The spirit is willing, but the body is weak

Matthew 26: 31-41

Then Jesus told them, "This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:

" 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee."

Peter replied, "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will."

"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times."

But Peter declared, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the other disciples said the same.

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray."

He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

SITUATION Jesus looked toward the Passover and his death. He prepared his disciples by teaching them and spending time alone in prayer.

OBSERVATION Jesus willingly obeyed God during the events leading up to his death. This obedience made salvation possible.

INSPIRATION Consider the holiness of Christ. We need this first of all to be firmly grounded in our security in Christ . . . It is important therefore that we understand the righteousness of Christ, and the fact that His righteousness is credited to us.

On numerous occasions the Scriptures testify that Jesus during His time on earth lived a perfectly holy life. . .

But the holiness of Jesus was more than simply the absence of actual sin. It was also a perfect conformity of the will of His Father.

It is possible to do the right action from the wrong motive, but this does not please God. Holiness has to do with more than mere acts. Our motives must be holy, that is arising from a desire to do something simply because it is the will of God.

Consider the holiness of Christ, because His life is meant to be an example of holiness for us . . .

Consider then His statement. "I always do what please Him." Do we dare take that as our personal goal in life? Are we truly willing to scrutinize all our activities our goals and plans, and all of our impulsive actions in the light of this statement: "I am doing this to please God"? . . .

This is the example we are to follow in all of our thoughts, all of our actions, in every part of our character, the ruling principle that motives and guides us should be the desire to follow Christ in doing the will of the Father. This is the high road we must follow in the pursuit of holiness. (From The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges)

APPLICATION Do you really want to follow Christ's example by doing the will of the Father? As you ready and willing to submit your plans, thoughts, and behavior to him? If submitting is difficult for you in a particular area, pray specifically that God will help you.

EXPLORATION Loyalty and Obedience -- Joshua 22:2-5; Psalm 119:33-37; John 21:15-17; Philippians 4:3; 1 Peter 1:14-16.

The Devotional Bible - Max Lucado General Editor, Thomas Nelson Publishers, New Century Version

Jesus Identifies with Our Needs
Dr. Charles Stanley

Hebrews 4:14-16

We often forget that during His stay on earth, Jesus identified with us—not only in meeting our needs but also in experiencing His own. Although Christ was fully God, He was at the same time completely human, with all of humanity's weaknesses except for sin.

When Jesus had finished a 40-day fast in the wilderness, He experienced physical hunger and an onslaught of temptation from the Devil (Matt. 4:1-2). Later, after an exhausting day of healing, teaching, and feeding a crowd of more than 5,000, the Son of God required time alone with His Father for spiritual refreshment (Matt. 14:23). And in the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ was under tremendous spiritual and emotional pressure as He faced the ordeal of paying for the sins of mankind through His death on a cross (Matt. 26:38-39).

In each weakness, Jesus turned to His Father. The Word of God was His defense in temptation, prayer was His source of strength for ministry, and submission to the Father's will was His pathway to victory over sin and death. By passing through every difficult situation without sin, He became our High Priest, who intercedes for us and invites us to draw near to the God's throne for help in time of need.

Whatever your needs may be, you can follow Christ's example and experience the Father's provision. The Word of God is your protection, prayer is your strength, and submission to the Father is the way to victory over sin. Draw near with confidence, and let the Lord shower you with His grace.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit

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