Matthew 26:36-37, 40-41:
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He said to His disciples, "Sit here, while I go over there and pray. And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to be sorrowful and troubled. ... And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And He said to Peter, "So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Have you ever been so tired that you couldn't keep your eyes open? All of us have, from time to time. I generally start "nodding off" about 10:00 or so in the evening while watching TV. I honestly inherited that from my parents who, every evening while watching the 11:00 news, would fall asleep in their chairs. They would wake up long enough to catch the weather forecast, then go to bed.
The Flesh is Weak:
It's hard to stay up, especially when you have been going all day long.
Now try to connect to the apostles that night when Jesus was arrested. They had a long day. It is the celebration week of the Passover. They ate the meal with Jesus. Yet it was very different than before. Jesus tells them about the betrayal. Judas walks out and nobody understood why. Jesus then changes the meal from a remembrance of the Exodus to a celebration of His body and blood for the forgiveness of sins. And now it's late. They walked from the house through the Kidron Valley and back up the Mount of Olives to a spot called, Gethsemane.
They're tired. They're probably thinking, "Jesus, I'll try to stay awake for you. But I'm so tired. Just let me rest my eyes for a couple of seconds. I'm with you, Jesus. But I'm so tired."
We're the Same:
We have problems "staying awake" for Jesus. We lose sight of what we're supposed to be. We lose sight to the new life that Jesus gave. We go back to the ways of the flesh. We go back to the things that our nature wants. We'll say things like, "Jesus, I know that I shouldn't buy that 90 inch TV. I know I don't need it. That money I could give to the Church for Your work. But I really want it. It'll be only one time. ..."
How many times have we "rationalized" our behaviors because we were weak? Too many times. How many times does Jesus come to us by means of the Holy Spirit and chastise us for our "lack of faith" and weakness? Too many times.
And this is Why Jesus Came:
How many times does Jesus have to remind us of our weakness and frailties? How many times does God have to convict us of our sins and selfishness?
Jesus died to forgive us of ALL of our sins. He is the ONE TIME sacrifice for ALL SIN of ALL PEOPLE over ALL TIME. Jesus gave up His body and shed His blood so that you and I have forgiveness.
We have a new life! This life has the strength to say, "I am with You, Jesus. I am living the life You recreated me to have. You gave to me the Holy Spirit who gives me the strength to resist the weakness of my flesh. I have a new life. I will be diligent. I will be strong."
And how does the Spirit strengthen us? He uses His Word, the Holy Bible. He also uses your brothers and sisters in the faith to encourage you when you feel the weakness of the flesh trying to kick in. The Spirit uses Bible studies and small groups. The Spirit uses the gathering of the people of God in worship. Through song, praise, prayer, and proclamation, the Spirit equips you for your daily life. Do not let your weakness of distractions to keep you from coming to be in the presence of God. Join together to receive the pure grace of God.
Want to Know More?
Come and join us each week for Sunday School for all ages at 9:15am. Then stay for worship and the Service of the Word at 10:30am.
And I am always open for conversation. Just comment on the blog.
Pastor Robert Hemsath joined Faith Lutheran Church and School as the Senior Pastor in January 2017. Pastor Hemsath comes to FLC from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Waxahachie, TX. He has also served congregations in Aberdeen, ID and Pocatello, ID. He has been a Lutheran pastor for the past 20 years.