Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part LV: Resting With Our Weaknesses In The All-Sufficient Shepherdship Of Christ
(Mark 14:32-42)
  1. Introduction
    1. All the resources that the believer needs to function in spiritual victory during spiritual challenges is available to him in Christ. However, even exemplary Christian leaders do not always avail themselves of these resources for victory. In such times, "Where is there hope for blessing for the believer?" we may ask.
    2. The experience of Gethsemane pictures for us not only the awful burden of Christ's personal spiritual agony, but also enlightens us in His All-Sufficiency as our Shepherd during points of our own weakness.
  2. Resting With Our Weaknesses In The All-Sufficient Shepherdship Of Christ, Mark 14:32-42.
    1. When Jesus faced the awful temptation of Gethsemane, He urged His disciples to watch lest they fall into the temptation of the Devil in failing to follow Him, Mark 14:32-36.
      1. When Jesus entered Gethsemane where He suffered spiritual agony upon contemplating the coming suffering of the Cross, He stationed His disciples so that the inner three were to watch, 14:32-34.
      2. This charge to "watch" was associated with the Satan's predicted tempting of the disciples to flee from following Christ when they faced trouble from Judas' betrayal, cf. 14:27 with 14:38a.
    2. However, through the hours of Christ's agony in Gethsemane, the disciples steadily failed to watch out for Satanic temptation through vigilant prayer, but succumbed to the weakness of the flesh, 14:35-40:
      1. After leaving the others at the gate and charging the spiritual inner three disciples, Peter, James and John come closer to him to pray to avoid temptation, Jesus prayed for His own temptation, 14:33-36.
      2. However, following an initial hour of vigil in prayer, Jesus returned to find these three supposedly more mature disciples not only not praying, but actually succumbing to slumber, Mark 14:37a.
      3. Since Peter had recently claimed he would not abandon Jesus, Jesus addressed Peter, asking him if he couldn't even watch out for temptation a single hour, Mk. 14:37b in light of Mark 14:29-31.
      4. Jesus warned the disciples that they needed to watch out for Satanic temptation and pray to avoid sinning as they had good spiritual intentions to overcome the temptation, but the flesh was weak, 14:38.
      5. When Jesus went away for another vigil of intercession and returned, He found them asleep, and apparently chided them again. This time, they had no answer and were apparently embarrassed, 14:40.
      6. When Jesus had gone away for a third vigil and returned only to find them asleep as the disciples were very weary and spiritually unaware of their spiritual danger of abandoning Christ, Jesus went ahead and let them sleep, Mark 14:41a. G. Campbell Morgan notes (Mark, p. 303) that Jesus in effect said: "Sleep on, now, and take your rest: it is enough." Jesus would watch for them as they were unable to do so.
      7. He realized they were too weak even to KNOW they had a problem of spiritually destitution as believers. JESUS' OWN INTERCESSION FOR THE MEN WOULD SUFFICE TO KEEP THEM GOING UNTIL THEY FINALLY MATURED LONG AFTER THE CROSS !
    3. Knowing they were destined for spiritual failure due to their not having used the spiritual resources of intercessory prayer to offset temptation, Morgan notes that Jesus later woke the men when Judas appeared, Ibid.. 14:41b-42 They would fail Jesus now, but, Jesus would overcome through the cross so even their failure was no big matter compared to His sufficient work, 14:41b-42.
Lesson: (1) God has provided the believer with all the spiritual resources necessary to gain spiritual victory over temptations to sin when they arise. (2) However, even when the BEST of believers such as Peter, James and John fail to utilize thes e resouces for victory, nothing in God's plan for His people is lost. Their All-Sufficient Savior, the Good Shepherd, the Great Shepherd and Chief Shepherd has prevailed through Gethsemane and the Cross to cover for their sin and failure, Ibid., Morgan. W e will still triumph, because Christ has triumphed FOR us, Rev. 5:2-10!

Application: (1) We don't have to fail, for all the resources we need for victory are given to us in Christ! (2) However, IF we fail, the final outcome is still insured, for CHRIST covers our weakness! (3) Thus, learn not to give up just because we or even exemplary believers we admire fail!