DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2021-04-10
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 26:40-41
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)
BIBLE TEXT: 40-41 When he came back to his disciples, he found them sound asleep. He said to Peter, “Can’t you stick it out with me a single hour? Stay alert; be in prayer so you don’t wander into temptation without even knowing you’re in danger. There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there’s another part that’s as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.”
OBSERVATION: The reasons why Jesus took only three disciples closer to the point where He would pray to the Father is a bit unknown, but being reminded that God does everything in His perfect will and for our purpose, is sufficient. Jesus was very burdened about the hour fast approaching where He would be arrested, beaten and crucified. If we were encountering due rest, we would want our most trusted prayer partners with us, yet the three disciples fell asleep, as if nothing was concerning them about the burden Jesus was bearing . Let’s try to understand why it was important for the disciples to stay alert, so that we might do the same.
APPLICATION: It may seem like we try hard to let our minds wander when troubles arise, because we really don’t want to deal with the drama, and in most cases, the sorrow or disappointment that result from critical times. We could see in verse 38 that Jesus instructed the 11 disciples to stay and pray, while He went on a bit further to also pray. Surely the disciples saw from the Master’s countenance that He was heavily burdened, or sad, about something. The three disciples chosen to go even further with Jesus must have surely felt entrusted by Jesus to be His closest ally in this time of deep concern, yet it seems like they may have taken that trust way too lightly. But why would Jesus warn them about temptation? As in every case of Jesus’ ministry, he chose just the right opportunity/moment, or the gathering, to apply His principles in a way that would open the eyes of His hearers. Jesus saw that the disciples had let their guard down and they lost track of what was actually going on in their Master’s mind and heart at the time. Temptation is most effective based on the condition in which it finds us. If we are weak and powerless, then there’s is a greater chance for temptation to have its way with us. We know from experience that temptation overcomes just about anyone, for it impacts us all with no respect for the person weakened by sin or laziness. That’s why presidents, pastors, priests, bosses, parents and children comes too mind as being impacted by temptation, and many have fallen because of that impact. Jesus knew that He had only asked the disciples to stand by Him – support Him mentally, prayerfully and through encouragement. Obviously their take on His trust meant little to them, because they all fell asleep. God has given us the opportunity and responsibility of being His faithful servants here on earth while we’re here. I wonder how He might rate us on our faithfulness to His tasks? Have we fallen asleep because of lack of concern and/or commitment? Will He praise us as He welcomes us into His kingdom when life on earth is over, or will He scold us as He did with the disciples? We serve a loving, forgiving Father, but while He blesses us to be His witness here on earth, let’s make every effort to not fall into temptation, but instead be diligent about His work and alert for His return.
PRAYER: We are always saddened when we remember how You suffered and died for our Salvation Lord Jesus, but we are forever thankful and grateful. Thank You for the reminder in Your Word today about the importance of staying alert and ready for Your return, and in doing so, build a solid defense against temptation. It is so unfortunate that Satan tempts Your children so much, and has caused a certain amount of disgrace to Your good name. Please Lord, fill us with Your grace each day and empower us to stand strong in our Christian walk so that others will see Jesus and nothing of the weakness that we are made of. In Christ we can do all things – for Your glory. Of our own power we are very prone to temptation and misrepresenting the name of Jesus. Oh that You may rule and reign in us Lord Jesus for Your glory alone. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!