The Life and Teachings
of Jesus
A Restatement of the Gospels

146. Jesus Prays in Gethsemane

        32And they went to a place which was called Gethsemane; and he said to his apostles, “Sit here, while I pray.” 33And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. 34And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch.” 41And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done.”a
        40And he came to the apostles and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
        42Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”b 44And his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down upon the ground. 43And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.
        43And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.
        44So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. 45Then he came to the apostles and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Rise, let us be going, see, my betrayer is at hand.”
        (Mk. 14:32–34; Lk. 22:41–42; Mt. 26:40–42; Lk. 22:44, 43; Mt. 26:43–46)

a   “not my will, but yours, be done.”—In this time of his great earth crisis Jesus resorts to his favorite prayer, “Not my will, but yours, be done.” This prayer, along with its positive form, “Your will be done” (Mt. 26:42 above) should be the habitual practice and constant guide of the true follower of Jesus. This prayer of faith submission to the Father's will is right in all life situations.

b   “your will be done.”—Jesus is now convinced that it is his Father's will that he submit to the natural course of human events. He is living the earth life to the full, and he accepts the death that is a part of this life. An ordinary human being cannot have his death removed through divine intervention, so Jesus refuses to use his heavenly powers to free himself—even though it means death on the cross.

Mk. 14:32  his apostles, "Sit (Ch. 22, fn. a) / his disciples, “Sit (RSV)
Lk. 22:42  if you are willing, (NIV) / if thou art willing, (RSV) • but yours, be (NIV) / but thine, be (RSV)
Mt. 26:40  the apostles and (Ch. 22, fn. a) / the disciples and (RSV)
Mt. 26:42  it, your will (NIV) / it, thy will (RSV)
Lk. 22:44  And / and (RSV)
Mt. 26:45  the apostles and (Ch. 22, fn. a) / the disciples and (RSV)   (182:3/1968–70)