Lukeby Mike Raiter
Jesus taught us to pray, ″Lead us not into temptation″ (Luke 11:4). Now we will see how important this petition was for the disciples, Jesus himself, and us.
During the Passover meal, Jesus hears the disciples arguing about who among them was the greatest. Jesus radically redefines greatness. True greatness is marked not by displays of power but service, and Jesus himself has been the model for that.
He then warns Peter that Satan has asked for permission to test the genuineness of his faith. In the same way that God allowed Satan to test Job (Job 1), He grants the evil one permission, but Jesus assures Peter that though the disciple will briefly fail the trial (v. 34), Jesus will be upholding him throughout. Thus strengthened, Peter's ministry will be more productive as a result.
God may allow us to go through a time of sifting. Jesus knows the plans of Satan, and so we can be encouraged that during our trials, our Lord is praying for us (see Romans 8:34). We can also be sure that the same God who restored Peter will also keep us by His mighty power (see 1 Peter 1:5).Jesus warns the disciples that their future ministry will be a difficult one, as they will face people who will be hostile to them. Later in the Garden (vv. 49-51), they appear to take His reference to buying a sword (v. 36) literally. But Jesus will rebuke them for using one. The need for a sword is Jesus' way of warning them that the days ahead will be marked by opposition and suffering.
Jesus knows He will face the greatest trial of all. He goes to a garden called Gethsemane. It is late, and so the garden was deserted, which is why He liked it so much. He prays, asking His Father to take this cup from Him. Through Jeremiah, God said, ″Take from my hand this cup filled with the wine of my wrath and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it″ (Jeremiah 25:15). The cup that God has ordained for Jesus to drink is His wrath poured out on sinful people. The prospect of bearing God's anger causes Jesus terrible anguish, and so He prays for God's strength. How wonderful that Jesus drank that cup for you and me.
Can you think of times of severe testing in your life? How did the Lord sustain you through those times? How have these tough times equipped you to serve others?
What was it about His coming suffering that caused the Lord Jesus such anguish?