Lessons from Gethsemane

20 May 2018 AM – Mark 14:43-52 – Mr17 – Scott Childs

Introduction: The hour was very late. The sky shadowed by the trees in the Garden of Gethsemane was dark. Jesus just finished praying and the disciples just awoke. Suddenly, there were lights and the noise of a crowd approaching. The hour had come for Jesus to be betrayed.

Transition: This morning we are going to draw four lessons from Jesus’ last moments in the Garden of Gethsemane.

The 1st lesson I want us to draw is that …

1.        Religious Actions Can be Deceptive
a.         The arresting mob was deceived
1)         The mob consisted of slaves and temple officers from the chief priests (v.43). Luke 22:52 indicates that the chief priests and elders were also present. John 18:3 adds to this a band. This could be a band of soldiers or a band of men in general. It was probably the latter.
2)         Most of these men were either hired for the job or joined in for the excitement. But the chief priests and elders hated Jesus and wanted him dead. They had believed the lie of the devil. Many religions today are also deceptive.
3)         The idea that all religions lead to heaven is absolutely false and foolish. Beware! Many of the TV preachers that sound good are deceivers. I recently watch an interview with a well-known TV preacher in which he refused to say that non-Christian religions were wrong or that atheists were heading for hell. That man is a deceiver.
b.         Judas tried to deceive Jesus
1)         Judas gave Jesus’ enemies a sign. (v.44)
a)         He would kiss the Lord.
b)         Remember, this is in the middle of the night. The only light was moonlight and fire torches. The chief priests wanted to be sure they got the right man.
2)         When Judas found Jesus he said, Master, Master. (v.45)
a)         The word he used was Rabbi which means my great one or my honourable sir.
b)         That was a terrible treasonous lie.
3)         Then Judas kissed Jesus. (v.45)
a)         The word means to kiss much, kiss again and again, or kiss tenderly.
b)         Can you imagine such an evil act?
4)         Jesus asked Judas two questions. (Matthew 26:50) “And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? …” (Luke 22:48) “But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?” Perhaps He asked these questions to get Judas to think of his wicked sin.
5)         Similarly, the Lord tells us in Matthew 7 that on judgment day many who are not genuine Christians will call him Lord, Lord. (Matthew 7:21-23) “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
6)         Jesus is more interested in obedience than in claims of loyalty. (Luke 6:46) “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”
O  The scriptures exhort you to “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5) The worst deception is self deception, especially when it comes to eternal life.

The 2nd lesson I want us to draw is that …

2.        Christians Can Act Outside of God’s Will
a.         Peter desired to defend Jesus
1)         He pulled out a sword to defend Jesus. (v.47)
2)         He cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest.
3)         This was not God’s will. Jesus needed to drink the cup of God’s wrath that was before him (Jn 18:11). Peter’s actions were attempting to hinder God’s will.
b.         Jesus set things straight
1)         He healed the servant Malchus (Jn 18:10), Lu 22:51
2)         He told Peter to put up his sword, Jn 18:11. Peter was endangering his own life expecting to singlehandedly take on the whole band of armed men that was present.
3)         He accepted the cup of suffering, Jn 18:11
4)         He told the disciples that he could presently request twelve legions of angels. (Matthew 26:53) “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?”
a)         This is awesome. A legion was more than 6,000.
b)         Jesus could have called more than 72,000 angels to His rescue. He did not need Peter’s sword. Instead, He willingly followed God’s will.
O  As Christians, we must carefully practice (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22) “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil” to be sure that we are always acting according to God’s will. As with Peter, temptations to react in the flesh often come suddenly.

The 3rd lesson I want us to draw is that …

3.        Forsaking Christ is a Real Danger
a.         All the disciples fled, v.50
1)         Just hours earlier, every one of the eleven disciples had vowed allegiance to Christ (Mr 14:31).
2)         Now fear overtook them and they fled. (v.50)
3)         Though initially they fled, at least Peter and John regained the courage to follow the mob into the judgment hall.
b.         The unnamed follower fled, v.51-52
1)         John Gill, suggests that it was a follower of Christ who lived near the garden and was awakened from sleep by the mob as they approached. He grabbed a sheet and wrapped it around his night clothes and followed them.
2)         Others think this was Mark, the author of the Gospel. That too is possible.
a)         The word “naked” does not always mean entirely without clothing. It can refer to one who is missing his outer garment.
b)         Whoever this young man was, he left his sheet in the hands of his capturer and fled in his night shirt.
O  Let’s not be too hard on these men. Unless we have faced similar life-threatening persecution, we do not know the pressure they faced. At the same time, we must be aware of the danger of forsaking or denying the Lord, even in daily opportunities to witness for Him. We must depend on the Lord for courage.

The 4th lesson I want us to draw is that …

4.        Surrender to God’s Will gives Peace
a.         Jesus, in God’s will, remained calm
1)         He had just wrestled with His fears in hours of prayer and came out strengthened and ready to do God’s will. This gave Him peace and a needed calmness.
2)         He calmly spoke to the mob, Jn 18:5-9
3)         He allowed His capture, (Luke 22:51) “And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.”
4)         He even healed the servant’s ear, Lu 22:51.
b.         Jesus desired to fulfil Scripture
1)         He was willing to suffer to fulfil Scripture, (Matthew 26:56) “But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.” (Mr 14:49)
2)         He identified the power of darkness behind that evil betrayal, (Luke 22:53) “When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”
O  (1) Jesus had truly surrendered to God’s will and this gave Him peace. That is what we need to do. (2) All through Jesus’ life He exalted Scripture. In this He is our perfect example. The Bible is to be our ultimate guide. Let’s live by the Bible!

Conclusion: We have drawn four lessons from Gethsemane [Review them]. 1) We need to examine our hearts to be sure we are truly saved. Then we must be careful not to be deceived by religious frauds. 2) We must prove all things to make sure we remain in God’s will. 3) We must depend on the Lord for courage when we face opposition. 4) Then, we must surrender daily to the Lord and let the Bible be our daily guide.

Song: Take My Life and Let – 393