Summary of passages: Matthew 26:36-46: Jesus and his disciples travel to Gethsemane where Jesus goes to pray, taking Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him. He asks them to keep watch with him as Jesus is overcome with sorrow. Jesus asks God to take his cup from him but only if it is God’s will.
Jesus returns after praying to find his disciples asleep. He tells them to watch and pray and if they would do that, the spirit would give them the strength to stay awake. Jesus goes away and prays a second time, the same prayer. He came back to sleeping disciples again. Jesus leaves them and goes away to pray the same prayer a third time. He comes back and chastises the disciples, telling them he is about to be betrayed and they are sleeping!
Mark 14:32-42: Jesus took his disciples to Gethsemane and told them to wait while he prayed. Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him to keep watch over him as his soul was overwhelmed with sorrow. Jesus prayed to God, saying take the cup from him as everything is possible for God but only if it be God’s will. Jesus returns and specifically chastises Simon for falling asleep, saying the body is weak but the spirit is strong.
The same as Matthew here: Jesus asks God twice more to take away his cup and his disciples are found sleeping while Jesus is turned over to sinners.
Luke 22:39-46: Jesus went to the Mount of Olives with the disciples following him. He told them to pray that they would not fall into temptation. He withdrew a stone’s throw from them and prayed for God to take the cup from him if He was willing. An angel from heaven appeared to strengthen Jesus. Jesus prayed more fervently and his sweat was like blood falling to the ground.
Jesus rose and went back to his disciples and found them sleeping. Jesus told them again to get up and pray so they wouldn’t fall into temptation.
11a) Gave up his earthly life. He was beaten. He gave up his will (to live) for God’s will (to die).
b) He is angry and chastises them.
c) Personal Question. My answer: He is sorrowful that is giving up his earthly life. He asks to stay longer if it be God’s will. He is sorrowful, troubled, and sad about giving up his life for others. He knows the physical pain that is coming and he doesn’t want to experience that. He feels just like us and needs God and God’s strength just like us.
12) Mark tells us Jesus includes in his prayer to God that “everything is possible for him”. Mark tells us Jesus specifically yells at Peter about falling asleep.
Luke is the passage that deviates the most from the other two. Luke says that Jesus told all the disciples to pray that they would not fall into temptation and that presumably all of them fell asleep. Jesus was only a stone’s throw from them while praying. An angel from heaven appeared to Jesus as he was praying to strengthen him. Sweat fell from Jesus like drops of blood to the ground.
13a) Jesus prays the same thing 3 times “Father, if it be possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Luke says God sent an angel to strengthen Jesus.
b) Lord, thank you for strengthening Jesus in his time of need that allowed him to sacrifice his life for our sins so that we may be with you. May we all embrace your will as Jesus did. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Conclusions: I find it fascinating how one passage usually always differs from the others. How God wanted different facts recorded it seems. It shows how each of us remembers things a bit differently and some things about experiences stand out to us while different things stand out to others.
End Notes: The name Gethsemane means “olive press” so the area was surrounded by olive trees. Olives are crushed to make olive oil. Fitting then how Jesus was soon to be crushed.
Note the cup of wrath or judgment that we discussed in Matthew 20 (Lesson 21 Day 4). Jesus is taking the cup that was meant for all of us.
Gethsemane was the last place Jesus needed to win in order to take our sins. Imagine if Jesus had turned his back on us here. The whole world would not be the same.
Jesus needed the disciples prayers here for him and for themselves in order to not deny him. They failed miserably if you will.
Note the example Jesus sets here with repeated prayer. If Jesus can repeatedly ask God for things, so can we.
Jesus knew Judas was coming, but he did not run. Instead, he waited for him. Jesus was the one in control of events. As he continues to be today.