Luke 22:39-40 (NIV)
39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.
40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”
On verses 39-40: Previously, when his disciples asked Jesus how to pray, one of the lines Jesus taught them to pray was “lead us not into temptation” (Luke 11:4). Now is when the rubber meets the road, when the disciples are in a situation where they need to pray more than ever the way Jesus teaches them to pray.
How often do you pray, “Lord, lead me not into temptation”? It may be a prayer we ought to pray more often.
Luke 22:41-42 (NIV)
41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed,
42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
On verses 41-42: Jesus is the Son of God, the most powerful man to ever live. Yet notice the way Jesus approaches his Father in prayer:
– with intentionality: to get alone with God “he withdrew about a stone’s throw” away from his disciples (v41)
– with humility: he “knelt down” (v41) before the Father
– with honesty: Jesus was honest with his Father about what he wanted and what he feared (“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me” – v42)
– with surrender: Jesus didn’t insist on what he wanted, but ultimately was willing to submit to whatever his Father had planned (“not my will, but yours be done” – v42)
Luke 22:43 (NIV)
43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.
On verse 43: Luke notes that on the most stressful night of his life Jesus was strengthened by the presence of an angel. How exactly that angel strengthened him is not clear, but it is a good reminder that God uses angels to strengthen and protect His children.
Luke 22:44 (NIV)
44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
On verse 44: Luke writes says that Jesus is so stressed that his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. There is a medical term for this condition. It’s called hematidrosis. It’s where the blood vessels that feed the sweat glands rupture, such that when you sweat blood comes out as well. Hematidrosis has been found to happen in rare situations where people are experiencing acute fear and extreme stress. That’s the kind of stress Jesus was in. Jesus is literally shedding blood, sweat and tears as he prays in the Garden of Gethsemane.
What can we learn from this? Following God’s will for your life will not guarantee you a stress-free life. Jesus himself says, “In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart, for I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) As you follow God’s will for your life, you will face troubles and great difficulties, but you have One who will see you through those troubles and great difficulties, whose peace is greater than your problem.
Notice that in his greatest anguish, Jesus prayed even more. Likewise, in your most difficult moments, don’t run away from God. Run to Him. Press into God and He will give you the courage, the peace, the strength and the wisdom you need to get through.
Luke 22:45-46 (NIV)
45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow.
46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
On verses 45-46: Jesus saw prayer as a weapon against temptation. As we like to say at Thrive, much prayer, much power; little prayer, little power; no prayer, no power. The amount of power you have to overcome will be directly related to the quality of your prayer life.
Luke 22:47-48 (NIV)
47 While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him,
48 but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
On verses 47-48: It must have stung his heart when Jesus discovers that the signal Judas chose to identify Jesus to his captors was a kiss. This expression of fake love and feigned intimacy must have made the betrayal that much more bitter and hurtful for Jesus. For while Judas was kissing Jesus’ cheek, he was breaking Jesus’ heart.
Luke 22:49-51 (NIV)
49 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?”
50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
On verses 49-51: Amazingly, Jesus heals the body of one of his captors. What incredible grace, love and mercy flows from the heart of Jesus. Jesus knows what these people will do to him, and yet he reaches out and serves them.
Luke 22:52-53 (NIV)
52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs?
53 Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour–when darkness reigns.”
On verses 52-53: Jesus exposes the schemes of the chief priests and elders, pointing out that:
– he is not leading any illegal movement or political rebellion that warranted any violence against him (v52);
– they did not dare to apprehend him in the daytime but only did so at night. Jesus sees this as fitting, since this was their hour, when darkness reigned (v53). Here Jesus is correctly insinuating that the chief priests and elders were following a dark and demonic agenda, whereas Jesus was in the light.
Heavenly Father, thank You that like Your Son Jesus we have You to go to whenever we are in anguish. Thank You for loving us so much despite all the ways we hurt You. I pray that we would not fall into temptation. Please fill us Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!