Text: Mark 14 (Exodus 33-34).
Mark’s Gospel sweeps along at a very fast clip – it seems it was just a few days ago we began, and today we approach the glorious conclusion – Jesus’ passion, death, burial end resurrection. There is much to contemplate. This time reading through, Mark 14:38 caught my eye:
“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Jesus is in the garden here, praying to His Father and ours. His closest followers are too sleepy to pray with Him – their physical fatigue is evidence that our “flesh is weak.” Specifically, Jesus is addressing Peter here – knowing full well that in just a few hours Peter will succumb to the temptation to deny Jesus three times.
There is a powerful connection being made here – that our prayer strengthens us to withstand temptation. Jesus, if you notice, is reported here to have prayed repetitively the same words, “Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Even Jesus – perfect, sinless Jesus – needed prayer to be strengthened against temptation. Two questions come to mind – “So, how am I doing with that recurring temptation in my life?” “How is my prayer life?” It would not be surprising if the two answers are aligned.
in Him, Mike