The Flesh is Weak

Matthew 26:36-41 (NIV)

36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

The night before Jesus was to be crucified, he went up to the Garden of Gethsemane with his disciples and made a special request.  He asked that they watch and pray so that they will not fall into temptation.  However, his disciples could not stay awake even for one hour because their eyes were heavy.  Jesus stayed awake and he was able to pray.  An angel came to him to strengthen him in spirit so that he could endure the cross.  This is why Jesus said that the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.  After praying earnestly, he had the strength to face his opposition and to face the cross.

His disciples did not pray and slept through, showing that their flesh was weak.  When faced with the arrest of Jesus, many of them fled and scattered. Peter later betrayed Jesus. This is a reminder to me that I will struggle to live in this world without prayer and a connection to God to strengthen my spirit within me. There are limitations with the flesh, but there is power that comes from the Spirit of God.

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