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

Luke: Jesus, The Son Of Man For All Mankind
Part LXXXI: Christ's Identity As God's Savior Seen In Gethsemane
(Luke 22:39-46)
  1. Introduction
    1. It has often been said that the true character of a person becomes evident when he faces severe trials.
    2. That being so, the trial of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane to yield to the temptation to escape the cross He knew awaited Him were He to stay there until Judas arrived for His arrest would reveal His character, and that it does with great application for us (as follows):
  2. Christ's Identity As God's Savior Seen In Gethsemane, Luke 22:39-46.
    1. After the Last Supper, Jesus led His disciples out to the Mount of Olives, and entered an olive garden there we know as Gethsemane from Matthew 26:36. "Gethsemane" means "oil press," suggesting an olive garden where there was an olive press to gain oil, (Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, ftn. to Matthew 26:36).
    2. Jesus waited there for Judas' arrival and betrayal, for He knew Judas would expect to find Him there due to His routine of spending the night there developed over the previous evenings, Luke 22:39 with 21:37.
    3. Accordingly, aware of the temptation for His disciples to flee from Him when He was arrested, Jesus directed His disciples to pray that they not enter into temptation's effects, Luke 22:40.
    4. Christ then withdrew about the distance of a stone's throw, and kneeled down and prayed, facing the temptation to back out of His arrest and the horrific burden of the cross of Calvary, Luke 22:41.
    5. In His prayer, Jesus asked the Father that if it was His will, that the cup of the terrible cross He was destined to face might be removed from Him, Luke 22:42a. Nevertheless, Jesus wanted to do the Father's will, not His own, in complete obedience to the Father, Luke 22:42b; Hebrews 5:7-8.
    6. Now, what appears in Luke 22:43-44 about an angel from heaven appearing to strengthen Jesus, and of His starting to agonize in prayer resulting in His perspiring great drops of blood onto the ground, is a matter of question as to its authenticity in Luke's autograph manuscript (as follows):
      1. These verses are absent in very ancient and widely diversified manuscripts and families of manuscripts (groups of manuscripts copies from a common manuscript source), Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament , 1971, p. 177.
      2. In family 13 and several lectionaries used in later Christian worship services, Luke 22:43-44 have been transferred to Matthew's gospel, greatly suggesting they are not part of Luke's original text, Ibid.
      3. However, there is little question that the content of Luke 22:43-44 is very early in Christian tradition, for early Church fathers Justin (2nd century A. D.), Irenaeus (2nd century), Hippolytus (3rd century), Eusebius (3rd century) and many others cited them, Ibid.
    7. Regardless whether these verses should be included or not, they do not alter the fact that Jesus never gave in to the temptation to flee from Gethsemane and thus from His imminent arrest and the resulting cross:
      1. Luke 22:45 informs us that Jesus rose up from prayer, came to His disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow over His teaching that He would die, Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 260.
      2. Still consistent with His directive to them before He prayed for the Father's will regarding His own destiny, Jesus expressed dismay that the disciples were sleeping instead of obeying His previous charge for them to pray lest they enter into temptation, Luke 22:46.
      3. Thus, whether the events of Luke 22:43-44 ever actually occurred, or whether they actually occurred or were not recorded by Luke, but added by other early Christians who knew they had occurred, the undisputed section of Luke 22:39-42 and 22:45-46 show that Jesus consistently RETAINED His spiritual composure to RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO FLEE THE CROSS IN ORDER TO PERFORM THE FATHER'S WILL!
Lesson: Under great pressure to avoid arrest and the ensuing cross by leaving Gethsemane before Judas arrived, Jesus prayed for the Father's will to be done, revealing He was truly the Father's Savior.

Application: (1) May we trust in Christ as Savior to have eternal life, John 3:16. (2) May we follow His instruction to pray when highly tempted to do other wise, that we stay true to the Father's will in trials!