Mark: Jesus, The Perfect Servant Of God

Part III: The Perfect Sacrifice Of Jesus, The Perfect Servant Of God, Mark 11:1-15:47

R. Christ's Example Of Handling Great Satanic Temptation To Avoid God's Hard Assignments

(Mark 14:32-42)


I.              Introduction

A.    Mark's Gospel was written by John Mark who was rebounding from having abandoned Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey (Acts 13:13) due to Mark's lapse in following Christ over some difficulty.

B.    In contrast to his own defection in the face of hardship, Mark told how Jesus exampled how to handle great Satanic temptations to avoid God's hard assignments, and we view that report in Mark 14:32-42 for insight:

II.           Christ's Example Of Handling Great Satanic Temptation To Avoid God's Hard Assignments.

A.    When Jesus and the eleven disciples minus Judas arrived at the olive garden of Gethsemane (which means "oil press," Ryrie St. Bib., KJV, 1978, ftn. to Matt. 26:36), He told them to sit while He went to pray, Mark 14:32.

B.    Taking Peter, James and John with Him, Jesus then went a little further into the garden, becoming "alarmed" (ekthambeo) and experiencing "extreme anguish" (ademoneo), B. K. C., N. T., p. 179; Mk. 14:33.  He claimed His inner soul (psyche) was "deeply grieved" (perilypos) to the point of death, Ibid.; Mark 14:34a.

C.    To handle this hardship, Jesus told the three disciples to wait there and to "keep watch," Ibid.; Mark 14:34b.

D.    In explanation of this directive, Jesus then went a little further and fell face-down on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, that the appointed time of His suffering and death as a sin offering in all of its horrific physical, emotional, mental and spiritual anguish might pass from Him, Mark 14:35; Ibid., p. 180.

E.     Jesus nevertheless prayerfully yielded to the Father's will, aligning Himself in His humanity with God's plan above fulfilling His own human desire to avoid the cross, Mark 14:36.

F.     Returning to the disciples, Jesus found them asleep, so He asked Peter if he could not watch with Him just one hour, Mark 14:37.  To explain this "watching" exercise, Christ told Peter that he needed to watch and pray that he not enter into temptation to deny Him like Jesus had predicted Peter would do, Mark 14:38a; 14:29-30. 
Where Jesus faced the lure to avoid God's will of shouldering the horrific work of the cross, Peter faced the Satanic lure to deny Jesus versus faithfully following Him, and the solution to this Satanic lure was prayer for God's help in union with watching out for Satan's moves to tempt Peter to abandon Jesus, cf. Luke 22:31-32.

G.    Jesus returned to pray and then came back to the disciples a total of three times (Mark 14:37-41a), matching the three times Peter would deny Jesus before the night expired (Mark 14:30; Ibid., B. K. C., N. T.).  The New Testament writings repeatedly allude to these events coupled with Jesus' teaching on them to indicate the need for Peter and the rest of Jesus' disciples through the ages to combat the Satanic lure to avoid God's hard assignments for them by depending on the Lord by the prayer of faith! (cf. Ephesians 6:10-18)

H.    Finally, having overcome the temptation to avoid fulfilling the Father's hard assignment of suffering and death on the cross by facing the cross, Jesus had His disciples join Him to face His betrayal into the hands of sinners en route to His suffering and death, Mark 14:41b-42.


Lesson: In Gethsemane, Jesus practiced and taught His disciples to handle Satan's great temptations to avoid God's hard assignments in life and ministry by watching so as to discern and pray intelligently about the trial.


Application: (1) May we believers in Christ (a) realize Satan can powerfully tempt us to avoid fulfilling God's hard assignments, so that (b) we must keep watch over events in our lives so as to discern Satan's movements in our experience as defined by Scripture revelation that lure us to abandon God's assignments (c) so that we pray intelligently and dependently on the Lord for His help, being careful always to yield to God's will over even our own human wills.  (2) Starting at the Garden of Eden, Satan's temptations occur in connection to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, lusts of the world of which Satan is its god (Genesis 3:4-6; 1 John 2:16 and 5:19 NIV).  We must thus watch out for strong lures of these various lusts of worldliness to be used of Satan to tempt us to avoid God's hard assignments.  (3) If we face duress (great alarm, grief, anguish) as did Jesus versus the fruit of the Holy Spirit, know that our temptation is likely fueled by our wrestling in the angelic conflict with evil spirits (cf. Ephesians 6:12), that we immediately go to prayer in reliance on the Lord for His help, Ephesians 6:10-11, 18.  (4) Even in times of great duress, we must always recall as did Jesus that yielding to the easy way versus performing God's Biblical will is SIN, that we follow our Lord in yielding to the Father's will.