Class Notes: 4/12/2015
Mark 14:31-36; Jesus and his disciples go to Gethsemane where Jesus is contemplating the cross
In our verse-by-verse study of Mark we are in Mark 14:31; where Peter and the other disciples insisted that he would never abandon Jesus.
Peter is emotional, he is sincere, and he is brave. He wants to defend the Lord and he intends to die with the Lord but the trouble with Peter is he is unstable.
No matter how good his intentions he cannot and will not have enough integrity from human strength to carry it out. In fact he is actually obstructing and contradicting God's plan.
God is putting Jesus on the cross and no one is going to stop it.
He is going to find out that no matter how good your intentions are you cannot operate on human strength. It takes doctrine to be sustained through the pressure.
It also takes getting on the same page as God's Word. 2Cor 13:8; The truth sets us free because it gets us on same page as God's Word and God's Word is immutable. Mark 13:31;
How often do we unwittingly oppose God's will with our human desires and intentions? When we get on the same page as God and His Word that will not happen. We will see Jesus do this in the next few verses.
Mark 14:31c; "All of the disciples were saying the same thing." They are all telling the Lord how they will stand by Him. Peter started it and they pick it up, and there isn't enough doctrinal integrity in all eleven of them to keep any one of them going under pressure more than for five minutes.
So at least initially they are all going to abandon Jesus after He is captured even though they said that they wouldn't abandon him in a very few hours Jesus will be proven right.
Mark 14:32; "They came to a place called Gethsemane, and He said to the disciples, sit here, while I go pray."
"Gethsemane" literally means, "press of oils," so it was the location of a press for crushing oil out of olives that were grown on the trees on the Mount of Olives.
It was a fenced in enclosure in an olive orchard near the foot of the Mount of Olives This secluded spot was one of their favorite meeting places that Judas would have known about.
Most likely Jesus had His disciples sit outside the enclosure while He went inside to pray privately.
We have seen that the Pharisees prayed in public. They prayed in the temple, they prayed on the street corners, they prayed out in the open seven times a day.
The Pharisees were self-righteous and religious, for them it was all about show it was about overt ritual not invisible reality the most effective prayer is conducted in privacy.
Privacy is the central principle of Christianity. Every believer must have total privacy and this means that no other believer or any one else has the right to mind your business.
It is only through privacy that the believer grows because through privacy he lives his life with reference to God in the privacy of the priesthood and what other people think is irrelevant.
Freedom and privacy and therefore free volition are under unprecedented assault in our world today. In fact we are approaching the point where because of electronic surveillance if it is not restrained there will soon be no privacy.
If believers are going to be able to obey God with unimpeded free volition God will have to stop this in one way or another and it is a strong indicator that the Rapture may be soon.
"while I go pray " "I go" is aorist active participle, followed by a future active indicative, "pray." He is going to Gethsemane and He is going to an isolated spot where He can have privacy because prayer is private so the most effective prayer is in private.
This prayer is for His own personal needs; Jesus is going to pray for Himself. He doesn't want to go to the cross. The reason He doesn't want to go to the cross in His humanity is because He is sinless.
He does not have an old sin nature, and there is nothing worse than having sin that isn't His being poured out upon Him and judged and being separated from His Father because of it.
Mark 14:33; "And He took Peter, James and John with Him into the garden and he began to be very alarmed and agonized"
Peter James and John were the inner circle disciples who were with Him at the mount of transfiguration. So He took them with Him into the enclosure to be there on watch as He was preparing for the greatest spiritual pressure of His life and the greatest spiritual pressure that would ever be on the earth during the entire history of mankind.
The Greek word translated "distressed" in the NASB that I have translated "alarmed" is "ekthambeo " that means to be struck with distress, alarm or even fear. Mark is the only writer of scripture who uses this word. It is a present passive infinitive so He received the action of being struck with alarm.
The Greek word translated "troubled" in the NASB that I have translated agonized is "adamoneo" that means to be upset, troubled, anguished or distressed. This is a present active infinitive so this is how He responded to the pressure.
"He was struck with alarm and became agonized."
The present tense means that this was perpetuated, it began with His contemplation of the immediacy of cross. The passive voice means that He received this as the result of contemplating what was going to happen on the cross in the next few hours.
This distress came from His humanity. Jesus Christ' attitude toward the cross was not sinful but it was something that was so ghastly that He would if at all possible He would prefer to by-pass it. His anticipation of it caused Him to be in mental agony.
