We have reached the climax section of the Gospel of Mark. By now surely the disciples as well as our hearts should be more in tune with Jesus than at any other point. But oh how often I find myself, along with the disciples; boastfully proclaiming my devotion to Christ while my flesh is still weak.
It is easy to fall into the trap of focusing our attention on Judas and Peter in today’s passage. However, us look at the response of the other disciples that can so easily get passed over because of our own fears of relating to closely to them.
‘I assure you: One of you will betray Me—one who is eating with Me!’
They began to be distressed and to say to Him one by one, ‘Surely not I?’ (Mark 14:17-18)
Peter told Him, ‘Even if everyone runs away, I will certainly not!’
‘I assure you…you will deny Me three times!’
But he kept insisting, ‘If I have to die with You, I will never deny You!’ And they all said the same thing. (Mark 14:29-31)
Clearly, one by one, we hear the disciples say, Not I. Clearly, we hear the disciples say, I will never deny You.
Do I not say the same thing in my own strength? Do I not respond in the same way when Christ reveals things to me about my own heart?
“Then He said to them, ‘My soul is swallowed up in sorrow—to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake.’…Then He came and found them sleeping. ‘Simon, are you sleeping?’ He asked Peter, ‘Couldn’t you stay awake one hour?’ (Mark 14: 34, 37)
At the moment when Jesus’ soul is swallowed up in sorrow, He requests His disciples to pray with Him. This one request following their adamant statements they would not betray or deny Him. Surely they can stay awake and pray with Him.
How can we expect never to betray or deny Christ, if we cannot even pray for one hour when He asks us to in His deepest sorrow?
“Then they all deserted Him and ran away.” (Mark 14:50)
Oh Lord, help me in my weakness to watch and pray. Help me to find in You, the strength to not betray you, deny you or fall into temptation. Thank you for paying it all. Help me to walk in praying without ceasing today.