|Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, "Sit here, while I go over there and pray."|
|And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled.|
|Then he said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me."|
|And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will."|
|And he came to the 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."|
|Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, "My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done."|
|And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.|
Jesus, at this point, was so close to his death that his flesh wanted to take over. So what did he do? He prayed... He didn't panic, he didn't lash out at others, he didn't on a drinking, drugging, killing, spending spree... He prayed. And he took those who he knew could also lift him in prayer. But, like us, they were human focused.... You see, Jesus was God focused. The disciples were Jesus focused and most (before the Twelve) never went past being focused on Jesus, and the Twelve who were taught by him closely could not go any further until all of his words became truth to them.
Even before his death, they who were brought by him to pray for him, were sleeping. They tried to keep watch and heavy sleep overcame them each time. My belief is that this was done to show them their flesh... Jesus a tone point told them, "The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:41) This wasn't to show who he loved more, this was to show that he loved despite of our weakness. We all fall short, we all have days where we forget or have to consciously remind ourselves to pray or read in our Word. Yet He still loves us. He warned them and us at the end of this chapter that we can sleep and rest later, but during times of extreme struggle and trials, in those times when we feel like we could die (Matthew 26:38), we need to know that sleeplessness and restlessness will come from time to time.
There is a trend we are right in the middle of, myself included, where in the wee morning hours, even before the sun is up, we wake up out of our sleep and reach for our links to social media. I've seen it and done it.... You see the words from believers that have become a banner for the early risers... "why am I up," instead of "I'm up, who can I pray for?" And this is no means for condemnation! I have been there and then beat myself up for wasting such precious time. But this is what's missing... what's lacking in the verse from Matthew 26. We are lacking the drive, the stamina, the strength to pus through our flesh who has become as loud as ever and listen His Spirit within us. We then use the excuse "Hey, I'm human," or "God knows my heart!" Yes we are and yes He does! That's where the issue lies! He knows that we are merely human and need guidance. That's why Jesus walked the Earth instead of just "dying on the cross for us", to show us how to do this as a human. He was human "and yet did not sin" (Hebrews 4:15). He also knows our heart, that' why Jesus had to come be a living sacrifice for us, because our heart, our flesh is evil. But just as Jesus pushed past the pain he KNEW he would go through for us who repeatedly turn our backs to Him, we need to do the same when it comes to our flesh and feelings. It's also why He sent Holy Spirit after Him. Because He knew we would need a constant Teacher to guide us.