Could You Not Watch With Me

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Could You Not Watch With Me?

[Study Posted June 6, 2006]

This study is entitled ‘Could you not watch with me?’ That’s what Christ asks his disciples when they go with him to the garden of Gethsemane to pray, right after the Lord’s supper, the passover.

Mat 26:36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
Mat 26:37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.

There’s something revealed here, if we pay attention to it, that is a truism to this very day. It is that Christ revealed more to certain of His disciples than He did to others. That’s just the way life is. Your more mature children can receive more than the less mature. This is a truism all through the gospels.

Mat 17:1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,
Mat 17:2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

Christ, Peter, James and John are the only ones at the transfiguration. Then, at the instance of raising the daughter of the ruler of the synagogue from the dead, we are told:

Mar 5:35 While he yet spake [told her she was healed], there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?

He was talking to the lady who had the issue of blood. He was already on his way to heal this ruler’s daughter. Christ didn’t pray for people, he just healed them. He gave the word, and it was done. He was on the way to do just that when this lady touched him, and he asked, “Who touched me?”

Mar 5:36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.
Mat 5:37 And he suffered [allowed] no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.

Those three disciples were the only ones he allowed to witness this raising from the dead of the daughter of the ruler of the synagogue. This is something that caught me off guard when I saw it several years ago. At the Olivet prophecy, the prophecy of ‘what will be the sign of your coming and the end of the world’ do you think that all of the disciples are there? No. Who was there? You have 2 sets of brothers here who asked him privately. This is just the five of them.

Mar 13:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,
Mar 13:4 Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?
Mar 13:5 And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you:
Mar 13:6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

The whole point of mentioning of Peter, James and John is that God works through, and reveals more, to certain disciples – James and John were the sons of thunder. They were the ones that asked to sit at Christ’s right hand and His left hand. Peter was the outspoken, gung-ho disciple. The thing you can say for all three of them is they were zealous. God put a spirit of zealousness in them. We need to pray for that same spirit, pray for the ability to hunger and thirst after righteousness and to know God and Jesus Christ. That’s what life is.

Mat 26:38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

That’s all he wanted them to do; just be with him and watch with Him while He prayed.

Mat 26:39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

Joh 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

Every word that Christ spoke was the Father speaking. So, when he said, “Not my will but thine be done” that was the Father having him say it. It is the Father that gives us the ability to have that same prayer. Of course, we don’t know the Father except through Christ. That’s why we are told, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Just as the Father was in Christ, Christ is in us. ‘As my Father has sent me, so send I you.’ When we pray a prayer, do you know why we pray that prayer? Because Christ inspires us to pray that prayer. He brings us to pray the prayers.

Christ’s prayer, and His struggle with His flesh, right at this moment, is all the work of God, putting these words in Him for us to learn. All is written for our admonition.

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet, not I but Christ lives in me and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.

Mat 26:40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
Mat 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

That is the purpose for Christ asking them, :Could you not watch?” He is telling us it was a rhetorical question. He knew they were going to be asleep when he got back. He knew they were going to be asleep when He told them to come and watch with him. He knows what our frame is, but we have all of these admonitions so that we will know what to expect of ourselves.

Mat 26:42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.

This is a real thing with Christ. He is feeling the pulls of the flesh just like you and I would feel it under these conditions and do feel it under the conditions we face. We don’t think we can do it; we know we can’t. I pray to God every day. I know there are trials down the road. You and I will not, of ourself, be able to endure those fleshly pulls.

Mat 26:43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.
Mat 26:44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
Mat 26:45 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

Who are these sinners? The church leaders of the day, God’s people, the many called, the very people he fed with physical food, healed with physical healings did not get a thing out of what He taught. Not even his own apostle, Peter, understood what Christ taught.

It doesn’t matter if it is in Christ’s agony or in his glory:

Luk 9:28 And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.
Luk 9:29 And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.

This is a spectacular thing! What do you think they are doing? They are sleeping.

Luk 9:30 And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias:
Luk 9:31 Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.

You may wonder what Christ talked about with Moses and Elijah. There it is. They spoke about Christ’s impending death.

Luk 9:32 But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him.

It seems that no matter what we are enduring for God, the tendency is to try and get some rest, take it easy, store up enough so we don’t have to worry about tomorrow. That’s the tendency. It does not fit in to your spiritual walk. Your spiritual walk needs to be one that you are in constant need of God’s help, constantly desperate for God.

The lesson of that whole story is watch and pray that you enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. How long does it go on?

Mat 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

God does not want us to ever have an attitude of, “Hey, I’m the chosen, therefore, I don’t have to worry about tomorrow. My lamp is filled with God’s spirit.” If I don’t see myself as one of the five women who were short of oil, then I am not going to be one of the five who have it. We have to quit putting ourselves in the upper echelons and keep ourselves down at the bottom of the reception room.

Until you see that you have to face your blindness and acknowledge that you, literally, could not see your hand in front of your face, you will not be given spiritual sight. If you never see yourself as blind, your sin remains.

Outward things don’t change anything inwardly. What changes you is Jesus Christ in your heart. If He doesn’t come in, you can take all the dips in the water and you can fast twice in the week every week, it won’t change a thing. It is how you treat your brother that shows what you think of Jesus Christ.

Here is a proper spiritual perspective on the subject of who is God’s elect and who is chosen.

1Co 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

1Co 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

1Co 9:23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
1Co 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
1Co 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
1Co 9:26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:

He knows that there is a purpose in what He is doing, and He knows who is doing it. Here’s what we are told by scripture: we are not to assume that we stand, taking heed lest we fall; we are to keep our bodies under subjection lest we become castaways; we are told that we should run to obtain the win and not run uncertainly. It almost sounds like there is a contradiction. Do we run with confidence? Do we run hoping we get there? It’s both, and there is no contradiction.

The message in the whole thing is: If you endure to the end, you shall be saved (Mat 10:22). You are not saved, past tense, you are being saved by daily dying to the flesh. “I die daily” is something that we have to learn as the process, accept as the process and rejoice in it. It is by enduring to the end that we are completed. There is no such thing as a completed person in the flesh. You have to, literally, drop the flesh off before your completion is accomplished.

The truth is that most people will not endure to the end. The majority of the people who came to Christ did not endure.

We are supposed to witness to, not save them, but to be a witness against them.

Mar 13:9 But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.

Joh 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?

The lesson we should get out of what we have heard today is that the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. We will make it to the end, because we know that He who has begun a good work in us is able to finish it. We have been promised that. We can run with certainty, yet, we have to be vigilant.

Christ is able to finish the work He has begun in all of us. Yet, it is something that requires constant vigilance. If you recognize that the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak, you will see the need and understand why so many things in scripture are repeated over and again. That’s what flesh requires.

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