Today’s Bible Reading:
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
36Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” 37He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. 38He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
40Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? 41Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”
42Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open.
44So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again. 45Then he came to the disciples and said, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But look—the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here!”
Jesus Is Betrayed and Arrested
47And even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests and elders of the people. 48The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss.” 49So Judas came straight to Jesus. “Greetings, Rabbi!” he exclaimed and gave him the kiss.
50Jesus said, “My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for.”
Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him. 51But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest’s slave, slashing off his ear.
52“Put away your sword,” Jesus told him. “Those who use the sword will die by the sword. 53Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? 54But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?”
55Then Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there teaching every day. 56But this is all happening to fulfill the words of the prophets as recorded in the Scriptures.” At that point, all the disciples deserted him and fled.
Verse of the Day:
We are back into the book of Matthew where his account tells of one more event before Jesus is arrested.
Jesus arrives at the Garden of Gethsemane with the disciples. He takes 3 of them with him to pray and Matthew describes that Jesus became stressed out.
Finally, the weight and pressure of the upcoming suffering begins to fall on Jesus. He tells the 3 disciples that he is crushed with grief and simply asks them to stay with him – and to stay awake.
At that point Jesus bows his face to the ground and did what any one of us would most likely do: asked the Father to take this suffering away – BUT – ultimately he wants the Father’s will – not his own.
He finishes praying and turns to the 3 that he brought with him to keep watch and to stay awake: they are asleep. Man, oh man. I can so relate to these guys. Most times I can stay up late and have no trouble, but sometimes my eyes get so heavy I fall asleep at this keyboard!!!
Then, Jesus directly addresses Peter. We know already that Jesus had just warned Peter at dinner that he would betray him 3 times before the next morning arrived. Do you think that was fresh in Peter’s mind? Maybe?
It was obviously fresh in the mind of Jesus. His words to Peter are direct. Couldn’t he even stay awake for an hour? He tells him that he needs to keep watch and to pray – SO THAT he would not give in to temptation. FOR THE SPIRIT IS WILLING, BUT THE BODY IS WEAK!
Anybody relate to that?
I need to take this advice from Jesus for myself. I have so many things I want to do in this life – BUT – my stinkin’ body is WEAK – and I fall flat on my face! What am I supposed to do? Keep watch and pray. Yep.
Again we see how human these disciples really were. Repeat the exact same scenario, again. Jesus goes to pray. Comes back. They are asleep.
Jesus goes back a third time.
He finally tells them to go ahead and get their sleep on – but HELLO people!! The time has come. I’ve been betrayed. Right now.
Judas has arrived with the soldiers. Jesus expects them and tells them to go ahead with it all. The disciples try to stop them, but Jesus explains that this is what must happen to fulfill the scriptures.
And here is where our Jesus is deserted. They all flee.