And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.” And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
Comment: I’ve always wondered how they knew what Jesus prayed. Prayers were often spoken aloud. They were nearby and they may well have heard what He prayed as Jesus commenced praying before they fell asleep. But, however, they got the prayer, through their ears or by divine revelation, I’m glad we have it recorded. It shows the reality of Jesus repulsion and fear at what He, as a man, was to go through. This is balanced by His total commitment to do His Father’s will. In Australian slang, that must have taken real ‘guts’. In addition, what an example for me to live by!
We may get upset, even angry, with the disciples for slipping into sleep repeatedly and not praying beside and for their friend and Master. After all He had told them about the coming whipping (scourging) and His coming death which either would have been stoning by the Jews or crucifixion by the Romans. If they had thought about it! Three times Jesus asked them to stand behind Him in their own prayers. But when I consider my own prayer life can I be very critical of them?
Prayer: Knowing what is coming in the story, I can only say ‘thank You. Jesus’.
One thought on “Mark 14: 32-42……Prayer in the garden.”
Thank you, Barry for your comments on this passage. I can completely understand that the disciples went to sleep while Jesus was praying, because I find that this happens to me, especially at bed time. And it was night time, and they were probably physically tired. Trying to stay awake and concentrate on praying when one is tired is not easy. I agree with the statement Jesus made, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” My flesh is getting weaker the older I get. God bless you.