The Purpose of Gethsemane: Matthew 26:45-47
“45) Then He *came to the disciples and *said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46) Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!” 47) While He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came up accompanied by a large crowd with swords and clubs, who came from the chief priests and elders of the people.” Matthew‬ ‭26‬:‭45‬-‭47‬
Usually prayer is aimed at changing outward circumstances. That’s the way the first prayer of Jesus in Gethsemane started. (Vs 39) But not understood by many Christians, the big battle of prayer is often conquering self. That’s the way the second prayer of Jesus in Gethsemane ended. (Vs 42)
His communion time with His Father had barely ended when his betrayer arrived. The eleven were sleeping while Judas was guiding a violent mob to deliver Jesus to His destiny on a cross.
We are now forced to wrestle with the question; “Was the prayer encounter in Gethsemane a failure?” It certainly did not detour or change the outward circumstances. Judas still showed up! But I will argue that it utterly ended the inner war raging inside of Jesus. His inner composure through the trial, scourging and crucifixion defies explanation. Gethsemane is the explanation.
Consider the identity of Jesus. He was the Creator. In Him was the power that created the universe. He is Commander of the angelic armies of Heaven. At any moment He could have summoned the angels to destroy the world and set Him free. He is High Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek, yet He uttered no threat to Caiaphas. He is King of kings and Lord of lords, yet he submitted Himself to be humiliated by Pilate and Herod. He is the very source of Life, yet He voluntarily gave Himself to die on the cross. He is God, yet He yielded Himself to be crucified by man.
I ask again; “Was the prayer encounter in Gethsemane a failure?” To the contrary, it qualifies as the most successful prayer meeting in history. Had it failed, I would not be here writing nor would you be reading this post. At any moment Jesus had the option to destroy the world and spare Himself. Had his inner self not died in Gethsemane everything else would have come to an abrupt end way before He reached the cross.
We now gain insight into an often ignored component of prayer. Prayer is not only about changing outward circumstances, sometime it’s much bigger. Often it’s about winning the inward war. It was in Gethsemane that Jesus gained the victory over Himself! He had to die to Himself before He could die for the world.
Until you embrace this component of prayer, you will never gain victory over many of the battles in your life. Often the biggest change is needed within and not without. The purpose of Gethsemane was about conquering Himself and not changing His outward circumstances. Mission accomplished!
You must now answer another question; “When are you going to show up for a Gethsemane encounter with God?” Until you are yielded 100% to His will, ways and Word… self and not Jesus is Master and Lord of your life. The longer I walk with Jesus the more worn My path to Gethsemane is becoming.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global