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Matthew 26:40-47 – Two More Prayers for the Cup to Pass

|| Mark 14:37-43; Luke 22:45-47a

MT26:40 When he returned to the disciples Jesus found them sleeping. Jesus said to Peter: “Peter, are you not strong enough to remain awake even one hour[1] with me?[2] MT26:41 Stay awake[3] and continue praying that you do not enter into temptation.[4] Of course, the spirit is eager but the flesh is weak.”[5] MT26:42 Now again for the second time Jesus went off [a distance] to pray. He said: “My Father! If it is possible allow this cup to pass me by so I do not have to drink it! Let Your will take place!” MT26:43 Now when Jesus returned he again found his disciples sleeping because their eyelids were heavy.[6] MT26:44 And Jesus left them to pray and repeat for the third time[7] the very same words again. MT26:45 Returning to his disciples Jesus told them, “At this final moment you [disciples] are sleeping and taking your rest. Look! The hour[8] has drawn near. The Son of Humankind is to be turned over to the hands of sinners. MT26:46 Get up and let us leave. Look! My betrayer is approaching now!” MT26:47 And while Jesus was still speaking, look! Judas, one of the Twelve, came with a large crowd having swords and clubs. They had been sent by the chief priests and elders of the people.

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[1] Even one hour: Could this reflect the length of time Jesus prayed? The term “hour” indicates a very brief period in contrast to a “day” or “year.”

[2] With me: The affect and impact of dear friends not realizing the danger the Nazarene faced must have hit him hard. The disinterest and desertion of intimate friends is a severe test for anyone.

[3] Stay awake: The warning and command to stay awake and watch is much repeated by the Nazarene. See notes on Matthew 24:42, 43; Matthew 25:13 (Mark 13:23, 33, 35, 37; Luke 21:36).

[4] Praying that you do not enter into temptation: See notes on Matthew 6:13.Compare 1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 Timothy 6:9. Or, NEB: spared the test; GDSP: pray that you may not be exposed to trial.

[5] The spirit is eager but the flesh is weak: Or, WMS: man’s spirit is will but human nature is weak; WEY: the body is frail.

[6] Their eyelids were heavy: Mark 14:40 adds, “so they did not know what to answer him.” Luke 22:45 adds the reason, “… slumbering from grief.” Often sleep is an escape from fear, anxiety or grief.

[7] The third time: Luke 22:43, 44 adds, “Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. But getting into an agony he continued praying more earnestly; and his sweat became as drops of blood falling to the ground.” (NW) The night air must be crisp or frigid as later accounts indicate. To sweat in these conditions indicates the severity of the Nazarene’s concern. Sweating blood indicates a rare sickness (diapedesis) in fulfillment of Isaiah 53:10. Some see this only as a metaphor to describe the sweat.

[8] Hour: A word indicating a short time within only hours and not a prolonged period. Research the word hour.

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Preceding

Matthew 26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Last days of Jesus Christ #1 Matthew 26:1-2 – Two Days Before Execution

Matthew 26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Last days of Jesus Christ #2 Matthew 26:3-5 – Plotting to Seize Jesus

Matthew 26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Last days of Jesus Christ #3 Matthew 26:6-13 – A Woman to Be Remembered

Matthew 26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Last days of Jesus Christ #4 Matthew 26:14-16 – The Price of Betrayal

Matthew 26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Last days of Jesus Christ #5 Matthew 26:17-19 – Passover Preparations

Matthew 26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Last days of Jesus Christ #6 Matthew 26:20-25 – The Last Passover

Matthew 26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Last days of Jesus Christ #7 Matthew 26:26-30 – Keep Doing This in My Memory

Matthew 26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Last days of Jesus Christ #8 Matthew 26:31-35 – How All Will Be Stumbled This Night

Matthew 26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Last days of Jesus Christ #9 Matthew 26:36-39 – Garden Prayer

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