Time and again, Jesus went to a mountain to pray to the Father. It's a good example for us to follow, because people will disappoint us at one time or another. God will not disappoint us, because He is loving, merciful, forgiving and kind all the time. He understands our predicament, because He came in person to this earth and knew what it was like to be tempted, to hurt, to be hungry. He knew what it was like when people didn't understand His ministry or passion. Yet He spent three years with twelve disciples and was especially close to three--Peter, James and John.
His last night on earth He washed the feet of His friends and had dinner with them. Then they went to Gethsemane where Jesus agonized over what He knew would come. He said, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." Then He took Peter, James and John a little farther. "I am deeply grieved to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with me," He said. A few steps away, He fell facedown and prayed, "My father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." He came back three times and found His friends sleeping. "So, couldn't you stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray, so that you won't enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Then all hell broke loose. Judas arrived with a large crowd armed with swords and clubs. He arranged a signal for them: "The one I kiss is the man. Arrest him." I have wondered why they needed a signal. Jesus was in the temple regularly. Didn't they know who He was? It must have been no small riot. Peter reached out with his sword and cut off the ear of one of the servants.
Think About It
Jesus did not ask His friends to pray for Him. He asked them to pray for themselves so they would not fall into temptation. Jesus struggled with His coming suffering. His friends struggled to stay awake. Had they stayed aware, awake and alert; had they prayed for strength, maybe they would not have responded they way they did.
I have often worried about staying aware, awake and alert. I want to be prepared, but what if I am asleep and miss the coming of my Savior? 1 Thessalonians 5:10-11 encourages me. As believers, Jesus died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up . . . " When we believe what Jesus did on the cross was for our forgiveness and eternal life, we don't have to worry. How do you respond to this great love of Jesus?
Pray About It
O Lord, help us to live out our salvation daily. We don't want to take it for granted, but we want to fulfill the plan you have for us--to love and show mercy as Jesus did all the time we are on this earth. We need your help. In Jesus' name, Amen.