A place called Gethsemane

Reading: Matthew 26:36-44

Think about it:

1. What would it have been like to have been with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane?
2. What compelled Jesus to go to the Garden in the first place?
3. What was happening in Him there, particularly as the events unfolded?
4. What can we learn from this scene that will benefit us in our walk with God?

Take time to remember:

1. Jesus had been preparing His disciples for this climactic ending, but they still did not understand what was occurring. (See: Mark 8:31; 9:31; and 10:31)
2. The “Last Supper” was a final, dramatic object lesson in preparation for the inevitable.
3. At this very dark hour, Jesus was weary and burdened and wanted to draw near to the Father, with His closest friends near Him.

Life Lessons:

1. Jesus understands our struggles…

Jesus was deeply distressed and troubled—He struggled, v. 33.

Jesus knows we all struggle too—cf. John 16:33.

We need to guard against reacting inappropriately (guilt, shame, denial, callousness, bitterness and anger) to those things that cause us to struggle.

2. Jesus understands our fears…

 Jesus’ soul was overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death, v. 34.

Causes for fear abound—health challenges, economic crisis, war, family welfare, crime, violence, injustice.

We must keep the Lord’s counsel in mind: Don’t be afraid; just believe!

3. Jesus understands our need to keep going back…

 Jesus kept going back. So can we!

 The institution of the Lord’s Supper, with its regular observance, is an affirmation of our need to keep going back.
 Jesus could not walk this path alone. Neither can we!

One final thought:

It’s okay to struggle in the face of our fears, as long as we keep going back to the Lord!

© Bill Williams
September 3, 2016