Luke chapter 22 shows two opposite positions of heart.
Judas “went his own way” and communed with the chief priests how he might betray Jesus.
Our Lord prayed for consecration in the Garden saying “nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done”.
The first position is that of Adam in the Fall.
The second is that of Messiah in the Restoration.
Jesus knew that each of His disciples, each of us, would face a similar test.
His words of counsel upon entering Gethsemane were very potent. “Pray that ye enter not into temptation” (v. 40). Seven words*, the perfect number.
Pray. Do not go to sleep through self-interest, self-pity or the lullabies of shallow testimony, shallow gathering or shallow preaching.
Pray, and in frank acknowledgment of your weaknesses, doubts and stumblings, beseech the Lord that you might have more of Him and of His gracious intercession. I did not say more of His ethic or virtues. I said more of Him; His life essence.
Verse 40 occurred right before the final chapter of His passion. He was in Gethsemane and His disciples all fell asleep. They longed for the happy days beside Galilee – the teaching, the feasting, the miracles, the vigorous travel. When it came to praying, and to considering in depth the weighty sayings of the Olivet Discourse (chapter 21) and of the Last Supper, they became drowsy. What about staying awake, and keeping Jesus company in His agenda?
I would suggest that today many of the churches are doing the same thing. Jesus wants them to share His burdens and selfless service. They want Galilee, fellowship, smiles, signs and wonders, knowledge and spiritual giftings to build themselves up. All in the name of good and successful Christian living. Such a sad second- best.
They would be slow to foot-wash, slow to pray, slow to seek the lost sheep, slow to bear the reproach of Jesus (Hebrews 13: 13). The coin has been tossed in favour of going their “own way”.
May these be good words of counsel for many to launch the New Year of 2015. This is my prayer…Doug