Today’s Scripture: Matthew 26:26-39
36 Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” 37 He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. 38 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39 He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Today in our Immerse Bible reading we are finishing up the book of Matthew. There is so much to examine in these final chapters! I was drawn to one particular phrase: “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
This is a remarkable saying from Jesus and shows us his humanity – all of his humanity. Remember that Jesus knew he was going to rise again. He told his disciples this many, many times. And yet here he is – on the edge of having to face death – overwhelmed with the enormity of it all.
Have you ever felt this way – maybe even a little? Have there been times in your life where you felt like your soul had been crushed? It’s in those moments that we can feel completely alone and convinced that no one understands. And yet, here is Jesus. Fully experiencing what we experience – carrying the same weight that we all carry.
When we say that “Jesus cares” or that “Jesus knows our sorrow” we’re not just being hopeful. We know that Jesus was crushed with grief. Jesus knows what we go through because he went through it himself.
Notice also that Jesus did not want to be alone. He asked his disciples to stay with him and keep watch. (Of course, they did not do a very good job of that!) When Jesus was at his lowest – he wanted his friends around him. When we are at our lowest – we NEED our friends around us. There is nothing wrong with reaching out and asking someone to “stay here and keep watch.”
I don’t know about you but I need to be reminded from time to time of Jesus’ humanity and the fact that Jesus really does understand my fear, my anxiety, my grief, my depression. I don’t have to hide any of these things from him or pretend like I’ve got it all together. Jesus knows – because Jesus has been there.
God thank you for sending your son Jesus to live and walk among us. Thank you for his humanity and his understanding of our situation. And thank you that YOU God know our situation as well.
This Week’s Immerse Passages:
Week 6, Feb 8-14; Matthew
Day 26 pp. 311-324 Mat 1:1-7:28
Day 27 pp. 324-336 Mat 8:1-13:52
Day 28 pp. 337-345 Mat 13:53-18:35
Day 29 pp. 345-358 Mat 19:1-25:46
Day 30 pp. 358-366 Mat 26:1-28:20