Today in Mark, we look at Chapter 14: 26-42:
26 When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 27 And Jesus said to them, “You will all become deserters; for it is written,
‘I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep will be scattered.’
28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 29 Peter said to him, “Even though all become deserters, I will not.” 30 Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” 31 But he said vehemently, “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And all of them said the same.
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
32 They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. 34 And he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake.” 35 And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 He said, “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.” 37 He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour? 38 Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40 And once more he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to him. 41 He came a third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come; the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”
A couple of things stand out to me about these passages. First, let us remember, that it wasn’t just Judas that betrayed or didn’t stand up for Jesus in the moment. Everyone (but for John) deserted. And here is the thing to remember about Jesus in this. He still loved them. Even though the failed, even though they weren’t faithful, His love for them did not change. Remember, Jesus love for us is not based upon our actions or our faithfulness, His love for us is based upon who He is.
We are not loved because we are good. We are loved because He is good. And it is His goodness that in time makes us good.
We see this the most in Peter. Peter was the leader and after Jesus says that He will be left by everyone, Peter says, no, not I. And Jesus says, you will deny me three times.
We see the disciples begin to fall away, when Jesus was praying. And to me, that’s the second thing that stands out in this passage. Look at how Jesus prayed. Look at the passion, the pain, the hurt. Remember that Jesus was both fully human and fully divine. He knew the cross was coming. He knew what was going to happen. He knew what awaited.
And He still chose it. Because He loved us. He loved His disciples that would deny Him soon, and He loves us, who do much the same. He knew what must be done for the salvation of the world.
No one took Jesus life from Him. No one murdered Him. He willing chose the cross.
So when you read the story of the Garden, remember the prayer He prayed, remember the help He sought from His Father, remember the passion and strength it took.
Remember the choice He made, for us and for the world. Remember God’s plan, from the very creation for our redemption.
Remember how much you are loved.
Tomorrow we’ll look at Mark 14:43-52.
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