READ Matthew 26:31-46
Jesus has devastating news to convey. Like many of us, Peter registers only the bad news (31). Such a public announcement of forthcoming failure is very humiliating, and Peter blurts out His refusal to believe Jesus’ prediction. Is it not surprising that he fails even to hear the good news that Jesus also tells them about “after I have risen…” (32). If we only look at ourselves, there is only ever bad news. The good news is all about what God will do through Jesus. His words to Peter are terribly forthright (34), puncturing his pride and self-esteem. Rarely is any one of us quite what we think ourselves to be. God’s Word puts us straight.
There are few episodes in the Bible which paint such a picture of lonely suffering as that of Jesus in Gethsemane. It is moving to read of His simple human longing for support from His closest friends (36, 40, 45). If the Lord of Glory needed such support and affection, how much is that true for each of us, whose humanity He shared? The strains of the previous days must have taken their toll upon the disciples and they were unable even to stay awake (40, 43, 45). It is a mark of how stressful and exhausting it is to remain spiritually alert. So Jesus prayed and bore the strain alone. He was a perfect man, not superman. He didn’t want to go to the cross, but He did want to do God’s will, and that is what won out in the end (39, 42, 44; Hebrews 4:15, 16; 5:7-10). Prayer is frequently a struggle to discern and obey God’s will. Like Paul with his thorn in the flesh, Jesus asked God to take away His test. And, as with Paul (2 Corinthians 12:7-9) at a later date, He submitted to the Father’s will.
PRAY Thank You for Your Love and faithfulness, Lord. In the power of Your Spirit, help me to live for You today