HOST: Ron House
And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
We typically think of the suffering of Jesus beginning after He falls into the hands of His enemies. What Luke uniquely shows us about this scene is the immense suffering of Jesus even before His arrest. The prayers of Jesus show us, not just a dread of the difficulty of coming events, but a human mind and body that succumbs to the extraordinary stress of His circumstances. It has been suggested that Luke’s description of sweat that “became like great drops of blood” was a literal statement, not a figurative one. If that is the case, it is evidence of the intense suffering and pressure that Jesus was experiencing as He anticipated His coming sacrifice. Luke also reveals that an angel appeared from heaven to strengthen Him, adding credence to the statement that Jesus makes in Matthew 26:38, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death.” So great was Jesus’ suffering in Gethsemane that He was literally close to death. Oh, the price that He was willing to pay for us!
Why do you think Jesus’ suffering was so great in Gethsemane?
Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!