Week 4 Day 22
And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch. And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 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.” And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
These are the last moments of Jesus’ earthly freedom before being handed over to the authorities. The beginning of the end of the entire mission of Jesus’ life was about to begin with a kiss. Those present here were the Master Teacher and his disciples, minus Judas. They had just finished celebrating the Passover together and now the weight of what was about to be set into motion was reaching the boiling point within Jesus.
There was a clear crossroads of decision to be made here, a cloud of final temptation that overshadowed this moment. Jesus knew what was going to happen, and he knew the weakness of the flesh. If Jesus knew the cross was his mission, why did he ask the Father to remove the cup from him?
I think the answer is in what Jesus told to Peter who was supposed to be keeping watch. “The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.” Jesus fully knew the weakness of the flesh and the weight of the moment, so he prayed. Not only did Jesus give Peter clear instruction on how to not enter temptation, he modeled it. Jesus prayed to remain resolute, keeping from the temptation to stray off-mission.
Consider for a moment the mission Jesus calls you to. There are so many times where temptations creep and move us away from our mission. How many times did you know what you ought to do, but just couldn’t do it? Jesus both knew what he ought to do and did it, in full perfect obedience. His secret is the affectionate and respectful relationship he had with the Father that he modeled through prayer.
Discuss/think about your mission, what Jesus calls you to do as his disciple. Name the moments where you know the pressure to enter temptation is great.
God, remind me to be like Jesus when faced with difficult moments. Help me to reflect on both the obedience of your Son and his loving and respectful relationship that he demonstrated through prayer in this sacred moment. Make me more like Jesus, that I too would pray and keep watch.