The idea of coming into contact with the sins of the world and being separated from His Father put Him under maximum pressure. We know that this was what He was thinking about because leading up to the cross were six trials, and during those trials people stepped up and struck Him, they spat on Him, they slapped Him, they lied about Him, and later the Romans scourged Him.
In addition to that, when He hung on the cross it was excruciating torture because the weight of His own body separated the bones from their sockets and he couldn't breathe when he relaxed. He had to push his body up by pushing on the nails through his feet to breathe.
He was in extreme pain, yet during all of that time "as a lamb before the shearers is silent so He opened not His mouth", He didn't cry out once during all of the physical torture he endured. Isa 53:7;
It was not until the hours of darkness between noon and three in the afternoon that He continually screamed and the screams were caused by the sins of the world being poured out on Him.
So His agony came from His contemplation of bearing the sins of the entire world and being separated from God the Father.
Jesus Christ's humanity prayed alone, Deity doesn't pray, Thee point of is that every believer can handle their own problems before God by taking every problem and dumping them in the Lord's hands in faith rest through prayer.
Jesus Christ faced the greatest pressure any member of the human race has ever faced. He faced it just before He was arrested and hauled off to face complete illegal injustice.
He won the battle alone with God in prayer before He was taken into custody.
By doing this He demonstrated the pattern of His life at the great temptation when He said: "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." Matt 4:4;
Every word proceeding out of the mouth of God is Bible doctrine. While physical food is necessary for physical life on this planet it is just a detail of physical life, it is doctrine that counts because doctrine goes with you when you leave this planet in physical death.
God's Word sustains you forever not just in physical life.
It was doctrine that sustained Jesus on the cross during those last three hours. The thing that kept Him going was doctrine. The thing that caused Him to solve His problem through prayer to the Father was doctrine.
Another principle that comes from this is that all of the prayer in the world isn't worth a plug nickel unless you know doctrine because doctrine is the power of prayer. In prayer you recall the doctrine and the doctrine empowers you.
Jesus Christ is "alarmed and agonized" which means His humanity doesn't want to go to the cross, He is tempted to operate on negative signals but He hasn't committed any sin,
He hasn't rejected God' plan but the contemplation of it makes him feel terrible. The reason this is recorded is to remind us of what it cost Jesus Christ to go to the cross. If He had had His way His humanity would have said, No Way!!!."
The whole thing is recorded in scripture to show us that the issue in going to the cross was Jesus' human volition not His deity. Were it not for the fact that there is freewill on the earth there would be no salvation. The word "agonized" means to be under maximum emotional distress.
This is the distress that He sought to control with His doctrinal prayer.
Mark 14:34; "Then said he unto them (Peter, James and John), My soul." His human spirit is not involved.
The fact that He has a desire not to go through with God's plan is in His human soul, His human spirit is having relationship with, desires the will of God, and will do the will of God.
"is grieved to the point of death" He is telling them that the pressure is almost killing Him. It literally says "until death."
This means that until He actually dies physically He is going to be exceedingly grieved and the pressure will only increase and reach its peak when He is separated from the Father and bearing our sins and being judged for them on the cross.
The full impact of His spiritual death and its consequences of being separated from the Father struck Jesus and He staggered under its weight. The prospect of being forsaken by the Father horrified Him.
When our sins are poured out upon Christ His grief will reach its peak and the grief will only be relieved when He exits his unglorified human body in physical death.
He tells Peter, James and John to remain nearby and keep watch. The Greek word "gregoreo" is a present active imperative so it is a command to stay awake and be vigilant. The imperative means this is a command or an order; active voice: this is something they have to do; present tense: keep being alert.
This is the same word he used in Mark 13:27; that took us into our study of the doctrine of awareness. Notice He does not tell them to pray He just says to be on guard. This is a military term to be on guard duty so He won't be disturbed.
We see here that it takes more than prayer to be oriented to God's plan. As we have seen in our doctrine of awareness, doctrinal awareness is watchfulness and orientation and if ever they needed to be aware and on the alert it was then.
Their lack of understanding of God's Word was to be their undoing.
Mark 14:35; And he went a little farther, and prostrated himself, and kept on praying", saying, if it be possible," "kept on praying" is the third person singular imperfect middle of "proseuchomai."
"saying if there is power and there is" This is a first class condition of "if." If combined with the present active indicative of "eimi." Jesus is saying that since God is all-powerful there must be a way because God can do all things. Remember this is Jesus humanity praying.
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