How to Fight Temptation: Watch and Pray
Matthew 26:36-46
Jesus demonstrates how to fight temptation by wrestling in prayer to conform his will to the Father's.
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#pray
#temptation
#prayer
Published July 21st, 2020
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Main point summary
Bracket of Matthew 26:36-46
Reflections on the Passage
notes
Main point summary
Jesus' prayerfulness is contrasted by his disciples' sleepiness. Jesus wrestles so that his will conforms to the Father's command. The disciples don't try to wrestle to stay awake to obey Jesus' command.
Bracket of Matthew 26:36-46
editing
NT
Matthew 26:36-46
niv
esv
net
mine
Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
m Then Jesus went with them
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
[After dinner] Jesus went with his disciples
e to a place called Gethsemane,
TO a place called Gethsemane
locative
and he said to his disciples,
AND he said to his disciples
“Sit here,
"Sit here
while I go over there and pray.”
WHILE I go over there and pray."
temporal
ideaexplanation
series
He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.
And taking with him n Peter and o the two sons of Zebedee,
He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and became anguished and distressed.
AND THEN TAKING Peter, James and John along with him
he began to be sorrowful and troubled.
He began to be sorrowful and troubled.
actionmanner
Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
Then he said to them,
Then he said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, even to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with me.”
SO he said to them,
p “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death;
My soul is filled with sorrow - to the point of death.
remain here,
THEREFORE remain here
and q watch 1 with me.”
AND watch with me.
inference
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
And going a little farther
Going a little farther, he threw himself down with his face to the ground and prayed, 46 “My Father, if possible, 47 let this cup 48 pass from me! Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
AND THEN GOING a little ahead of the three disciples,
he fell on his face r and prayed, saying,
He fell on his face and prayed.
“My Father, if it be possible,
Father, IF it is possible
let s this cup pass from me;
THEN let this cup pass from me.
conditional
t nevertheless, not as I will,
HOWEVER, CONCEDING that it may not be possible, I do NOT want my will
but as you will.”
BUT I want your will to be done.
negativepositive
concessive
Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?”he asked Peter.
And he came to the disciples
Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. He 49 said to Peter, “So, couldn’t you stay awake with me for one hour?
FURTHERMORE, he came to his disciples
and found them sleeping.
AND RESULTINGLY found them sleeping.
actionresult
And he said to Peter,
THEREFORE he said to Peter,
“So, could you not watch with me one hour?
"You could not keep watch for even an hour.
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
q Watch and u pray
Stay awake and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
THEREFORE watch and pray
that you v may not enter into temptation.
IN ORDER THAT you may not be tempted
actionpurpose
The spirit indeed is willing,
BECAUSE the Spirit is willing
but the flesh is weak.”
BUT ALTERNATIVELY, your flesh is weak.
alternative
ground
He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed,
He went away a second time and prayed, 50 “My Father, if this cup 51 cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will must be done.”
AND THEN Jesus went and prayed for the second time.
“My Father, if this cannot pass
Father, IF it is the case that your will cannot be completed
unless I drink it,
IF I do not drink it
w your will be done.”
THEN I want your will to be done.
When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy.
And again he came
He came again and found them sleeping; they could not keep their eyes open. 52
FURTHERMORE , he came to WHERE his disciples were
and found them sleeping,
and found them sleeping
for x their eyes were heavy.
BECAUSE they were tired.
So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
So, leaving them again,
So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same thing once more.
THEREFORE LEAVING them once more
he went away and prayed for y the third time,
He went and prayed for the third time
saying the same words again.
in the same MANNER , saying the same thing.
Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.
Then he came to the disciples
Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is approaching, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
FURTHERMORE he came to WHERE his disciples were
and said to them,
and said to them,
“Sleep and take your rest later on. 1
Rest later
See, z the hour is at hand,
BECAUSE the TIME has come
and a the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
and I am going to be handed over to sinners.
Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
Rise, let us be going;
Get up, let us go. Look! My betrayer 53 is approaching!”
AND let us be going
see, my betrayer is at hand.”
BECAUSE my betrayer is here.
progression
discourse
Reflections on the Passage
The humanity of Jesus is on raw display in this passage. He described his soul as sorrowful to the point of death. He was greatly troubled. Jesus wasn't some heavenly being who floated above the surface of the earth. He was fully man with full emotions. He was sorrowful and troubled at the prospect of what the next several hours would hold - beatings, scourgings and crucifixion. I'm sure that bearing the wrath of God for the sin of his people was what troubled his mind most. And so Jesus prayed. He prayed in his humanity. He prayed his raw emotion to God. And yet was willing to surrender his will to the Father's. The central verse in this passage (both physically, and I think teaching wise) is v41. "Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Jesus was not only teaching this, his prayers that evening were a demonstration. His spirit was willing to obey the Father but his flesh was weak - there was trepidation of what he was to face. And so what did Jesus do, he watched and prayed so that he wouldn't be tempted.
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