Everything is coming to a close. Jesus has been in Jerusalem for the last week, and these last few days are full of convicting teaching and prophecy. He is heading towards a long awaited, yet seemingly unpredictable, time of pain and suffering. We know how the story ends, but these two chapters tell us much about the will of God, and Christ’s obedience to that will.
The idea of Messiah in Jewish culture had many different predictions and ideas surrounding it. Most were looking for a military saviour who would forever remove and protect the people and land from any imposing foreign empire. Others began to see that God was providing something different in the person of Jesus. But one thing these two camps had in common, they expected this kingdom to come within their lifetimes.
In Chapter 13, Jesus is asked a question about the end of the current age and the beginning of the eternal kingdom, which is Christ’s Second Coming. It is interesting to note that Jesus has given warnings of judgment to those outside of God’s kingdom. But now he is giving warnings as to what will happen to those inside the kingdom. Hard times will come, but Jesus tells us that he will come back after these hard times to rescue his people. This section reminds us of the Book of Revelation, which culminates on Jesus’ return to create a new heaven and new earth (Rev. 21).
But, what happens in the meantime? The best answer to this question is found in Jesus’ example. Hard times are coming for Jesus in only hours from where we are reading. This week we are going to look at Jesus’ actions in the midst of the coming hard times.
As followers of Christ, we are taught to imitate Christ. There is no better example to follow than the example of Jesus in our focus passage.
Passage: Mark 14:32-41
32 They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” 35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” 37 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? 38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. 40 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him. 41 Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.” (NIV)
- What stood out to you in chapters 13&14 of Mark?
- Why do you think Jesus only took Peter, James and John with him into the Garden of Gethsemane?
- Jesus prayed that ‘if possible the hour might pass from him’. What does this tell us about Jesus?
- What do you think the significance is of Jesus calling Peter by his old name of 'Simon' during this passage?
- How do you define the term obedience?
- In this passage, Jesus, himself, shows his obedience to God, but he also calls his disciples to be obedient to him. What do you believe God is calling you to obedience for in your life now? How can we as a group come alongside you to pray for those things God is calling you towards?
Prayer: As Christians, we believe that prayer plays an important role in all aspects of our lives. We want to encourage you to pray that God will take what has been discussed and change your life. Be bold, and be brave as you reach out to ask for God to show you where you may need to repent and better follow Christ.