Read thru New Testament Devotional – March 13, 2017

March 13

 

Mark 14:26-50

Mk. 14:26-31-Jesus tells the disciples that He is going to die...Peter says that he will not desert Him, but Jesus says that he will.  Peter and the other disciples continue to insist that they will not desert Him. Had they listened more closely and believed the words, “But after I have been raised…” (:28), it would have made a world of difference in the next few days.  It is somewhat stunning that their response to Him was not of concern over the fact that He was going to suffer and die…but, that they were determined to not desert Him.  The focus seemed to be more on them, than on Him.

Mk. 14:32-42-They conclude the Passover Feast and the institution of the Lord’s Supper by singing a song (Psalm 115-118, the traditional Passover Hallel, cf. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0008_0_08255.html). Then, they proceed to the Mount of Olives…to a place referred to as the Garden of Gethsemane.

Mk. 14:32-34-When they arrived at Gethsemane Jesus told the disciples to stay where they were and to pray. He took Peter, James and John with Him and "began to be very distressed and troubled.  And He said to them, 'My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch.'"

Mk. 14:35-36-In the prayer of Jesus we see the intimacy of how He addressed the Father..."Abba! Father!"...like a child pleading with a parent.  Jesus asked the Father that He not have to go through what was about to happen.  Yet, He willingly submitted Himself to the will of the Father. This could be both the most amazing and the most informative prayer in all of the Bible.  It is amazing that in it we see both the entire Deity and humanity of Jesus.  His Deity is revealed in that He was fully aware of what was about to happen.  He knew all that He was going to suffer…and He knew the ultimate victory that He would accomplish.  And yet, His humanity is seen in that knowing the physical cruelty, torture, and anguish He was about to suffer…He asked the Father to keep Him from it.  It is informative for us concerning the nature of prayer.  Jesus prayed for something that was potentially not in keeping with the will of the Father, “remove this cup from Me”. And yet, it was not sin to do so…because, He relinquished His will in the matter to that of the Father, “yet not what I will, but what Thou wilt.”   There is no period at the first part of the prayer…only a colon.  Jesus began with the sincere desire of His heart…presented it to the Father…and then submitted it to the Father’s will.  This is a wonderful model for us.  We should present matters to the Lord as we truly feel about them…not disguised, or even trying to make them sound pious.  Then, we should accept God’s decision concerning them…His will.

Mk. 14:37-38-Jesus returned to Peter, James and John...and found them sleeping.  He told them to keep watching and praying so that they would not fall into temptation.

Mk. 14:39-Jesus prayed again. Notice that He prayed the same thing.  This was not a lack of faith on His part…but the earnest expression of what was in His heart.  He continued to pray in that manner until He received an answer.

Mk. 14:40-Jesus again found the 3 disciples asleep.

Mk. 14:41-42-Jesus finds the 3 disciples asleep a third time.  This time, He tells them that the time has come for His betrayal.

Mk. 14:43-50-Judas betrays Jesus. Jesus is arrested.  Peter (John 18:10) draws a sword and cuts off the ear of the slave of the high priest.

Prayer: Abba.  Lord, I have such mixed emotions when I think of praying to You in this manner.  On one hand, the fact that You allow me to call You my Father...is amazing (because I recognize Who You are...Your "otherness" and holiness...You are God!) and comforting.  On the other hand, I feel uncomfortable doing so (because I recognize who I am...a sinner, a created being, unworthy).  It is such an intimate, personal term.  Please help me to know and understand the appropriate balance of those two thoughts when I call You, "Abba." Jesus, please help me to learn how to pray as You have taught us here.

 

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