Gospels in Harmony – The Spirit is Willing, but the Flesh is Weak

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Gospels In Harmony – The Spirit is Willing, but the Flesh is Weak

Matt 26:36-46 Mark 14:32-42 Luke 22:39-46 John 18:1-12

[Study Aired December 28, 2021]

Joh 18:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron,
Luk 22:39 to the mount of Olives;
Mat 26:36 with them unto a place called Gethsemane,
Joh 18:1 where was a garden, into the which he entered,
Luk 22:39 and his disciples also followed him.
Joh 18:2 And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.
Luk 22:40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
Mat 26:36 Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
Mar 14:33 And he taketh with him Peter and… 
Mat 26:37 …the two sons of Zebedee…
Mar 14:33 …James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;
Mat 26:38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
Luk 22:41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast…
Mat 26:39 …and fell on his face, and prayed, saying…
Mar 14:36 …Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.
Luk 22:43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
Luk 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Luk 22:45 And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,
Luk 22:46 And said unto them, Why sleep ye?…
Mat 26:40 …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.
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.
Mar 14:40 And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him.
Mat 26:44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
Mar 14:41 And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Mat 26:46 Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.

Our last studies showed us Christ sharing with the disciples that He must go away in order to have the holy spirit, the Comforter, be sent to them. He also prayed to the Father that they would all be protected from the world by separating them from the world even though they must remain in the world. All these things are being done for us, the elect of God, so that we can reign with Christ in the kingdom of God.

2Co 4:12-15 So then death worketh in us, but life in you. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

Christ has ended His preaching of the gospel to the world and is now being brought into captivity. This represents the stage in our walk where our hope is taken from us, we lose our first love and we forsake Christ. We walked with Christ, believed his doctrines and even performed miracles with Christ. Forsaking Christ and His doctrines is part of the process of salvation. We are willing to fight anyone that tries to capture Christ but do not yet have the understanding that this is the way to salvation. Christ and His disciples now journey to the place called Gethsemane, which means “the oil press”.

Joh 18:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron,
Luk 22:39 …to the mount of Olives… 
Mat 26:36 …with them unto a place called Gethsemane…
Joh 18:1 …where was a garden, into the which he entered… 
Luk 22:39 …and his disciples also followed him.
Joh 18:2 And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.

Gethsemane, meaning “the oil press”, is a familiar place to the disciples so they are comfortable being there and do not expect what will take place later. The oil press is where olive oil is made to be used for sacrifices, the lamps that give light, and for anointing the tabernacle, priests and kings. 

Exo 27:20 And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always.

Lev 2:1-3 And when any will offer a meat offering unto the LORD, his offering shall be of fine flour; and he shall pour oil upon it, and put frankincense thereon: And he shall bring it to Aaron’s sons the priests: and he shall take thereout his handful of the flour thereof, and of the oil thereof, with all the frankincense thereof; and the priest shall burn the memorial of it upon the altar, to be an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD: And the remnant of the meat offering shall be Aaron’s and his sons’: it is a thing most holy of the offerings of the LORD made by fire.

Lev 8:10-11 And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them. And he sprinkled thereof upon the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all his vessels, both the laver and his foot, to sanctify them.

Lev 21:10 And he that is the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not uncover his head, nor rend his clothes;

1Ki 1:39 And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon.

Christ is beginning the process of being pressed to release the oil needed for the anointing of the kings and priests, and that produces light created by fire. Continuing with our verses:

Luk 22:40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
Mat 26:36 …Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
Mar 14:33 And he taketh with him Peter and…
Mat 26:37 …the two sons of Zebedee…
Mar 14:33 …James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;
Mat 26:38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

This is the fourth time Christ shares something specifically with Peter, James and John separate from the other disciples. Here are the other three times mentioned.

Mar 5:35-43 While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe. And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James. And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly. And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment. And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.

Mar 9:1-10 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid. And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves. And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead. And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.

Mar 13:1-8 And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.

Peter, James and John witnessed the girl being raised from the dead, was told how the temple would be destroyed, and were warned of the sorrows yet to come. Now Christ shares the following.

Luk 22:41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast…
Mat 26:39 …and fell on his face, and prayed, saying…
Mar 14:36 …Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.
Luk 22:43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
Luk 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Christ being in great agony has come to His wits’ end being in a body of sin. He was crying out to the Father to take away the cup of the wrath being poured out upon Him. Nevertheless, Christ knows only the Father’s will is to be done.

Psa 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.

Joh 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

Joh 6:38-39 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

Joh 12:27-28 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name.

Christ can only do what the Father has sent him to do. Being at His wits’ end, He is showing us what all mankind will endure.

Psa 107:23-32 They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.

Christ came in the flesh to be brought to His wits’ end to experience the pulls of the flesh.

Heb 2:14-18 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Christ told Peter, James and John to pray to not enter into temptation.

Luk 22:40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.

Christ said this as a warning because we will enter into temptation. Our flesh is constantly tempted because it is a body of sin and must be destroyed.

Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

After crying out, He walks back to the disciples and finds them sleeping on three different occasions. This is the beginning of the process of judgment that everyone including Christ must face.

Luk 22:45 And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,
Luk 22:46 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? 
Mat 26:40 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.
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.
Mar 14:40 And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him.
Mat 26:44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
Mar 14:41 And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Mat 26:46 Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.

The message here is that “the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”. Even the flesh of Christ has caused Him to come to His wits’ end and cry out to God. Without the spirit we will not overcome the flesh. Of our own selves we can do nothing, and Christ must go away so that the Comforter can be sent to us.

Joh 16:7-8 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

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