Human Weakness

He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”

And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”

And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.”

Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more.

Then He came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.

“Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!” (Matthew 26:37–46)

Jesus told his Father just how unhappy he was about his circumstances. He also told his disciples about how he was feeling. Even so, we sometimes wonder how we are supposed to feel about our problems. We become concerned that there’s a right way to feel and we’re afraid that how we really feel isn’t it.

A pastor once went to comfort parents who had just lost their only daughter in a car accident. Rather grieving, they were pretending to smile. They told him that as Christians, they believed they shouldn’t “mourn as the heathen do.” He gently suggested that the passage did not teach against mourning, but rather, that when we mourn, we should feel neither hopeless and nor helpless about it, because we know God is with us and we know the resurrection is coming.

Jesus knew who he was the Son of God. He knew he would rise from the dead. But he still mourned his circumstances. He still wished for some other way. But he was also willing to face God’s will.
What gives us strength in disaster is not pretending that we’re not in pain. Our strength comes from understand that God is with us and that he will stay with us until the end.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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