First, read Luke 22:39-46
On the Mount of Olives Jesus speaks to his beloved disciples about prayer during temptation as he himself enters temptation. Te scene is honest, painful, and empowering. Jesus kneels to pray and lays out his request in prayer to the Father. In this tender moment, Jesus asks for the cup, what should be the culmination of his journey to Jerusalem, to be taken from him. Hasn’t this been what our year and half series in Luke has pointed to? Tat Jesus sets his face toward Jerusalem? Yet, in this prayer we see the Son plead with the Father to change the plan. Jesus ends his plea submitting his want to the will of the Father amidst the vulnerable cry for change. What Jesus receives during this trial surprises me. He does not receive the changed path of his plea but instead strength for the path ahead. He receives renewed strength for the coming rejection, not alleviation from it. His prayer came out in an honest plea during this time of temptation to deviate from the will of the Father and now the Father has supported him with strength to carry on.
Meanwhile, the disciples fell asleep during Jesus’ firsthand lesson on prayer. They fell asleep and Jesus wakes them to remind them of the prayer that he has just experienced, “Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
The passage gives me hope. Jesus is more than the example of how I am to pray to the Father during temptation, he is the one in whom I overcome the temptations of this world. In Christ I am found by God the Father as obedient and clothed in the righteousness that he wins for me in this scene. Because Jesus overcomes the temptation to deviate from the path before him, no matter the pain, I am empowered, finding that in him I can hold fast and not sway, submitting myself to the Father in prayer during trials as I await to be strengthened.
- Reagan Keith