“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’ He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’ Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’” (Matthew 26:36-39 NIV)
To use today’s vernacular, Jesus just wasn’t feeling it, this called-to-die thing. He really wanted a different path to take, so He cried out to His Father to give Him one. He was feeling overwhelmed at what lay just ahead for Him and He wanted a way out.
We can all identify with the human struggle with which Jesus was dealing. None of us feels like going through difficult experiences. If based solely on our feelings, we would choose the less painful path every time. But there is more to making decisions in life than how we feel. If Jesus had made the decision in the garden to follow His feelings, life in this world would be dramatically different. But, instead, Jesus was obedient, and we are the beneficiaries of that obedience.
Following Jesus means to follow His example. In the garden, when His feelings were telling Him to avoid death at all costs, Jesus responded with obedience. His desire to please His Father overrode the strong feelings He had to escape His fate.
Life is full of difficult, and even painful, decisions. Our feelings are always going to lead us to take the easy way out. It is always easier to walk away from a broken relationship than to stay and repair it. It is always easier to stay “in” with friends than to take a stand against their behavior. It is always easier to give in to temptation than to run from it. But life following Jesus is not about doing what feels good or is the easiest; it’s about being obedient.
Today, meditate on the example Jesus left us in the garden. Even though that night He wasn’t feeling it, Jesus still was obedient to His Father’s will. Aren’t you glad He was?
© Jim Musser 2017