AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #43
Watch and Pray
“Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41).
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
At first glance, this seems simple enough to understand. But the larger context is about missing an opportunity and suffering the consequences.
This event can be viewed in two scenarios. And both are correct:
1. Instructions to stay alert and pray when calamity, temptation and testing comes. In this case, regarding the events leading up to Jesus death and resurrection and the First Advent of the Savior of the World being announced on the world stage.
2. A foreshadowing of the coming Second Advent of the Savior of the world and instructions for Christians to get ready and stay ready when regarding the coming The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.
Jesus had entered a time of distress and grieving “to the point of death” because His time of betrayal and of enduring the cross was drawing near. So, Jesus comes with Peter, James and John to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
Jesus went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed. When He came back to the disciples He found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour?
Then Jesus said, “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Jesus went back to pray two more times and both times when He returned, the disciples had fallen asleep. After the third time, Jesus announces, “Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.”
AN URGENT WARNING
The idea contained in the Words of Jesus when He said, “Keep watching” (Greek = gregoreuo) is to give strict attention to, be cautious, active, and to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one.
A DIRE CONDITION
The idea contained in the Word “Temptation” describes a “trial, a testing, a proving trial (As seen in Matthew 4:1 when Jesus is led by the Spirit into the wilderness).
It is the trial of man’s fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy; the enticement to sin, arising from personal desires or from the outward circumstances;
In this case it is the temptation by which the devil sought to divert Jesus the Messiah from his divine errand;
It also show the condition of a person, a mental state, by which we are enticed to sin, or to a lapse from the faith and holiness;
It comes from adversity, affliction, trouble, sent by God and serving to test or prove one’s character, faith, holiness.
Temptation can culminate in rebellion against God, by which his power and justice are, as it were, put to the proof and challenged to show themselves. Scriptures warn us: Do not tempt or test God.
Jesus teaches us, in Matthew 24 and tells us in greater detail in the Book of the Revelation (chapters 6 through 8) of
The present tribulation of these Days of Distress and
The coming Great Tribulation and the Great And Terrible Day of The Lord.
This is a clear picture that His death and resurrection is (1) the fulfillment of scriptures which sets in motion (2) The Beginning of the End. We must be ready!
READ, PRAY, LISTEN, DO
“Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.
“For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.
“But if that evil slave says in his heart, ‘My master is not coming for a long time,’ and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards; the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Now, it is your turn:
HOW MUST YOU DO IT?
HOW MUST YOU TEACH IT?
Your Brother and Friend,