Hey everybody. First off, I want to mention that Sabet Kuj called me yesterday to thank our church for praying for Suzy and he. In case you don’t know, they are missionaries to the Sudan that we have been supporting as a church, and who stayed in our area and hung out with our church for a year. She had filed for citizenship in the U.S. (Suzy is from the U.K.), and last week she received it. The whole family will be united in Sudan by September. God is good.
Our text this week is going to be Mark 14:27-42 – read it here.
Verse 26 provided the larger context of the events recorded in this part of chapter 14. Even though we have the account of Jesus praying in the garden, that event is surrounded by accounts of self confidence and failure.
Have you ever made a commitment to something verbally, but failed to follow through because it was more difficult than you thought? How did it make you feel? What did you learn from something like that?
In all the gospel accounts, Peter is always quick with his tongue…and his own account (if that’s what Mark is) is no different. He makes bold claims and promises, but later on in the chapter, we’ll find out just how he keeps those promises.
As Jesus goes off to pray, what do the disciples do? In His humanity, as best we can tell, Jesus had the same struggles with surrendering His will to survive. This is, in part, what is making Him “exceedingly sorrowful to death…” It is in the context of laying aside His own will that Jesus utters the rally cry the church has echoed for 2,000 years – “not what I will, but what YOU will.”.
When He gets back to His disciples, he awakens them. What do you make of that? How would you apply that to your life as a disciple now? His warning is about the weakness of our flesh when it comes to fulfiling our spiritual desires and goals. Obviously, this has application to prayer, because that’s the immediate context, but what do we learn from His warning as we try to apply it to other areas of our spiritual journey.
In v 40, we’re given a reason why the disciples were sleeping. In your own times of struggle or heart pain, when you just don’t know what to do, what has been your response? Escaping is a natural human tendency. What things do we try to escape to, instead of resolving to entrust our situations to God?
This whole scene gets repeated three times. As you read it, how do you imagine Jesus’ facial expressions? How do you imagine His tone of voice? Does Jesus give up on them? What is His final word to them in V 42? What does that mean to your life?
Well…I hope that sparks some good conversation. Thanks for reading this, and being willing to dig a little during the week. This is time WELL SPENT. See yer’ Sundee!