On Monday of Holy week Christians traditionally read and contemplate on Jesus praying in Gethsemane. Luke concentrates on Jesus’ prayer and not on the failings of the disciples. Let’s see if there are any blessings hidden in the story. Let see what we can learn from Jesus’ agony in Gethsemane.
And He came out and went, as was His habit, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples also followed Him. And when He came to the place, He said to them, Pray that you may not [at all] enter into temptation. And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw and knelt down and prayed, Saying, Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but [always] Yours be done. And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him in spirit. And being in an agony [of mind], He prayed [all the] more earnestly and intently, and His sweat became like great clots of blood dropping down upon the ground. And when He got up from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from grief, And He said to them, Why do you sleep? Get up and pray that you may not enter [at all] into temptation. (Luke 22:39-46, AMP)
I just love the humanness of Jesus praying. He was not hiding his emotions from God. He struggled and didn’t even try to suppress his emotions. He desperately wanted to find another way. He agonized over it. He expressed his feelings openly to God. And that, I think, is the tremendous gift for us today. That’s what we can learn from Jesus’ agony in Gethsemane.
We don’t need to keep away from God when we are frustrated.
We don’t need to be stoic and hide our emotions from God.
We don’t need to suppress our feelings before the Lord.
We are free to be who we are and feel what we are feeling.
We are free to wrestle with God, express ourselves openly.
We are free to be authentic with God.
And even that’s not all, folks!
We are not left to struggle alone. Just like Jesus had an angel strengthening him, we are empowered through the Holy Spirit. We just need to enter into God’s presence and we will have as much grace as needed.
We need to stop thinking we’d need to suppress our real feelings if we want to come into God’s presence. Why should we if Jesus expressed himself freely before the Lord?
Real spirituality is authentic.
Real spirituality is passionate.
Real spirituality is Jesus-like.
Hence…when things get rough…don’t run from God…run to God! That’s where our help comes from. Time after time. Forever and ever.
Thank you for wanting authenticity.
Thank you for creating emotions
and allowing us to express them.
Help us to openly trust you
with our struggles and our joys.
Be praised forever and ever,
In Jesus’ precious name,
Q4U: What did you learn from Jesus’ agony in Gethsemane? Do you feel secure enough in God’s love to express yourself freely?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you live authentically before the Lord!
* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses to Biblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.]
Image courtesy of Wikimedia. This post is refurbished from 2010. Linking up today with Sharing His Beauty, Hear it on Sunday, use it on Monday, Playdates with God, and counting blessings with Ann Voskamp: #1104 Real spirituality is authentic. #1105 We are welcome to express all our feelings in God’s presence.
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