Mark 14:32-42 Praying In The Garden.

Mark 14:32-42 Praying In The Garden.

Jesus went to Gethsemane to pray, and he asked most of his disciples to sit while he did so (v. 32 Cf. Mt. 26:36-46; Lk. 22:40-46). The he took Peter, James, and John with him, “and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch’” (vv. 33-34 Cf. 5:37; 9:2; 13:3; Is. 53:3-4). Jesus had not yet asked them to pray with or for him, or for themselves. Perhaps the request for them to watch was so that he could pray before the betrayer arrived, and for their own selves. Jesus initially prayed that he might be spared the task ahead of him (v. 35). It is good to know that this is a prayer one might engage in. He knew, as we should also know, that all things are possible with the Father, for he is the sovereign LORD over all (v. 36a). If he was not, prayer of any kind would be worthless, at least to change anything. However, Jesus gave us the pattern to follow here, seek the Father that he might change things, or finally accept His will over our own (v. 36b Cf. Jn. 5:30; 6:38; 12:27; Is. 50:5).

Now Jesus returns to the trio, only to find them asleep. He then tells them to pray, not for himself, but for themselves, lest they fall into temptation. It was only going to be for one hour, but evidently this was too much (vv. 37-38a). Jesus, as a man, knew the reality that “the spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak” (v. 38b Cf. Rom. 7:18-24; Gal. 5:17). He knew the danger of temptation up to but not including giving in to it. Jesus prayed the same words again (v. 39). This is again instructive for us. It is not wrong to pray the same words until the answer becomes clear. However, when he returned he again found the trio asleep, “for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him” (v. 40). It happened again a third time, but by then the hour of his betrayal had come – his prayer was finally answered (vv. 41-42). It is interesting that this all took place at a garden (Jn. 18:1), reminiscent of the original garden no doubt, but now we pray “Abba Father” through being adopted, based on the finished work of Christ (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6; Heb. 5:7).

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