After his prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane was over, and he was satisfied that his Father had reached out to comfort him through the presence of an angel, Jesus came to his disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow. Luke tells us that he told them to wake-up and pray, so they wouldn’t enter into temptation (Luke 22:45-46). The other Synoptics have Jesus telling his disciples to continue sleeping, but many scholars believe Matthew’s and Mark’s “Sleep on, now, and take your rest…” should be a question: “Do you sleep and take rest now?” (Matthew 26:45; Mark 14:41). If this is so, we have total agreement between the three records of Jesus’ prayer in the garden. Read the rest of this entry »
Tag Archives: Gethsemane
Luke’s account of Jesus’ prayers in Gethsemane is the shortest of the three Synoptics. According to the other two, Jesus prayed three times (Matthew 26:39-44; Mark 14:35-41). He prayed, because he was overwhelmed with sorrow and felt he was at the point of death (Matthew 26:38). Nevertheless, he interrupted that prayer for short discussions with Peter, James and John asking them to keep awake and pray with him. Why was it so important that these three stay awake? Read the rest of this entry »
After his final meal, which he shared with his disciples, and when he had finished speaking, Jesus went out to the Mount of Olives (Luke 22:39). Many of the things that were recorded to have been done by Jesus recently were planned ahead of time and kept secret, no doubt, to avoid any prior knowledge on the part of Judas and the authorities who wished to arrest him. However, this was not so for Jesus’ choice of where to go on the Mount of Olives to spend the night, and Judas knew of this place on the mount. A way had to be made for Jesus’ arrest, but that event couldn’t happen until the prophesied time—the day the Passover lamb was slain.
In what we term the Our Father Jesus used to teach his Apostles (and us) how to pray. In the final clause of Luke 11:2 Jesus tells us to pray, “thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth.” I believe one of the keys to understanding Jesus’ teaching at this point is to remember the disciple came to Jesus, confessing his ignorance and asking Jesus to teach him and the other disciples how to pray (Luke 11:1). After all, if he knew how to pray, or how to hollow God’s name, or how bring the Kingdom of God to fruition etc., why would he come asking Jesus to teach him and the others how to do these things? Read the rest of this entry »
Previously, I wrote of Luke recording Jesus at prayer eleven times in his Gospel narrative. In that post I offered my thoughts on the first six of those prayers. Here I intend to offer a brief survey concerning what I believe the final five mean for us. It has been an unexpected blessing for me to study these eleven Scriptures in their contexts. I hope and pray that I keep in mind what I have learned, because experience tells me that it is all too easy to settle back in one’s old, familiar ways. May God keep me from doing that. Read the rest of this entry »
In the final video of the second part of Chris’s three part series: “Why I Am No Longer a Christian”, Deconversion – Losing God (HERE), he vividly expresses his feeling of emptiness over his discussion with the professor. Actually, it wasn’t much of a discussion, since Chris obediently sat back, relaxed and listened. It was evident that Chris was discouraged, and he was having trouble denying the plausibility of the professor’s exposition. With all the underpinnings of Chris’ faith undermined or destroyed, Chris was left with what appeared to be the only rationally sound alternative, namely the professor’s position. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the arguments that appears from time to time on the discussion boards is that Jesus really blew it in Gethsemane, if he wanted anyone to believe he was God. How can God be afraid of anything? He cried out to God to remove his impending suffering and death, and seems at one point to be so afraid that he feared he might die of fear itself. What gives? Is this true? In a word, “No” it is not true, at least not in the manner in which the argument is formulated. Read the rest of this entry »
I was listening quietly, while my wife read a children’s bible story book to my little 3-year old grandson. She was reading about God calling out to Samuel for the first time. Most people will remember that this account shows Samuel as a little boy sleeping in the Temple near Eli, the high priest, that is, in the Temple court in the place provided for the priests who attended the duties of the Temple. Samuel awoke from sleep by the sound of God’s voice calling out to him. Naturally, he assumed it was Eli calling him, because he had no past experience of God speaking directly to him. So, he went in to Eli and woke him from his sleep, asking what he wanted. Eli told him he hadn’t called him and to return to his bed and go to sleep. Read the rest of this entry »
As Jesus prayed in Gethsemane, he returned to the disciples three times and found them sleeping (Matthew 26:40-44; Mark 14:37-41; Luke 22:45). The first and second times, Jesus returned to them hoping the fruit of answered prayer would become evident in them. He prayed for his Father to remove the cup of depression from him (see, “Bearing Away Our Sins“), that is, the cup of deadly silence in their fellowship. Twice, he came looking for that second hand encouragement, that he might be strengthened. When Jesus prays, the Scriptures say he is always answered (John 11:41-42). The Father waited for the third session of prayer, giving the three disciples every opportunity to be used of God and bring strength and encouragement to Jesus in answer to his prayer, but they failed, as I so often do. They all testified of their own strength and loyalty to Christ. They could not believe that they would desert him. They were filled with the thoughts of glory issuing from their own hearts, but failed to stand with Jesus in the hour of prayer (see: “Watch and Pray”). They failed to listen for God to speak to them. I am desensitized by dwelling at the border of righteousness or the hedge that God has placed around me, and I often fail to listen for that “still small Voice” of God within. Therefore, just as Daniel waited twenty-one days for his answer, because of a spiritual battle (Daniel 10:2-3, 7-14), so Jesus waited until his third session of prayer, before his Father answered him with the comfort and strength of an angelic visit. Read the rest of this entry »
If Jesus was troubled with the apparent break in fellowship between him and his Father, how could the angel strengthen him?
I will offer a crude, but, I believe, a fairly accurate example of how Jesus could have been strengthened by the presence of the angel in Gethsemane. I believe I understand Jesus’ plight, at least in part, because of what occurred between my own father and me. I am the eldest of eight children. When I was in my twenties, my dad did something that hurt our relationship. In fact, I withheld my love for him. He hurt me, though he did not intend to do so, but I wanted to hurt him. This went on for about two years, before we were reconciled on his death bed. I tried even then to hold back the love I had for him, but I broke down and wept into his lap. Through my sobs, I could hear him say, as his hand stroked my head, “I knew he still loved me.” Up until then, my dad would not speak of his dying. Afterward, he did. I believe that our reconciliation strengthened him. He never wanted to appear weak. After we were reconciled, I believe he was able both to face death and speak about it without breaking down. Read the rest of this entry »
As Jesus prayed on the Mount of Olives in the garden called Gethsemane, his Father sent an angel to him to strengthen him (see “Praying Through Gethsemane“). What could the angel possibly do for Jesus? How can an angel strengthen God who became a man? There is an interesting account of an angel strengthening Daniel in Daniel chapter ten. Here the prophet was praying and fasting for three weeks (Daniel 10:1-3), when he saw a vision (Daniel 10:5-6). Daniel lost all his strength, and he fell prostrate with his face toward the ground (Daniel 10:8-9). The angel had to strengthen him so he could stand (Daniel 10:10-11). The prophet was unable to speak, and with each command, the angel had to strengthen him more and more (Daniel 10:15-19). Daniel experienced a similar situation during another vision (Daniel 8:1, 17-18, 26) when the angel had to physically strengthen the fear stricken prophet. Read the rest of this entry »
It is in Gethsemane where many believe Jesus faced his greatest trial. While this may be true, is it for the reason that most Christians think? Many have thought that this was the time when Satan almost won and Jesus almost lost. Is this true? Do we have a Savior who almost lost, that barely came through the battle unscathed in righteousness and integrity? Did Jesus ever ask his Father to save him from the cross, and then say, let it be your will and not mine? How could I have ever thought so of my Savior? Read the rest of this entry »