Jesus was coming to the end of His life and ministry. For three years He had invested heavily into the lives of His disciples.
· As they listened to Him, they heard the most amazing teaching and truth that anyone has ever heard.
· They observed the most amazing miracles that many people had ever seen.
· His goal was to bring them to the point that when He died, they would be ready to take the good news of His death, burial, resurrection, and victory over sin and the powers of darkness to the ends of the earth.
In Matthew 26:36-46, we read that Jesus took with Him, Peter, James, and John to Gethsemane. We read He began to be sorrowful and troubled. He said to His friends, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here and watch with Me.” He went a little farther, fell on His face, and prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” In verse 40, we read that He came to His disciples and found them sleeping. And, He said to Peter, “So could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (vs. 41)
We read that Jesus went two more times to pray and share with our Father. Each time when He came back, His friends were asleep. In verse 45 He said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. See, my betrayer, is at hand.” (vs. 46)
I have tried to imagine what Jesus was feeling and I know I can’t even come close. I know it was probably the darkest hour of His life and He needed the support of His friends, but they kept falling asleep.
Dear brothers and sisters, Jesus is counting on His command to “Go” and His commission to “make disciples.” Are we like His friends, Peter, James, and John — are we sleeping instead of fulfilling His purpose for our lives? He calls each of us who know Him personally, His friends.
In John 15:12-15, we have Jesus sharing with His followers — “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.”
Really consider what we hear our loving Savior saying —
· “Could you not watch (pray) with Me one hour?”
· “You are My friends if you do what I command you.”
Beloved, where would we be, what would we do, where would we go if Jesus had not come into the world to seek and save us? He came to ultimately give His life on the cross and atone for our sins. He loves us and He gave Himself for us.
· Could we not watch with Him for one hour?
· Are we friends He can count on to do His will and advance His kingdom?
Jesus urged His friends to WATCH and PRAY.
Several times in the Old Testament and again in the New Testament, the role of the WATCHMAN is spoken of. It is an enormous responsibility.
As I studied these passages and researched the role of the WATCHMAN, I found the following:
1. This role was closely associated with that of a prophet.
2. His assignment was given to him by God (1 John 15:16)
3. He was called to be a watchman for life. (I am in my 61st year of ministry … at no time have I felt released from God’s call on my life.)
4. The watchman is called to watch or see. He looks into the distance to see if there is any approaching danger.
· The prophet was to get his message or vision from God and then to report that vision to the people. (1 Thess. 5:17)
5. The watchman was a warrior doing battle with the powers of darkness. (Eph. 6:10-18)
6. The watchman was to repair any breach in the walls. In Isaiah 62:6 we read “I (God) have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem.”
· Part of their role was to remind the people of the promises of God and they were never to be silent, day or night.
? Are you and I friends of God, through Christ?
? Are we willing to watch and pray with Him so that His will can be carried out?
? Are we willing to faithfully hold forth the Word of life to a perishing people?
Jesus gave His all for each of us. Will we give our all for Him that His will can be fulfilled on earth as it is in heaven?
A missionary, years ago, said “If Jesus Christ be God, and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.”
We have been redeemed by Christ and called to be faithful witnesses until He comes for us.
Let’s lift Him up and invite the world to come to Him.
Totally for his praise and glory,