And He (Jesus) withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, "Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me. Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done" (Luke 22:41-42).
Read Luke 22:41-42.
Jesus doesn't go far from His disciples, about as far as one can throw a stone. Matthew and Mark tell us He brings along three disciples: Peter, James, and John. After strongly encouraging them to keep watch with Him and pray, He withdraws a few paces. This is a burden they cannot share. He has to face it alone with His Father, but still it comforts Him to know they are listening and praying for Him.
Jews normally stood in prayer, but Jesus kneels down, showing tremendous humility, coupled with the weight of the grief bearing down on Him. Immediately, He cries out in pain and distress. Surely, His three closest disciples hear and join in fervent prayer. He pleads with His Father to remove the cup-the physical suffering, the abuse, the pain-but more than anything, the prospect of coming under the wrath of God for the sins of the world. Yet He immediately surrenders His will to His Father, "Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done."
He isn't afraid of death-but dreads the thought of being cut off, forsaken by His Father, and suffering the terrible wrath of God. Yet He casts aside His own desire, His own will, and in genuine love for His Father, accepts God's perfect plan as His own.
In our hours of greatest need our prayers often focus on ourselves-but notice how Jesus focuses instead on His Father and what He wants. Again, Jesus casts His own needs and interests aside, embracing His Father's will-and our desperate need.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, in awe and holy fear we listen as You lay Your heart bare before Your Father. Teach us so to pray. Amen.
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