Mark 14:32-42 – Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. And he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake.” And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. He said, “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.” He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour? Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And once more he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to him. He came a third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come; the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”
I wonder what Gethsemane would have looked like in Jesus’ day. Sure there are pics today of what the modern-day location looks like, but its hard to not think of this garden without it looking like a garden like we think of today. I am sure it probably was not the most manicured place, not did it likely feel great as Jesus was there at night. The spirit of the place was likely heavy and dark with what Jesus was feeling and what was about to happen. I could imagine Jesus being in a place like this – something that feels a bit more wild and a place that looks warm and inviting, but a place that feels dark and uninviting as the darkness has fallen.
The feeling is also a bit more menacing as we think of what Jesus is praying. Jesus isn’t praying easy words or easy feelings. Its not a prayer that people would normally pray on their own. However, if we are honest, we have prayed prayers like this ourselves – God, can’t you change what’s going on? God are you listening?