June 7. Matthew 26:31-46

GRACE LESSONS: Oh what an example of the grace of God is shown in this passage. Jesus humbly asks for help of His disciples and especially chooses Peter, James and John to go further with Him. He asks them to keep watch with Him and pray. He shares how anguished and distressed He is. And after Peter, especially, declares his undying loyalty to Christ, he and the others fall asleep instead of doing the task Jesus asked of them. Not once, but three times. Yet even in this, when Judas shows up, Jesus just wakes them up and tells them the time is come. He gives no long lectures. He does not rant and rave at them. He extends grace to their weary bodies that could not stay awake. Oh how kind our Lord was to these disciples of his! Oh how gracious He is to us. The psalmist tells us that The Lord is like a father to his children,  tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. (Psalm 103:13-14 NLT) We are blessed to have such a Lord!

OUR PASSAGE: This night must have been etched on the disciples’ minds for all time. So strange it must have seemed to see Jesus in such agony and to hear what was coming from His mouth. They could hardly understand or comprehend it. They were unable to stay awake and fight temptation as Jesus asked. And then, in what must have seemed like just an instant, their quiet night in Gethsemane ended with the arrest of their Lord and the One they had left everything to follow.

My verse: Matthew 26:37-38 “He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, ‘My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

My response: This plea was such a strong one from Jesus. He’s made Himself so vulnerable to these three best friends. “I’m in deep distress” He tells them. “Watch with me!” And instead of these friends being of help to Him? They slept. They did not have the empathy to ache when they saw Him ache. They weren’t moved enough to feel His anguish. In a sense, Lord, this must have been a betrayal, too. It must have hurt. And yet You still loved them. Even though You were so alone in these moments before the cross, except for the presence of Your Father Who you sought through prayer! Help me to remember that when others can’t seem to enter in to my pain, You will. You do. And I can always turn to You.


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