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Tag Archives: garden of Gethsemane

Jesus’ Goal

 

When modern writers recount the first century life of Jesus, the human side of Jesus is often neglected.  According to the author of a New Testament book, Jesus is able to sympathize with and understands temptation and human weaknesses.  Hebrews 4:15-16 details how Jesus was tempted in every way just as individuals are today, yet did not sin.  Despite possessing emotional, mental and physical urges, Jesus never lost sight of his goal.

And He said to them, “Go and tell that fox [that sly, cowardly man], ‘Listen carefully: I cast out demons and perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I reach My goal,’ Luke 13:32.

During a heated exchange with Pharisees, a few disgruntled religious leaders spilled the beans, Herod Antipas wanted to kill Jesus.  This plot was not hidden from Jesus, aware from the very beginning of the fate that he must endure.  In response to this warning, Jesus tells these Pharisees to give Herod a message.  The phrase third day could have duel meanings, I’ll be arriving in three days after confronting demons and healing those possessed.  Or the third day serves as a foreshadowing of Jesus’ resurrection following his death on a cross.

Nevertheless I must travel on today and tomorrow and the day after that—for it cannot be that a prophet would die outside of Jerusalem. 34 [O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones [to death] those [messengers] who are sent to her [by God]! How often I have wanted to gather your children together [around Me], just as a hen gathers her young under her wings, but you were not willing! – Luke 13:33-34

The closer Jesus got to Jerusalem, the more sentimental he became, broken inside by the masses who would soon cheer for his crucifixion.  Knowing the future is like a double edged sword, a powerful tool to have, but painful, unable to stop that which was destined to be.  Nonetheless, as he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane prior to his arrest, Jesus foregoes any thoughts for self preservation by yielding to God’s will, Matthew 26:39.  Jesus’ ultimate goal is clear, “seek and to save that which was lost,” Luke 19:10 by dying and rising from the dead.  May the Holy Spirit speak to your heart so that you too may know your purpose for being born.

by Jay Mankus

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Overwhelmed by the Future

There are several variables which can produce anxiety, stress or worry.  Anticipation can make the mind race, questioning all the possible scenarios, often starting with the worst first.  Fear of the unknown adds a feeling of uncertainty, producing a myriad of emotions.  Thus, it doesn’t take much for an individual to become overwhelmed by the future.

“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch,” Mark 14:34.

Those who possess discernment, keen insight and the gift of prophecy can sense when bad things are about to happen.  In the case of Jesus, he knew when and how he was going to die.  Thus, as  the hours drew closer, Jesus’ soul was consumed with sorrow.  To make matters worse, the twelve men he invested the last three years of his life into were about to abandon, betray or deny him publicly.  The human side of Jesus was also overwhelmed by the future.

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood, Hebrews 12:4.

As Jesus entered the Garden of Gethsemane, he asked his disciples to keep watch and pray.  In the hours that followed, the author describes a level of stress which is unprecedented, suggesting his sweat was like blood.  Whether this happened or not doesn’t matter, the key is Jesus died for all sinners, Romans 5:8.  Therefore, if you are stressed out about today or the future, prepare yourself just like Jesus: keep watch and pray so temptation doesn’t hold you hostage.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Tarry With Me

In a vulnerable state, Jesus asks 3 close friends to stay with him and pray, Matthew 26:36-38.  Going a little further into the garden of Gethsemane to be alone, Jesus begins pouring out his heart to his Heavenly Father.  Returning an hour later, Jesus finds Peter, James and John sleeping instead of praying.  Disappointed by their response to his time in need, Jesus asks this question in Matthew 26:40, “could you not tarry with me for one hour?”

Jesus reveals the purpose for prayer in Matthew 26:41:

1. Prayer keeps you spiritually alert.

2. Prayer protects your mind from temptations.

3. Prayers helps you tap into the willingness of the Holy Spirit.

While the context of this passage limits the scope of prayer, God has placed an unique burden upon my heart.  During the month of March, God is leading me to prayer for an hour a day.  Now I ask you, “will you tarry with me?”

I met a young missionary before graduating from college whose testimony included not using an alarm clock to get up.  God woke up this individual at the same time every morning, 6am to begin his day in prayer, praising God.  Inspired by his account, I tried to apply this to my own life during my final semester of college.  To my surprise, God used sunlight shining directly on my pillow to arise and awaken me exactly at 6am.  Although I tend to be a night owl, God answered my prayer every day for 3 months, keeping my prayer life active, my mind sober and excited for each new day.

When it comes to prayer, I am certainty not an expert.  I tend to lean on the Psalms of David, who had a heart for God according to 1 Samuel 16:7.  Whenever I start to lose focus, I’ll rely on Jesus’ outline in Matthew 6:5-15, the words of Jesus’ brother in James 5:13-20 and of course David in Psalm 32:1-11.  You don’t have to be eloquent when you pray; all you need is a pure heart who seeks to know God.  See what God can do when you if you devote one hour per day to prayer in March.  May God perform miracles in your life!

by Jay Mankus

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