ESOCS Devotional 29 April 2023
MEMORY VERSE: ““My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death; tarry ye here and watch.” Mark 14:34
TEXT: MARK 14:32-52
32 Then they went to a place called Gethsemane, and He said to His disciples, Sit down here while I pray.
33 And He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be struck with terror and amazement and deeply troubled anddepressed.
34 And He said to them, My soul is exceedingly sad (overwhelmed with grief) so that it almost kills Me! Remain here and keep awake and be watching.
35 And going a little farther, He fell on the ground and kept praying that if it were possible the [fatal] hour might pass from Him.
36 And He was saying, Abba, [which means] Father, everything is possible for You. Take away this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You [will].
37 And He came back and found them sleeping, and He said to Peter, Simon, are you asleep? Have you not the strength to keep awake and watch [with Me for] one hour?
38 Keep awake and watch and pray [constantly], that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
39 He went away again and prayed, saying the same words.
40 And again He came back and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what answer to give Him.
41 And He came back a third time and said to them, Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough [of that]! The hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinful men (men [c]whose way or nature is to act in opposition to God).
42 Get up, let us be going! See, My betrayer is at hand!
43 And at once, while He was still speaking, Judas came, one of the Twelve [apostles], and with him a crowd of men with swords and clubs, [who came] from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders [of the Sanhedrin].
44 Now the betrayer had given them a signal, saying, The One I shall kiss is [the Man]; seize Him and lead [Him] away safely [so as to prevent His escape].
45 And when he came, he went up to Jesus immediately and said, Master! Master! and he embraced Him and kissed Him fervently.
46 And they threw their hands on Him and arrested Him.
47 But one of the bystanders drew his sword and struck the bond servant of the high priest and cut off his ear.
48 And Jesus said to them, Have you come out with swords and clubs as [you would] against a robber to capture Me?
49 I was with you daily in the temple [porches and courts] teaching, and you did not seize Me; but [this has happened] that the Scriptures might be fulfilled.
50 Then [His disciples], forsaking Him, fled, all [of them].
51 And a young man was following Him, with nothing but a linen cloth (sheet) thrown about [his] naked [body]; and they laid hold of him,
52 But, leaving behind the linen cloth ([g]sheet), he fled from them naked.
On the eve of His crucifixion, Jesus went with Peter, James and John to Gethsemane to pray, and He was deeply distressed and troubled. He said to them, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death; tarry ye here and watch.” We see clearly here the humanity of Christ. For He that taught boldly in the temple, performing great signs and wonders, who raised the dead and walked on the sea, the all-powerful Jesus, declared to be the Son of God was in anguish. His knowledge about what was to befall Him, the full weight of what He was about to carry, tormented Him and He was overwhelmed with sorrow. He needed the support and companionship of His closest disciples. He needed them to join faith with Him in prayers, but they were too tired and dozed off. However, He tarried in the presence of God and prayed all night.
The Christian race, though a great life with wonderful experiences, is not all “bread and butter”. This is even truer in the ministry. There will be times of great storm when the boat threatens to capsize. There will be times in spite of who you are in the Lord and how far you have gone with Him when your humanity will show. Christianity requires great sacrifices if you are to complete the race and fulfill your mission successfully. Sometimes what you face may be quite overwhelming. You may reach a place or a point where you are weary and tired, afraid and discouraged and very lonely. This is not strange. If Jesus’s humanity showed, yours will definitely show.
We need to learn from Christ, the willing submission to the will of God, even when it will cost us much. Christ was troubled, but in His distress remained constant in His faithfulness to God and submission to His will. He did not deviate from the purpose for which He came to the world for one moment, in the pressure that was on Him. After making His supplications, He said, “Yet, not what I will but what you will. When it was time, He faced His accusers; gladly carried His cross, went victoriously to Calvary, and died for us all. If He did not, no one would have been saved.
Christians need to be courageous in the race. Giving up in the face of challenges would stop you from achieving God’s purpose for you. We need to support one another and be relentless in prayer. Christ did it, you can do it too. You are on the winning side.
- Think of anytime you have had challenges in the Faith and see in the light of Jesus’s passion at Gethsemane how you handled it.
- Why do you think some Christians give up in the face of great challenges?
- Our heavenly Father, we confess to you our weaknesses. Help us to stand firmly in you and remain faithful in our calling. Give us the grace to overcome any temptation that may come our way. Amen.
FURTHER READING: 2 Samuel 15:16-end; Jeremiah 26:1-9; John 20:24-end; 1 Peter 4:1-3
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ESOCS Devotional 29 April 2023