John 18:1 Bible Study
While John doesn’t elaborate on what happened next, Mark and Luke do, so let's read Mark 14:32-42 and Luke 22:39-46.
MARK 14:32-42 32 Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. 34 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.” 35 He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. 36 And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” 37 Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words. 40 And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him. 41 Then He came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand."
LUKE 22:39-46 39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. 40 When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” 43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45 When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. 46 Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”
Where exactly did Jesus take them?
They exited Jerusalem eastward and crossed "the Brook Kidron" (John 18:1) to the base of the "Mount of Olives" (Luke 22:39) where "there was a garden" (John 18:1) called "Gethsemane". (Mark 14:32)
Which disciples stayed with Jesus as He prayed?
Where were they?
"Peter, James, and John" (Mark 14:33) were a little ways away. The other eight were farther away.
What did Jesus tell them to do?
"Sit here while I pray." (Mark 14:32) "Stay here and watch." (Mark 14:34) “Watch and pray.” (Mark 14:38)
What did they end up doing?
"He came and found them sleeping." (Mark 14:37) "He found them asleep again."(Mark 14:40)
"He found them sleeping from sorrow." (Luke 22:45) The disciples were so devastated and depressed by what Jesus had told them after the supper that they literally couldn’t even keep their eyes open: "their eyes were heavy". (Mark 14:40)
Was Jesus feeling any better?
He was feeling even worse than them: "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death." (Mark 14:34) In fact, He was in such agony that He began to sweat blood: "And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground." (Luke 22:44)
Is that a figurative description of His agony?
No it's literal. When a person is under extreme physical or emotional duress, blood vessels can rupture. If they rupture in the brain, it is called a stroke. If the capillaries around the sweat glands rupture and let blood seep into the sweat glands and eventually through the sweat pores, it is called "hematohydrosis". It should be noted that this rare but documented medical condition leaves the skin extremely sensitive, and this would have aggravated the pain Jesus felt in the ensuing hours.
What does Jesus beseech the Father while being this agony?
That "the hour might pass" (Mark 14:35) from Him and for the Father to "Take this cup away from Me.” (Mark 14:36)
Why does Jesus seem to be wimping out here? Why can’t He
man up and say, “Give me that cup"?
He isn't agonizing over the impending physical pain of getting His back ripped open during the whipping or getting nails pounded into Him on the cross. Those will be painful and humiliating to suffer, but not worth Jesus sweating blood over. Some of the martyrs who died for Jesus in the last 2,000 years in fact suffered even more painful deaths but died singing hymns and praises to God.
If not the physical pain, then what was it? What was in "the cup"?
To illustrate this, imagine a massive trophy cup in front of you. Think of some of the gross things you’ve done and pour those in the cup. Now think of all other sins you’ve committed and those you’re going to commit in the future and pour those in as well. Now multiply that by billions of people, and picture a massive cup brimming with filthy, revolting poison that Jesus is being asked to drink.
Does Jesus have any experience tasting even a drop of this stuff?
No, He is perfectly pure. What is being asked is for someone who is and has always been perfectly sinless to grab a hold of that massive cup of revolting filth and drink all of it so that He becomes not just 'full of sin,' but sin itself: "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Corinthians 5:21) It would have been strange for Jesus to be anything but utterly repulsed, to the extent of sweating blood, at this prospect. But there's more.
With whom has Jesus been in communion since forever?
God the Father.
How will that be affected when He becomes sin?
He can no longer be in communion with the Father, because if so, the Father would become sin as well.
What did Jesus cry out to God while hanging on the cross?
“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Mark 15:34) The prospect of being separated from the Father, whom He loved and has always been in communion was another huge reason for His agony.
Why did Jesus drink the cup in the end if He found it so revolting?
As much as He hates sin, He loves us more. And as much as He didn't want to be separated from the Father, he wanted to obey Him more.
What does Jesus' resurrection prove about His blood and
what He drank?
The cleansing power of His blood over all that sin, including ours.
What was the “final word” on what Jesus wants from the Father?
“Not what I will, but what You will” (Mark 14:36) “Not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42)
Is that what you pray for?
Could you pray that if God asked you to do the thing that you dislike?
Two more questions:
How much distress does it cause you when you think about being on your own
apart from God?
Are you as repulsed by your sins as Jesus was with the