Then Jesus returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter, Matthew 26:40.
When the Son of God spoke in the first century, eager followers flocked to hear his teaching. Afterward the needy, poor and sick lined up, pushing their way to the front, hoping for a miracle. To a certain extent, the twelve disciples became complacent, taking their access to the Messiah for granted. During special occasions Jesus left nine disciples behind, confiding in his inner circle composed of James, John and Peter. During his greatest temptation, surrendering to religious leaders to be beaten, crucified and left to die, Jesus urges his disciples to pray late into the night. An hour later Jesus returns to find his trusted leaders sleeping.
“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak,” Matthew 26:41.
Disappointed, Jesus addresses the unseen battle going on within the human body. The Spirit is willing to yield spiritual fruit detailed in Galatians 5:22-23. Unfortunately, these traits often lose out to a weakened flesh, Galatians 5:19-21, by giving into temporary pleasures. Way too often the events of Eden in Genesis 3 are re-enacted daily with forbidden fruits replaced by modern delicacies. While current readers can take Jesus’ advice at face value, all but one disciple were about to abandon Jesus in his greatest time of need. John, the one whom Jesus loved is the only disciple who doesn’t go into hiding. Only one man put Jesus’ words into practice.
He went away a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done,” Matthew 26:42.
Jesus was a victim of a mob mentality, innocent of the charges made against him accept of course for being the son of God. Overcome by emotion, Jesus pours out his heart to God the Father in prayer. If this was any other person, justification would be made to not go through with this sacrifice. However, without Jesus’ death, there would be no forgiveness, left to rely on Old Testament animal sacrifices. Realizing this fact, Jesus submits to God’s will, surrendering early Friday morning. While there will always be new temptations that arise and attack your soul, the greatest temptation is to reject God’s will for your life. May you find your purpose on earth using Romans 12:1-2 as a guide. From here its up to you to apply Matthew 26:41 so that you will keep in step with the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25.
by Jay Mankus