Matthew 26: 36 (NKJV) Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. 37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. 43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. 44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
Have you ever heard it said, “If you had your act together, you wouldn’t be struggling with knowing or following God’s will?” And if you have I just wanted to say on today, Don’t believe it! It’s a common, mistaken belief, and if you notice in the Bible Jesus’ own actions teach that this isn’t so. (When you read the Bible you’ll see that there were many times of struggle connected to Jesus)
Jesus’ final moments before his crucifixion were spent in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. There he prayed three times (Matthew 26:36-44). Each prayer was a step in letting go of things that would hold him back so that he could take hold of God’s will. The first prayer was an outburst of grief (v39). Jesus shuddered at the chill of death’s dark shadow. Prayer seemed to be his only refuge and strength!
The second prayer was one of release (v42). Jesus was faced with two choices: If he saved his life, he would lose us. But if he lost his life, he would save us. Christ desired to do the will of his Father, and so he accepted his calling to die for us.
The third prayer strengthened his resolve (v44). It was like the tempering of steel, in which the refined metal is reheated a second time to increase its strength. As a soldier readies himself for war or a patient prepares themselves for a difficult surgery, so Jesus gathered strength from his Father for the task and left all his anxiety with him. In the Gospel of Luke the passage reads “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. (Luke 22:42-3)!
So what’s the message family of God, “If Jesus can struggle, then I guess it’s o.k. if we do, too! Have a fantastic day!
Quote: John Bunyan “Pray often; for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan.”
Pastor James Baker