February 25, 2018
The Garden of Gethsemane
From the Last Supper, Jesus and a few of the disciples made their way up the Mount of Olives to find quiet place to pray. It is during this time of prayer that we catch a personal glimpse into the humanity of Jesus. It is here that we see that His anguish is real, his humility is true and his trust is heroic. We also see that He had options: With eyes looking eastward, Jesus, who was grief-stricken and overwhelmed by the prospect of the road ahead, was offered an alternative. Just over the ridge of the Mt. of Olives, He could see a less painful choice. A 45-minute walk into the empty isolation of the Judean Wilderness offered a way of escape. This same hostile terrain that provided King David with refuge from Saul could also allow Jesus to hide from those who were seeking to kill him.
So Gethsemane served as the crossroads, a test of Jesus’ human nature. These two different directions offered two different paths to drastically different destinies for Jesus and for mankind. Yet, of his own accord, the Good Shepherd chose the path of laying down His life for his sheep. He knew His calling. He knew that following this calling would be difficult, even agonizing, but knowing His purpose and that God would walk with Him and lead Him through it became the deciding factor.
Questions for discussion:
· What do you think the main point of Matt’s message was?
· Why do you think Jesus was so upset?
· Do you think He was really considering other options?
· What does this passage teach us about Jesus and God’s plan for us?
· How does knowing about Jesus’ struggles help us, here and now?
Do something about it:
Consider the opportunities which God has put into your life. Our calling includes our response to these opportunities. Sometimes they are stepping-stones to a greater or more impactful calling. Focus on at least one of the current, maybe difficult, opportunities that God has put in your path and, like Jesus, choose to do what you know you are being called to do.
Mark 14:32-42; Matthew 26:36-46; Luke 22:39-46; Hebrews 2:17,18; Hebrews 4:15; Ephesians 1:18,19; Romans 5:3-5