Summary: When Jesus went to Gethsemane, on this occasion, there were two things He wanted. He wanted human fellowship and He wanted God’s fellowship.
HARMONY OF THE GOSPELS
(24) The Grief of Gethsemane
Location: Mount of Olives
Date: Thursday-Friday of Jesus’ Final Week
O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.--Psalm 42:6
This passage is the narrative of Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane and the apostles' apparent lack of concern for His current needs. They slept while He prayed.
And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. (Mark 14:26)
And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. (Matthew 26:30)
And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. (Luke 22:39)
And when they had sung an hymn. Jesus closed His Upper Room discourse with the singing of a hymn. Although He was in the midst of his enemies and knew that His suffering and death were near, he did not fear them and omit the singing of psalms. They probably sang a hymn from a section known as the Great Hallel—Psalms 113–118. Singing was routinely included in the Passover celebrations. It was the Hebrew’s custom to sing the first two (Psalms 113-114) before the meal, and the remaining four (Psalms 115-118) after, to conclude the evening observance. Such verses as Psalm 118:6-7, 17-18, 22-24 gain added significance on Jesus’ lips just before His suffering and death.
They went out into the mount of Olives. At the conclusion of Christ’s meal and after giving final instructions to the disciples (the Upper Room Discourse), Jesus left the Upper Room, passed over the narrow ravine of the brook Kidron and into the Garden of Gethsemane.
t was now near bedtime, but our Lord Jesus had His mind on His suffering, so much, that He would not go to the Temple or to His bed to sleep. It must have shocked His disciples when Jesus took them outside since the Israelites were forbidden to go out of their houses the night that they ate the Passover, because they feared the sword of the destroying angel ( Exodus 12:22-23).
Luke wrote, “and his disciples also followed him.” There were now only 11, since Judas left earlier to meet with the priests to make the arrangements for the betrayal.
And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. (Mark 14:32)
Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. ( Matthew 26:36)
And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane. It was Thursday night running into Friday morning and the garden was still dark. It was a special place of prayer and privacy for the Lord. Jesus often went there to pray, and the disciples, including the betrayer, of course, knew this.
When Jesus went to Gethsemane, on this occasion, there were two things He wanted. He wanted human fellowship and He wanted God’s fellowship. “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18).
In Jerusalem, there were no gardens. The city was too crowded, and there was a strange law that the city’s sacred soil could not be polluted with manure for any type of garden. But some of the rich and well-to-do people owned private gardens out on the Mount of Olives where they came to rest and enjoy the quiet and the beautiful scenery. Jesus must have had some wealthy friend who gave Him the privilege of using his garden at night. Our Lord never spent a night inside the city of Jerusalem. He went out to this place or to Bethany.
And he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. After entering Gethsemane, Jesus told eight of the eleven disciples to sit and wait, and then the next verse says that He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee deeper into the garden.
And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; (Mark 14:33)
And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. (Matthew 26:37)
And he taketh with him Peter and James and John. He went deeper into the garden taking Peter, James, and John with Him. They made up the inner circle who would be the only ones to observe Jesus’ agony. Peter was the leader of this small group and the three were the leaders of the twelve. The trio was present with Jesus on a number of occasions. They witnessed the raising of a young girl from the dead ( Mark 5:41-42); they were present at Jesus’ transfiguration ( Mathew17:1–2); and now they were present during Jesus’ agony in Gethsemane.