Matthew 26:39 - Jesus Prays in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Matthew 26:39; Jesus Prays in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Mat 26:39 (KJV) And he went a little farther, and fell on his
face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup
pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
Matthew 26:39 (NLT) He went on a little farther and bowed with
his face to the ground, praying, "My Father! If it is possible, let
this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to
be done, not mine."
CUP is a figure of speech for wrath in the Old Testament (Ps.
75:8; Isa. 51:17). Jesus became a curse for us and took the brunt of
God's righteous wrath against sin (Gal. 3:13).... It was not the
impending physical suffering, as terrible as it would be, that caused
Jesus to pray this way; it was the reality of the sinless Son of God
bearing the sins of the world and facing separation from His Father.
He prayed not now for His disciples that their faith might not
fail, but for His own tempted, agonized soul. The awful moment had
come--that moment which was to decide the destiny of the world. The fate of
humanity trembled in the balance. Christ might even now refuse to drink
the cup apportioned to guilty man. It was not yet too late. He might
wipe the bloody sweat from His brow, and leave man to perish in his
iniquity. He might say, Let the transgressor receive the penalty of his
sin, and I will go back to My Father. Will the Son of God drink the
bitter cup of humiliation and agony? Will the innocent suffer the
consequences of the curse of sin, to save the guilty? The words fall
tremblingly from the pale lips of Jesus, "O My Father, if this cup may not
pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done."
Three times has He uttered that prayer. Three times has humanity
shrunk from the last, crowning sacrifice. But now the history of the
human race comes up before the world's Redeemer. He sees that the
transgressors of the law, if left to themselves, must perish. He sees the
helplessness of man. He sees the power of sin. The woes and lamentations of a
doomed world rise before Him. He beholds its impending fate, and His
decision is made. He will save man at any cost to Himself. He accepts His
baptism of blood, that through Him perishing millions may gain
everlasting life. He has left the courts of heaven, where all is purity,
happiness, and glory, to save the one lost sheep, the one world that has
fallen by transgression. And He will not turn from His mission. He will
become the propitiation of a race that has willed to sin. His prayer
now breathes only submission: "If this cup may not pass away from
Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done." DA 690.3}
We can never fathom the agony in Gethsemane, but at least we
need not misunderstand it. It is the agony of God and Man in one,
face to face with sin. We know nothing about Gethsemane in personal
experience. Gethsemane and Calvary stand for something unique; they are the
gateway into Life for us.
It was not the death on the cross that Jesus feared in
Gethsemane; He stated most emphatically that He came on purpose to die. In
Gethsemane He feared lest He might not get through as Son of Man. He would
get through as Son of God--Satan could not touch Him there; but
Satan's onslaught was that He would get through as an isolated Figure
only; and that would mean that He could be no Saviour. Read the record
of the agony in the light of the temptation: "Then the devil
leaveth Him for a season." In Gethsemane Satan came back and was again
overthrown. Satan's final onslaught against Our Lord as son of Man is in
The agony in Gethsemane is the agony of the Son of God in
fulfilling His destiny as the Saviour of the world. The veil is drawn aside
to reveal all it cost Him to make it possible for us to become sons
of God. His agony is the basis of the simplicity of our salvation.
The Cross of Christ is a triumph for the son of Man. It was not only
a sign that Our Lord had triumphed, but that He had triumphed to
save the human race. Every human being can get through into the
presence of God now because of what the Son of Man went through. [My
Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers]
Jesus was not rebelling against his Father's will when he asked
that the cup of suffering and separation be taken away. In fact, he
reaffirmed his desire to do God's will by saying, "Yet not as I will, but
as you will." [Life Application SB re Mat. 26:39]
Jesus was in great anguish over his approaching physical pain,
separation from the Father, and death for the sins of the world. The divine
course was set, but he, in his human nature, still struggled (Hebrews
5:7-9). Because of the anguish Jesus experienced, he can relate to our
suffering. Jesus' strength to obey came from his relationship with God the
Father, who is also the source of our strength. [Life Application SB re
Mat. 26:37, 38]
His struggle was intense -- more wrenching than any struggle we
will ever have to face. What does it take to be able to say "as you
will"? It takes firm trust in God's plans; it takes prayer and
obedience each step of the way. [Life Application SB re Mat. 26:39]
The disciples could not understand, or even stay awake to share
the awful loneliness with Him. Yet today we can watch, worship, and
learn. Each of these is important. We watch, by meditating on Christ's
sufferings, tuning our hearts to empathize. We worship, praising and
thanking Him for the extravagant love He displayed. And we learn, growing
in the conviction that like Jesus we must take whatever cup God
offers us, and say with our Lord, "Not as I will, but as You will."
