Gospel of John [18:1-2]. Gethsemane, part 3.

Class Outline:

Title: Gospel of John [18:1-2]. Gethsemane, part 3.


Announcements/opening prayer:



If someone, the four authors of the gospels, were trying to write a tale that was unreal but designed to attract followers to a false god or a false hero, this part of the narrative, the Garden of Gethsemane, would have been omitted. Such weakness in a God Man is contemptible to most people. To the world, from Gethsemane to the cross, the Lord Jesus Christ lost everything and won nothing. To the church, the Lord Jesus Christ willingly laid down everything and gained all things.


JOH 18:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the ravine of the Kidron, where there was a garden, into which He Himself entered, and His disciples.


JOH 18:2 Now Judas also, who was betraying Him, knew the place; for Jesus had often met there with His disciples.


Jesus went to the place where Judas knew He would be. He knew it was this night that would be His last and He did not try to hide from His enemies. He had hidden Himself before, but it was not His hour then. It is His hour now and He faces them openly.


Preliminarily we have been discussing Peter's failure.


Our failures will reveal areas of weakness that are closer to us than we think. We can learn the easy way through the Word, but often times we learn the hard way.


This would reveal to Peter an area of weakness that was so close to him that he failed to see it. He vehemently protested any notion of failure on his part. Being brought to the light and properly dealt with in grace would fit him to be a much better leader. And so, God allows the temptation, but He never initiates it. It was Satan that demanded the trial. "Beloved do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among which has come upon you for your testing." When we learn more of Him and ourselves then we can see that light comes out of darkness.


We often deem those sins to be farthest which are nearest to us. Our ignorance lends strength to temptation. Our cognizance leads to open conflict with the temptation, and that with superior weapons.


2CO 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,


2CO 10:4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.


2CO 10:5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ


Taking a thought captive to the obedience of Christ is to perceive the thought through the crystal clear lens of the authority of Christ as revealed in His word. This brings the thought, the temptation, the sin, etc. to light and therefore I am no longer ignorant of its place in relation to God's righteousness.


When I know my enemy I can fight him. When I'm ignorant of my enemy he will often surprise me, flank me, outwit me, and defeat me.


When our Lord entered the Garden He left eight of them behind, somewhere close to the entrance, and He told them to pray that they don't enter into temptation. He went a stone's throw away and prayed, taking Peter, James, and John with Him. These three had entered with Him when He raised the daughter of Jarius and were witnesses of His glory on the Mount of Transfiguration. Here in Gethsemane, the olive press began to really tighten and His soul faced the most intense pressure of His life.


LUK 22:39 And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him.


LUK 22:40 And when He arrived at the place, He said to them, "Pray that you may not enter into temptation." 


LUK 22:41 And He withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and He knelt down and began to pray,


LUK 22:42 saying, "Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Thine be done." 


LUK 22:43 Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him.


LUK 22:44 And being in agony [agonia - severe emotional strain and anguish; derived from the athletic games] He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.


LUK 22:45 And when He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow,


Their sorrow is almost certainly from witnessing the anguish of Jesus.


Luke does not record the fact that Jesus returned to them three times. The first time He returned to them to rouse them and command that they keep watch with Him and pray, they would have seen the anguish on His face and the dried blood on His brow. They have never seen Him in this condition and perhaps that is why He asked only Peter, James, and John to accompany Him. These three who first witnessed Him fill their nets to bursting with fish, who alone witnessed Him raise Jarius' daughter from the dead, and who alone were eye witnesses to His resurrection glory on the Mount of Transfiguration, now see Him in anguish and weakness.


The preposition states that the sorrow is the cause of their sleep. While joy can keep us up sorrow can cause us to want to curl up into a ball and sleep.


LUK 22:46 and said to them, "Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation."


Christ had never experienced sin or the judgment of sin. He had never been separated from His Father, and as sinless, He was never acquainted with any form of death. It is not physical death that weighs His soul down with such pressure but His looming spiritual death, which is His identification with the sins of the world, their judgment upon Him, and His separation from His Father. We are all born spiritually dead and so we all have from an early age a taste of death on our pallets, but not so with Christ. He will not only taste His own spiritual death but He will drink the cup of death for everybody. We have no way of identifying with the pressure He is under. But we can identify with the solution. He kept entrusting Himself to the Father.


Christ would bear the penalty due to our sin, bearing our death, bearing the penalty of the broken Law, the accumulated guilt of humanity, and the holy wrath of the Righteous Judge upon them.


The angel appeared to strengthen Him just as was the case after His temptation in the wilderness.


The pressure upon Him was so great that His sweat was mixed with blood.


Just as three assaults came against Him in the wilderness and He came out of it victorious, so here He prays three times. After the third prayer He set His face like flint towards the cross.


The first two times He returns to the sleeping disciples He entreated them to wake up and pray, but after the third time, again finding them sleeping, He returns in victory. He claims that the hour is at hand.


MAT 26:44 And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more.


MAT 26:45 Then He came to the disciples, and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.


MAT 26:46 "Arise, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!"


Certainly we don't pray for God to remove the situation from us or to take the thorn away, but here we see our Lord using prayer in the midst of the greatest temptation of His life. He prayed for the removal of the cup if it were possible. This is not sin obviously since all throughout His praying the will of the Father is the foremost important thing.


HEB 4:15-16

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.


So we would say that prayer alone will not solve our problems but prayer will lead us to the solutions.


[go back]

MAT 26:36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and  said to His disciples, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." 


MAT 26:37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved [sorrowful] and distressed.


MAT 26:38 Then He said to them, "My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me." 


MAT 26:39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as Thou wilt." 


MAT 26:40 And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour?


MAT 26:41 "Keep watching and praying, that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." 


MAT 26:42 He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, "My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Thy will be done." 


MAT 26:43 And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.


MAT 26:44 And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more.


In prayer He sought the comfort of the Father so that His bloody sweat would turn to calm, so that the eye of the storm might be found, so that the pressure and agitation upon His soul would become tranquility.


2CO 1:3-4

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.


It did not matter how many times He needed to return in prayer. After the first two times we assume that the grief and pressure still hung very heavy around His heart, so much so that He was close to dying from it. The Lord never uses words superfluously. If He said that He was deeply grieved to the point of death then it was true to the word.


MAT 26:45 Then He came to the disciples, and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.


MAT 26:46 "Arise, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!"


After returning from His third prayer, no longer did He bid His disciples to keep watch. This changed to "let's get going and face My enemies."


ISA 50:7

For the Lord God helps Me,

Therefore, I am not disgraced;

Therefore, I have set My face like flint,

And I know that I shall not be ashamed.


Flint is an imperfect type of quartz, is found in abundance in the limestone rocks of Syria, Palestine, and Egypt and is represented from the earliest occupational deposits there. Flint artifacts were prominent in the period of human history up to the Exodus, being used for a wide variety of purposes. Even after the introduction of copper, bronze, and iron they continued to be used for specific purposes. Figuratively, the impact of horses' hooves is likened to the hardness of flint (ISA 5:28).