The Passion of Christ in the Gospel of Luke
A Guide to Meditation and Prayer
Week 5 - Day 2
Your Will Be Done
Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
Meditation on Scripture- Read Luke 22:35-46 and write your reflections in the workbook. Use the summary below for further reflection on the passage. Prayer- Use the Guide for Prayer.
In this section Jesus concludes his conversation with the disciples then goes with them to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane. He first gives them instruction for their future ministry. The pattern for the future will not be the one Jesus gave them before (Luke 9:1-6) in which everything was provided for them. In the future they will need to make provision for what they need, even potentially needing a sword. Why this change? Because something bad was about to happen. The scriptures about the suffering of the Messiah were about to be fulfilled. In alarm, the disciples affirmed that they had two swords. Jesus gave a non-committal but knowing replied, “It will be enough.” Apparently they would take at least one of them with them, for it would be used at the time of Jesus’ arrest.
The prayer of Jesus in the Garden is a model of how to pray when the will of God is uncertain or when we have difficult circumstances facing us. Jesus prays as his heart leads him but also gives himself to God’s will. We see that Jesus withdrew from the disciples to have some personal space and privacy for prayer. So great was his emotional agony that an angel came to strengthen him. Luke, a physician, is the only gospel that notes that Jesus’ perspiration became like great drops of blood. This is generally thought to be medical evidence of great emotional stress and emotion.
The disciples were unable to stay awake during their vigil of prayer. Luke notes that it was because of their heaviness with sorrow at the troubles about which Jesus had been warning them. While Matthew and Mark report that Jesus prayed three times, Luke shortens the account and only mentions one period of prayer. Jesus encouraged the disciples to pray that they would not enter into temptation. This account is an illustration of the usefulness of the phrase in the Lord’s Prayer that says, “And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.”
Things to Consider –
· Do you ever pray not to enter into temptation? Jesus’ words suggest this as a legitimate and important prayer. Should this be something you add to your regular prayers?
· What do you think about Jesus’ instruction to take a sword (verse 36)? Does this legitimize self-defense? Does it legitimize self-defense in regard to one’s ministry, church, and theology? Can you think of an occasion in which this might be necessary?
· Look up Isaiah 53:12 to see what Old Testament verse Jesus quotes in verse 37. Notice that many other parts of this section of Isaiah concern Chris’s passion.
· Notice the humanity of Jesus here. He recognized the trouble before him and his emotions were fully engaged. Often our emotions are distracted, disengaged, and dull. Would you like to be more emotionally and authentically engaged with life? Where do you feel disengaged at the moment?
· Theologians have noted that the Father begins to distance himself from the Son at this point as part of Jesus’ sufferings. This is the first prayer of Jesus that does not fully get answered.
Guide for Prayer –
· Close your eyes and take one full minute to calm your mind and gather your spirit.
· Think about ways in which you have found God’s will in your life and are currently in God’s will. Thank God for allowing you to find his way for your life.
· Think about a difficult moment in your life in which things looked very bleak. Thank God for bring you through that moment and helping you grow through it.
· Think about how fully Jesus was emotionally engaged in this moment. Ask God to help you be more emotionally engaged in your family, responsibilities, job, and relationships.
· Thank you that Jesus did not back down from this difficult moment. Ask God to help you have courage for his will for your life.
· Ask God to help you in temptation. Use the phrase in the Lord’s Prayer. “And lead me not into temptation but deliver me from evil.”
· Pray for one person who needs God’s help and grace.
· Take some moments to offer your own prayers to God. Offer whatever prayers and praises seem appropriate.