Jesus’ Gethsemane Prayer

6 May 2018 AM – Mark 14:32-42 – Mr17 – Scott Childs

Introduction: Though Jesus was Almighty God, the second Person of the Godhead, during His incarnation in a human body on earth, He was also 100% man. He was the God/man. Our minds cannot fully comprehend that, but all things are possible with God.

During His prayer in Gethsemane, we see the human side of Jesus as the hour of the cross drew near.

Transition: As Jesus gives us a glimpse of his feelings, fright and frustration, let’s ask the Lord to give us a better understanding of what He did for us at Calvary.

1.        His Feelings (v.33-34)
a.         His inward feelings (v.33)
1)         He began to be sore amazed.
a)         This term describes one who is thrown into terror or amazement or struck with terror.
b)         Swete comments: “The Lord was overwhelmed with sorrow, but His first feeling was one of terrified surprise. Long as He had foreseen the Passion, when it came clearly into view its terrors exceeded His anticipations” (p.322, quoted by Ralph Earle)
c)         Cranfield adds: “Here [it] denotes a being in the grip of a shuddering horror given the dreadful prospect before him.” (Quoted by Rogers)
d)         What Jesus was facing we can never fully comprehend for Jesus was about to drink the cup of the wrath of God against our sin. (Pett) God the Son was about to endure God the Father’s wrath towards the sin of the world, including your sin and mine.
2)         He began to be very heavy
a)         These words speak of great distress, anguish, trouble or depression.
b)         Wuest describes it as the uncomfortable feeling of one who does not feel at home.
c)         The awful wait of the coming Passion pressed heavily upon His soul. He was sore troubled.
d)         Constable concludes: “The prospect of bearing God’s wrath for the world’s sins and experiencing separation from His Father grieved Jesus deeply… This was much more than any mere martyr has ever had to endure.”
3)         This verse describes the inward feelings of Jesus that He did not express to His disciples. No human can fully comprehend.
b.         His outward feelings (v.34)
1)         He said, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death.
a)         This feeling Jesus did express to His three close disciples, though they did not seem to empathize with Him.
b)         The words “exceeding sorrowful” describe one who is overcome with sorrow so much as to cause one’s death. Thayer
2)         Then Jesus said, You tarry (i.e., abide) here and watch.
a)         While He bore this indescribable burden, their job was simple. All He asked them to do is to watch. They were to give strict cautious attention to the surroundings.
b)         Were they watching for the betrayers? It is not likely. They do not seem to know what is coming. It seems they were to watch for their own actions. Just a brief time earlier they had all vowed never to deny Christ (v.31).
3)         The emotional suffering of Christ’s death on Calvary was much more intense than His physical suffering. The book of Hebrews frequently mentions Christ’s suffering.
a)         (Hebrews 2:9) “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”
b)         (Hebrews 2:18) “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.”
c)         (Hebrews 5:8) “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;”
2.        His Fright (v.35-36, 39)
a.         He humanly feared the coming hour
1)         Jesus went a little further (a stone’s cast, Lu 22:41) and fell prostrate on the ground.
2)         He prayed a natural prayer of a human in fear (v.35).
3)         Surely, He feared this as a man because of the torture of the severe scourging He would receive. He knew He would be so weakened by the beating that He would stumble and fall while carrying the cross. He knew the pain He would endure being nailed to a cross and enduring the agonizing, suffocating death of crucifixion.
b.         He may have divinely feared the coming hour
1)         He knew that the Father would place all the sins of mankind on Him during those dreadful hours. He knew the Father would turn away as He bore our sin.
2)         (2 Corinthians 5:21) “For he [the Father] hath made him [Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
3)         (Isaiah 53:4) “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” (Isaiah 53:5) “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
4)         His emotions were so torn as He prayed that Luke 22:44 records, “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”
5)         Jesus faced a situation more frightful than any human has ever faced. With tender words, He begged the Father, if possible to take away the cup from Him (v.36).
c.          He willingly submitted to the Father’s will
1)         Though Jesus dreaded what was coming, He willingly submitted (v.36).
2)         He desired the Father’s will above His human desires.
3)         Jesus prayed the same thing in three sessions of prayer.
3.        His Frustration v. (v.37-38, 40-41)
a.         He gave the disciples simple instructions
1)         Jesus simply told His three most faithful disciples to watch while He prayed (v.34).
2)         When Jesus came to check on them after an hour of prayer, they were all sleeping (v.37).
3)         This time He commanded them to “watch and pray” (v.38). He knew they wanted to obey Him, but their flesh was weak.
a)         This command is one of the most important things we can to do avoid sin.
b)         Temptation often strikes as fast as a snake. Constantly, we must be watching for those sudden attacks. We must pray for wisdom to see temptation coming.
b.         Three times they fell asleep
1)         Note Jesus’ frustration in his gentle rebuke (v.37). The disciples did not comprehend what Jesus was facing.
2)         The second time, the disciples had nothing to say (v.40).
3)         The third time, Jesus commented that they were getting needed rest, but it was time to arise (v.41-42).
4)         When a person falls asleep at work, he stops doing what he is supposed to be doing. Depending on the job, the sleeper may endanger himself and others. The same is true of Christians. God wants us to stay awake so we can actively serve Him every day. He wants us to read His instructions (in the Bible) and obey them. He wants us to report to Him regularly in prayer. A sleeping Christian is easy prey for the devil’s temptations.
Conclusion: This text has described for us Jesus’ feelings, His fears, and His frustrations. Christ suffered immensely that night before His crucifixion. As the songwriter put it, After all He’s done for me, how can I do less than give Him my best and live for Him completely? If Christ has not yet forgiven your sin and given you eternal life, He wants to.

Christian friend, are you watching, praying or sleeping? We desperately need to stay awake and be ready.

Song: Yield Not to Temptation – 364  Are You Washed in the Blood – 208