Keep watch and pray. …
These are words that Jesus would share with the disciples as they journeyed back to one of His safe places, Gethsemane. Moments before the disciples would find themselves sitting around a table set for the Passover meal, the very meal that Christ himself would fulfill through His death, burial, and resurrection. By this time, Judas had dipped into the cup and scurried off to fulfill his services for the 30 pieces of silver, the 30 pieces that find their way back at the feet of the ones who paid Judas to show the “religious leaders” Jesus’ safe place…
The boys and Jesus arrive and Jesus asks the disciples to keep watch and pray (Mark 14:32-38).
What a beautiful reminder for us. Here is why:
“He told them, ‘My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’” Mar 14:34 NLT
WOW WOW…sure, we know the how the events unfold, but the disciples didn’t…ah sure, he had told them time and time again, but they would typically counter Jesus’ foreshadowing words with how we respond when confronted with “make believe” situations, by sticking our chest out and proclaiming, “NO WAY not me! I’m with you all the way to the end…” And just like Peter who denied HIM, we too have a tendency to display a Spirit that is willing, but we give in to the temptation of fleeing (flesh is weak).
What I love in this scene is that Jesus is asking for others to join him praying. He desired the comfort of knowing that his companions would pray along with him, as long as they could keep their eyes open – yes, they fell asleep.
Yet Jesus kept asking. Continued to model how we are to beLIeVE out the words we see in Galatians 6 where we see that we are to share our burdens with one another. Or in James 5 where we are to confess to each other our sins in order for our brothers and sisters to pray (keep watch) in order to receive healing.
Jesus didn’t traipse into the garden pretending. He didn’t put the “I’m ok” mask…didn’t respond with ”I’m good” façade when he was with the men he asked to join him 3 years prior. Ever wonder why Jesus asked 12 men to join him? Sure to help spread the message of the gospel, but what else? You see, Jesus knew beLIeVING in community with each other would be crucial for us, so he modeled to the disciples that it’s necessary for us to ask others to join us when our souls are crushing in on us. Life becomes more full when we ask others to keep watch and pray with us.
Is your spirit willing to share life with others yet your flesh (body) is not allowing you to follow through? Whatever the reason is, allow the Spirit of Christ within you – which is resurrection power! – propel you to take a step toward freedom and allow others to keep watch and pray with you and you with them