I’m supposed to have a post a day on this blog but recently i’ve been reading this book called ‘Jacob i have loved’ and it talks about the lessons we can learn from the story of Jacob and his significance in the Bible. I must confess it struck me for the first time so deeply after i saw this statement made by God: ‘Jacob i have loved and Esau i have hated. In the original hebrew, the way that phrase was constructed shows that God loved Jacob with the exact same measure and passion with which he hated Esau. People hate to hear this, but i think it just goes back to the fact that God will love who he will love and hate who he will hate. He loves us not because of who we are or what we do but he loves us because he loves us. He has chosen the people that will come to salvation from the beginning and he has given them to Jesus. People don’t like to hear about Divine election because it seems unfair or unjust. But God is the potter and no man can question his ways. God is God and he does what he pleases. We may not be able to understand God’s ways with our finite minds but we should never question his actions. Although i don’t think the doctrine of ‘Divine Election’ is one that should be preached in churches too often(for many reasons), i do think its a biblical truth that cannot be ignored. That book has just shown me more and more how everything about God is infinite and without limits or boundaries. He is the almighty. But anyway, that’s what i’ve been getting up to recently but i’ll try and post more often from now on.
I want to write on the garden of gethsemane and the significance of what happened there. The story of Jesus being in the garden of gethsemane was recorded by all the 4 gospels. I will try and summarise this story leaving out no parts from any of the 4 gospels.
Jesus had just eaten with his disciples at the passover and had also washed the feet of his disciples. Just before he went to the garden of gethsemane at the mount of olives, he was troubled at the table, and he said to them that one of them was going to betray him. They all asked him if they were the ones, and when Judas asked him, he told Judas that he would be the one that would betray him. Satan had already put the thought of betraying Jesus into the heart of Judas. After they had sang a hymn, they went out to mount olives. Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away this night [that is, you will be caused to stumble and will begin to distrust and desert Me], for it stands written, I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.” Peter tried to persuade Jesus that even if anyone was to betray him he wouldn’t be the one but Jesus told him that he would betray him that same night and deny him 3 times. Meanwhile, Satan entered into Judas and took possession of him, then Jesus recognized this and told Judas to do what he needed to do swiftly. The other disciples were confused at what Jesus was telling Judas. All the other disciples also insisted that they would die with Jesus if he was going to die and go to prison with him if he was going to go to prison. Jesus then took, Peter, James and John with him to the garden of gethsemane. Whilst he was there, he prayed to God. John records quite a long prayer of Jesus to the Father, but the other gospels say Jesus asked God something between these lines: ‘Abba, [which means] Father, everything is possible for You. Take away this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You [will].‘ Just before he went praying somewhere in the garden about a stone’s throw from where Peter, James and John were, he told them to pray and keep watch. He told them his soul was deeply troubled and disturbed and overwhelmed with grief almost to the point it killed Him. He asked them to watch and pray so that they may not fall into temptation, because the spirit was willing to obey God and not sin, but the flesh was weak and prone to sin. When he was praying, he was so troubled and depressed. The Luke’s gospel says:
And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him in spirit. And being in an agony [of mind], He prayed [all the] more earnestly and intently, and His sweat became like great clots of blood dropping down upon the ground.
Three times he prayed and checked up on the disciples to find them sleeping.The Luke’s gospel says they slept because of grief. It appears that Jesus knew the exact time he was going to be betrayed because the Bible says he told the disciples they were going to pray just for one hour. Finally, the third time, Jesus woke up his disciples and said the hour had come for him to be betrayed into the hands of sinful men.
That’s the summary of what happened to Jesus in the garden of gethsemane. I’ll write another post on the significance of what happened to Him in the garden of gethsemane and what we can learn from it in another post. Thanks for reading and God Bless!