Time with God is taking a short pause from studying Corinthians to prepare our hearts for Easter. Join us as we reflect on the events leading to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
The mantra “Live Strong” echoes a common desire many of us possess. It’s meant to empower people to take action at the most difficult of times. Often in our lives, we have good intentions but fall short in the execution of our desires. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. In the passage today, we see the disciples begin with an emphatic desire to stay strong, but their weakness wins out when difficulty arises.
- What are some of the good intentions you have in this season of your life?
READ THE WORD: MARK 14:26-42(ESV)
26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 27 And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 29 Peter said to him, “Even though they all fall away, I will not.” 30 And Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” 31 But he said emphatically, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all said the same
32 And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”33 And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled.34 And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.” 35 And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” 37 And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. 41 And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- In verse 27, Jesus quoted an Old Testament passage that predicted his death and the disciples’ desertion. What attitudes did the disciples, especially Peter, exhibit upon hearing this difficult news (vss. 29, 31)?
- What did Jesus ask of the disciples, and how did they respond (vss. 32-41)? How could their response have led to temptation?
- In a time of deep distress, how did Christ find strength (vs. 36)? How does submission lead to strength?
- How can you stay strong and not enter into temptation? What do you need to do today so that you can be spiritually alert and on watch?
RESPOND TO GOD
This passage contrasts our disappointing frailty as humans with the beautiful strength of Jesus, our Savior. The disciples were subject to temptation when they were prideful and not spiritually alert and on watch. In their weakness, they failed. But Jesus found strength in submission to his Father. Good intentions coupled with self-righteousness leads to failure, but our ability to truly live strong is found in prayerful submission to Christ.
- Ask God to show you areas of your life that are not submitted to him. By faith, yield your will to his.
- Ask him to be your strength.