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118: Final Confirmation

May 15, 2009

Major Text: Matthew 26:30;36-46

Harmony Texts:

Matt. 26:30;36-46       Mark 14:26;32-42       Luke 22:39-46        John 18:1

Outline:

  1. The Prayer with a Question Matt. 26:36-39
  2. The Prayer of Commitment Matt. 26:40-44
  3. The Prayer of Confirmation Matt. 26:45-46

Context/Discussion/Comments:

There is a lack of continuity in these scripture passages of Matthew and Mark because some verses were included in Lesson 110. However, many believe Jesus predicted the denial of Peter twice that night. Anyway, we pick up the chronology with Jesus and His disciples singing a closing hymn and walking to the Mount of Olives where they are camping.

Jesus asks His disciples to wait while He goes to pray. He takes Peter, James, and John with Him to watch. Jesus is very sorrowful knowing what is about to take place. He is troubled, overwhelmed. It is not natural for us to want to die but He is to lay down His life that we may live. Jesus prays asking His Father if there isn’t another way to pay for the penalty of sin other than by His death. It’s an honest question. But above all, the Father’s will, not His, is to be done.

He returns to His disciples and finds they are all sleeping. He wanted them to keep watch, probably knowing His betrayer and the soldiers were on their way to meet Him. He asks them to pray too so they won’t fall into temptation. The disciples want to do what is right by their Lord but their faith will be tested when Judas comes with the Jewish leaders and Roman soldiers to arrest Him. This is anything but a normal situation. Jesus leaves them and prays a second time expressing His submission and acceptance of His Father’s will.

Jesus returns to His disciples and finds them sleeping again. It has been a long day and they are tired. Jesus does not wake them but returns to pray, a prayer of complete surrender and submission to His Father’s will. Jesus wakes His disciples and asks them to go with Him to meet His betrayer.

Lessons/Applications:

1. The will of the flesh and the will of the Spirit are often in conflict. We can question the Will of God but we must be willing to yield/submit to the Will of God. He is Sovereign.

2. Being overwhelmed with the task at hand is natural. The task assigned to us as His disciples, the one of carrying on the work and ministry of Christ, is often overwhelming. We struggle to be effective but see little results. Nevertheless, we are to yield to, submit to, and rest in Him. He is Sovereign.

3. If we are to know the Will of God, our hearts and minds must first be committed to doing the Will of God.

4. God will always confirm His Will when we have expressed and shown our commitment to follow His Will.

5. God’s Will is revealed through dialogue with Him. He prefers to nudge us instead of commanding us. He prefers that our free will match His Sovereign will.

6. Confirmation of His Will comes through prayer coupled with action [in this case it is the arrival of Judas, the Jewish leaders, and the soldiers]. It may be our action or somebody else’s action. But the prayer part will always be between us and the Father.

His Sovereign Will wishes to be expressed through our Unified Will.

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