“Then He returned and found the disciples asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with Me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give into temptation. For the Spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
So often at times of desperation and at the point of our greatest need, we turn to our nearest and dearest for comfort, support and encouragement. So it was with Jesus here in today’s verses. It is not that Jesus needed protection because He knew what was about to happen. What He did need was support. Yet Jesus, who so clearly shared His anguish with His disciples, was let down by the very people he was so open and honest with a few moments earlier. In fact three times Jesus left the disciples awake and came back to find them asleep.
The disciples must have also been carrying a great burden on their shoulders knowing that something out of the ordinary would happen. Yet the weight of tiredness and their burdens sent them to sleep, albeit not intentionally. When Jesus came back a third time and found them sleeping, the disciples response was one of complete silence because of their shame.
So what does this mean for us today? Firstly, in Jesus’ time of greatest need, He exhibited the kind of openness and honesty that we can all learn from. This is the same Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, asking for companionship and support at His greatest time of need. If Jesus could share His burdens and ask people to support Him in prayer, then we should also learn from this and be able to express our fears and anxieties without feeling shame or guilt. (Notice that Jesus only shared this with His three closest disciples).
Finally, when we are let down by our friends, let us not be discouraged but find our strength in the One that never lets us down, our Heavenly Father. Jesus although let down but His disciples, still showed nothing but love and grace and didn’t hold it against them. Although He showed His disappointment, He didn’t let it detract Him from His purpose and still showed humility even until His dying breath. Share your pains and struggles…Forgive even more quickly.