Monday, November 17, 2008

Matthew 26:36-46 "Refocusing"

Read Matthew 26:36-46.

"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." NIV
What strikes me first about this passage is vs 37. Jesus was sorrowful and troubled. Except for Jesus' sadness at the death of Lazarus, I don't recall Him being sad or troubled (KJV: distressed). The Greek word for distressed is "to be troubled, great distress or anguish, depressed." Jesus has felt every emotion we have ever felt. And here we see Him very distressed about what He is soon going to face. After all, He wasn't a deity in a glorified body. He was the Almighty God in a human body that can suffer pain. Naturally, He would be troubled facing the agony He knew He was going to suffer. But pay attention to what He does with His distress. He hands it over to His Father. He doesn't just ask that His future be taken away, He asks that the Father's will be done. Even in His complete distress, He is surrendered to the will of His Father.

How often have I been in distress and just wallowed in it. My mind will race through scenario after scenario attempting to predict the future or manipulate it. Yet, no one has faced such a terrible future like Jesus did... and He went to prayer. In my distressing times, I should be falling on my knees in prayer rather than crying out in foreseeable pain. God's will is to be done no matter what. I am merely a servant that obeys His commands and should be submissive to His will -- even if I must go through some pain for it to be done. If the Almighty's Son had to suffer for God's purpose for mankind, I can endure anything for His will to be done.

Jesus' words to His disciples that had fallen asleep on the job still ring true to us today. "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

Further Thoughts:
  1. Look up Scriptures on distress, worry, cares.
  2. Is something causing you distress or trouble? Surrender it to the Father's will. He will either take it away or it will serve His purpose, and He will give you strength to endure it. Either way, we must let it go. His will be done.
  3. How is surrender and trust or faith related?
  4. Look at the different times Jesus spends in prayer. In those times He is essentially refocusing His perspective. When we get caught up in the doings of life -- good or bad -- we can lose our focus. Time with the Father gets that back. Consciously and purposefully, refocus several times throughout your day today.

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