Matthew 26:36-46 (Part 3) – You Are Getting Sleeeeeepy! Very Sleeeeepy!

Posted: April 9, 2016 in 40-Gospel of Matthew

Matthew 26:36-46 (Part 3)

Jesus Agonizes in the Garden


Do you remember those days when you were younger and your parents had allowed you to stay up late to watch something special on television. You had bugged and bugged and bugged them to allow you to stay up to watch this special or this particular episode of a regular series. You promised them the world. You would do extra chores. You would clean the world with Q-tip just so you could step up past your bedtime. Then that night came and your “must watch” show came on. You were proud of yourself for having convinced your parents. You felt grown up for staying up this late. You are watching the much anticipated show and wouldn’t ya know it, your eyes start getting heavy. Nooooo! I can’t be sleepy. You’re getting sleepy, very sleepy. The down blinks of your eyes are lasting longer and longer. You are fighting it but the urge to sleep is too strong. Next thing you know, you are waking up in your bed as your parent lays you down. Man, all that extra work, all those extra chores, and I fall asleep during my show! That inability to overcome our human desires is what I find to talk about today as we study Matthew 26:36-46. let us read this passage together, once more:


36 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.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”


39 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.”


40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”


42 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.”


43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.


45 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. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”



Yesterday, we talked about how Jesus was anguished beyond belief on this night. He knew what had to happen and the necessity of it but He was heartbroken over the way that it had to happen. He must suffer separation from the trinity that he had known unity with from since before time began. That was so distasteful to Jesus that He was in deep anguish. It is like that first time that you let someone keep your firstborn child. Separation anxiety. Jesus experienced that same emotion on a universal scale. But the bottom line was that He was all-in. He was bought in to the program. He was willing to do what was necessary to accomplish the Father’s will even if it meant separation from the Holy Trinity for a time. He then returns to find the inner of his earthly friends unable to stand watch. Though they probably wanted to stay awake and alert, their overwhelming desire to sleep had overtaken them. They had succumbed to their earthly, fleshly desires. Jesus took the opportunity to continue to teach even though He was facing the darkest struggle of His earthly existence. He said for them to keep watch for the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. This is an important lesson for us all.


Sometimes our fleshly desires are like sleep coming on. It is subtle. It is ever creeping. Your eyes get heavy. Oh I will just lay down here on the couch and what the rest of the show from that position. Just need to stretch out. The eyes get heavy. The eyes are staying closed longer and longer. You’re fighting it at first but the next thing you know it is 2am in the morning and you have been asleep on the couch for 3 hours. That is the way sin is in our lives. We say that we want to do God’s will and we are working on it hard. However, we have our temptations and Satan finds our weak spot. That area where we are blind to our sins. Those areas where we justify it as OK. Then, it’s OK to re-draw the boundary for that sin. Next thing you know that sin has consumed us and we wake up somewhere completely different from where we intended to be like a child waking up in his own bed after falling asleep watching their favorite show in the family room. Sin will take us to places that we never intended to go. Sin is a sly siren who calls us to shore to crash our boats. We must remain awake and alert when it comes to the sweet song of sin in our lives. We cannot fall asleep at the wheel when it comes to our weaknesses. If your weak spot is the pleasures of women, that’s where Satan will attack you. If your weak spot is money, that is where Satan will attack you. If your weak spot is pride, that is where Satan will attack you. If your weak spot is self-worth, that is where Satan will attack. Jesus says for us to stay alert and to pray!


We must be honest about where our weakest spots are in our lives. We must turn them over to the Lord and we must be alert and aware. We cannot lie to ourselves that this one time won’t hurt. We cannot lie to ourselves that no one will notice. Sin is a siren song. Sin lulls us to sleep. Sin makes our eyes heavy so that we ignore our weak flesh. Sin makes us fall asleep when it comes to our pet sins. Wake up, Jesus says! Remain alert! Know where you are your weakest. Pray to the Father that He will lead you away from those weak spots in His power. We must have accountability partners too who know the real us. They will call it a pile of poo when it is a pile of poo. They will call us out when we need calling out. Prayer to the One who can change us and protect us. Prayer to the One who can open our eyes to the sin in our lives. Accountability from honest friends who love us enough to tell us the truth. We need our Savior to protect us and teach us and we need friends who will be honest with us.


Wake up! Pray to the Lord to reveal to you and to me what our pet sins are and show us how ugly they are when we have lulled ourselves to sleep that these sins are beautiful. Help us to wake up, Lord, and see our sins for what they are – ugliness that separates us from you, Lord. Help us to wake up and shine the light of day into our hidden recesses of our soul and shine the line on those sins we are protecting from the light. Help us to wake up, Lord. Help us to wake up! Amen and Amen!


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