[The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]
There are several instructive features in our Saviour's prayer
in his hour of trial. It was LONELY PRAYER. He withdrew even from
his three favoured disciples. Believer, be much in solitary prayer,
especially in times of trial. Family prayer, social prayer, prayer in the
Church, will not suffice, these are very precious, but the best beaten
spice will smoke in your censer in your private devotions, where no
ear hears but God's.
It was HUMBLE PRAYER. Luke says he knelt, but another evangelist
says he "fell on his face." Where, then, must be thy place, thou
humble servant of the great Master? What dust and ashes should cover
thy head! Humility gives us good foot-hold in prayer. There is no
hope of prevalence with God unless we abase ourselves that he may
exalt us in due time.
It was FILIAL PRAYER. "Abba, Father." You will find it a
stronghold in the day of trial to plead your adoption. You have no rights
as a subject, you have forfeited them by your treason; but nothing
can forfeit a child's right to a father's protection. Be not afraid
to say, "My Father, hear my cry."
Observe that it was PERSEVERING PRAYER. He prayed three times.
Cease not until you prevail. Be as the importunate widow, whose
continual coming earned what her first supplication could not win.
Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.
Lastly, it was the PRAYER OF RESIGNATION. "Nevertheless, not as
I will, but as thou wilt." Yield, and God yields. Let it be as God
wills, and God will determine for the best. Be thou content to leave
thy prayer in his hands, who knows when to give, and how to give,
and what to give, and what to withhold. So pleading, earnestly,
importunately, yet with humility and resignation, thou shalt surely prevail.
[Morning and Evening by Charles H. Spurgeon]
When we pray, we need to be mindful of whose glory we seek, and
what our motives are. It is not given to any person to know another
person's motives. Only the individual, and God, can know that
individual's motives. An individual must exert great effort to know their
own motive. Whose will is it you want? "Oh God, take this difficult
task from me," or "My Father, give me that desire of my heart...."
The psalmist tells us that as we delight ourselves in God, He will
give us the desire of our hearts. But this word delight means to be
malleable or moldable. As we pray, let's ask to be continually molded
into Jesus' image, so that when we pray, our motive will be single,
God's glory, God's will; just like Jesus. There will be times when we
ask for something to pass. But in the asking, we must consciously
acknowledge that our desire is for God's best, His highest, and rest in the
answer. [In His Time; Walk With Wisdom]
PRAYER VOICES OUR HUMAN DESIRES BUT SEEKS GOD'S PERFECT WILL AND
GUIDANCE ABOVE ALL. [Disciple SB]
Life presents us with many opportunities; how we respond to them
depends on what we love and what we look for in life.
The Jewish leaders looked for opportunity to destroy Jesus,
while at the same time Jesus was anticipating the opportunity to obey
His Father and bring Him glory.
Mary used the opportunity she had for expressing her devotion to
Christ, but Judas used that same opportunity to criticize her. Nothing
given in love to Jesus is ever wasted. Judas was the one who ended up
wasting his life!
Jesus eagerly anticipated the opportunity to be with His
disciples, even though He knew one would betray Him, one would deny Him,
and all would forsake Him. He sought to help them and prepare them
for the trial before them.
Peter missed his opportunities to become strong and be a victor.
He boasted when he should have listened (vv 32-35), slept when he
should have prayed (vv. 36-48), fought when he should have surrendered
(vv. 47-56), and followed when he should have fled for safety (vv.
57-75; note v. 31). But when the opportunity came for him to repent, he
No matter what others did, Jesus was in complete command and
knew how to make the most of every opportunity. "Not as I will, but
as You will" is the secret (v. 39). God will give you many
opportunities today. Use them wisely! [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by
GOD'S BEST GIFTS ARE NOT THINGS BUT OPPORTUNITIES. WHAT WE CALL
ADVERSITY, GOD CALLS OPPORTUNITY. [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by