whatever you are dreading is not an accident. It is on purpose. It is for God’s purpose. God has allowed something into your life as part of His will for you- something that you dread- somewhere you do not want to go. Something you do not want to do. Yet at the same time, something you cannot escape.
How do you handle it when God is leading you where you don’t want to go?
The best way would be to handle it like Jesus did. Did Jesus ever dread tomorrow? Yes, He did. Did God ever lead Him somewhere He did not want to go? Yes, He did. In fact, the Gospels tell us that Jesus’ suffering did not begin on the Cross, but in a garden, where He came face to face with the dreadful will of God. Yet He found the strength to follow God’s will,
Turn with me to Mark 14:32-52, where I pray you and I will see how we can face the dreadful will of God and know that in the end, it will still be OK.
I. IT’S OK TO BE SCARED (v. 32-34)
It’s not always easy to be brave when you face something dreadful. But Jesus demonstrates that it’s also not always possible to escape fear.
Mark sets the scene for us in vs. 22-31. Jesus and His disciples have just finished the Last Supper. On the way to the Mount of Olives, Jesus tells His followers what is about to happen, You will all forsake Me. They assure Him that what He says will never happen; they will die for Him first. His words will come back to haunt them.
Except for Judas, all of the apostles walk with Jesus to a Garden called Gethsemane at the foot of the mountain. John 18:2 tells us this was one of Jesus’ favorite places to come and pray. None of His men would think anything unusual about coming here. But tonight would not be business as usual. On this night before His most dreadful day, Jesus brings these disciples here to show them how to face the dreadful will of God. What happens to Him shows you and I at least two things about how we can handle our hour of fear:
a. It’s not a sin to be scared Jesus leaves 8 apostles in one spot with these instructions
Stay here while I pray. He takes Peter, James and John and goes a little further. But as He walks with three of His closest followers, they notice that something is wrong with Jesus. He is visibly upset. The phrase deeply distressed= “terrified surprise.”2 Jesus tells them His soul is so full of horror that it threatens to take His life. Hard as it is to fathom, Jesus is scared. He knows the plan of God, but now that this plan is about to become reality, it fills Him with terror. Perhaps nowhere is Jesus’ humanity more amazing than here, where the Son of God is terrified thinking about the Cross He must endure. Jesus was not a coward, but the things that would soon happen to Him was almost too much for Him. Jesus’ fear is not an act; it is meant to show you and I that in our hour of dread, it’s not a sin to be scared. Jesus was scared, but His fear did not paralyze Him; He did what you and I should do when we get scared: