Luke 22:39-62 Gethsemane: The Garden Of Decision

by | Apr 11, 2024 | Luke, New Testament

Read 22:39-46 Jesus’ agony in the garden

The space within Jerusalem was so limited that there was no room for gardens. Many well-to-do people, therefore, had private gardens out on the Mount of Olives. Gethsemane was probably a remote walled garden (Jesus “entered” and “went out”) where Jesus went often for prayer, rest, and fellowship with His disciples. Some wealthy friend had given Jesus the privilege of using such a garden, and it was there that Jesus went to fight his lonely battle.

Pray that you may not enter into temptation
Jesus is the one facing the greater temptation, and yet He is concerned for His friends.
They will face many temptations that night, and in the coming weeks.
He warns them, but He also gives them a solution: pray.

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed –
He had been spending His nights there that week (21:37), and He refused to alter this routine, even though He knew it meant that Judas would easily find Him

He knelt down and prayed,
“The usual manner of prayer at that time was to pray in a standing position.
That Jesus knelt down proves the violence of His struggle in Gethsemane.”
Mat 26:39 He went a little farther and fell on His face,

take this cup away from Me
Repeatedly in the Old Testament, a cup is a powerful picture of the wrath and judgment of God:

Mat 20:20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him.
Mat 20:21 And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.”
Mat 20:22 But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to Him, “We are able.”
Mat 20:23 So He said to them, “You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.”

Mat 26:27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.
Mat 26:28 “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

John 18:11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”

Jeremiah 25:15 For thus says the LORD God of Israel to me: “Take this wine cup of fury from My hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send you, to drink it.
He was only thirty-three; and no one wants to die at thirty-three.
He knew what crucifixion was like; he had seen it.
If Jesus knew what the Father’s will was, why was this such agony?
Because Jesus is going be a sacrifice for sins.
He was no dumb sacrificial animal, no victim of circumstances.
He willingly resolved to lay down His life.

It was not just the physical suffering and death that would bring fear.
It was the spiritual transaction that was about to take place.
2 Cor 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Jesus became, as it were, an enemy of God.
He was judged and forced to drink the cup of the Father’s fury, so we would not have to drink from that cup – this was also the source of Jesus’ agony.

Psalms 40:6-8 6 Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; My ears You have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require. 7 Then I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. 8 I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.”

Heb 10:5-7 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. 7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come; In the volume of the book it is written of Me; To do Your will, O God.'”

Jesus delighted in doing the will of the Father, and yet struggled with it as well.
This makes His obedience all the more significant.
If obeying God is easy, there is not much to appreciate.
If Obeying God is difficult and costly, it is much more appreciated.

It makes all the difference in what tone of voice a man says,
“Thy will be done.”

1. He may say it in a tone of helpless submission, as one who is in the grip of a power against which it is hopeless to fight.
The words may be the death-knell of hope.
2. He may say it as one who has been battered into submission.
The words may be the admission of complete defeat.
3. He may say it as one who has been utterly frustrated and who sees that the dream can never come true: The words may be those of a bleak regret or even of a bitter anger which is all the more bitter because it cannot do anything about it.
4. He may say it with the accent of perfect trust.
That is how Jesus said it.
He was speaking to one who was Father; he was speaking to a God whose everlasting arms were underneath and about him even on the cross.
He was submitting, but he was submitting to the love that would never let him go.

John 3:35 “The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand.
John 5:20 “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does;
Life’s hardest tasks are to accept what we cannot understand; but we can do even that if we are sure enough of the love of God.

NOTE- Jesus was strengthened by an angel.
That which He created, He now submitted Himself to.

Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

That which was powerful to save Him, He only received strength from.
Jesus had at His disposal more than twelve legions of angels.

Mat 26:53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?

Legion- 6000 72,000 angels were available to help Jesus if He wanted
OT- 2 Kings 19: One angel of God took out 185,000 men.
Available help– There were enough angels available to help Jesus fight against 13,320,000,000 people, if that had been needful.

Instead of the angel saving Him, Jesus allowed the angel to help Him face the awful plan of God.
Jesus did not depend on the angel to help Him escape the plan of God, but to face the plan of God
In response to Jesus’ prayers, the Father did not take the cup from Jesus; but He strengthened Jesus to be able to take – and drink – the cup

APPLICATION- How often we seek the power of God to save us from doing His difficult will.
Instead, the Father sent help that Jesus might delivered through plan of God, not delivered from it.

Luke 22:44
What did Jesus do in His time of agony? He prayed more earnestly –
He was in an agony; the Greek word is used of someone fighting a battle with sheer fear.
Agony- a contest, an effort or anxiety:–conflict, contention, fight.

Heb 5:7-9 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, 8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,

The disciples were also filled with sorrow; but instead of praying, they slept.
Jesus wakes them and encourages them to pray!

Even at this crucial point in Jesus’ life, He is concerned with those who love Him.
There is no scene like this in all history.

This was the very hinge and turning point in Jesus’ life.
He could have turned back even yet.
He could have refused the cross.
The salvation of the world hung in the balance as the Son of God literally sweated it out in Gethsemane.

He went into Gethsemane in the dark; he came out in the light–because he had talked with God.
He went into Gethsemane in an agony; he came out with the victory won and with peace in his soul–because he had talked with God.

Mat 26:45 Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Mat 26:46 “Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”

Jesus came to a point of decision in Gethsemane – it wasn’t that He had not decided nor consented before, but now He had come upon a unique point of decision.
He drank the cup at Calvary, but He decided once for all to drink it at Gethsemane.

NOTE- There is no crown, unless there is first a cross.
There is no cross, unless there is first a garden of decision.

No garden, no cross.
No cross, no crown.

Jesus is betrayed and arrested

Apparently, Jesus was normal enough in appearance so that it was necessary that Judas specifically identify Him for the sake of those arresting Jesus, and he chose to identify Him by greeting Jesus with a kiss
When a disciple met a beloved Rabbi, he laid his right hand on the Rabbi’s left shoulder and his left hand on the right shoulder and kissed him.
It was the kiss of a disciple to a beloved master that Judas used as a sign of betrayal.

Of course, Jesus knew the irony of being betrayed with a warm greeting;
He essentially asked Judas “are you so dead to all feeling that you can kiss and betray?”
Judas is a good example of a seared conscience

John 18:10 identifies this unnamed swordsman as Peter; here, he is a great example of someone who, wielding the power of this world in his hands, could only cut off ears; but wielding the Word of God, could pierce hearts for God’s glory (Acts 2:37)

Jesus heals the man’s ear.
He shows love and compassion from those who desire His death.
He shows power to those who think they are in control.
He does not allow Peter’s fleshly act to dissuade the mob from taking Him away.

You would think that the mob might have been softened by this action of Jesus, but their hearts were intent upon killing Him, and so they continued on.

The mob- composed of religious leaders and hirelings.
It was folly for them to come this way to One so powerful; they could not see the foolishness of it all.

It is your hour, and the power of darkness, not in the sense that Jesus is out of control, but that He is allowing the darkness to do what it wanted to do all along – arrest and kill Jesus
It is permitted that this be an hour of darkness.
God is still in control.

Jesus is arrested and brought before Caiaphas, the high priest acceptable to Rome.
Annas, his father-in-law, was actually the high priest according to the Mosaic Law.
Jesus was first brought before Annas which is recorded by John.
Some believe Annas was the real rascal in back of the plot to kill Jesus.
This was a meeting of the Sanhedrin.

Peter’s denial of Jesus
Peter’s first problem was that he followed at a distance; when we distance ourselves from Jesus, it is hard to make a proper stand for Him at the critical time

It is a dangerous thing to follow the Lord afar off.
This is what Peter did.

Peter was moving toward his shameful fall as he followed afar off and sat with the wrong crowd.

Next, Peter sat among them – the ungodly, having forsaken the fellowship of the fleeing disciples.
Peter will want to seem just one of this crowd, not a follower of Jesus

First, Peter denied ever knowing Jesus (Woman, I do not know Him), then…
He denied being a follower of Jesus (Man, I am not), finally…
He denies that he is even from Galilee (Man, I do not know what you are saying!)

At the crowing of the rooster, Jesus looks through the crowd around Him, and makes eye contact with Peter –
Peter is immediately convicted of his sin – not only of his denial of Jesus, but of the pride that led him to think he could never deny Him

The ancient Greek word for looked “usually signifies a look of interest, love, or concern.”

Peter finally remembered the word of the Lord, but he remembered it too late – after he had sinned.
For now, all Peter can do is to weep bitterly – but he will be restored

As much as Jesus’ promise that Peter would deny Him was true, so was the promise that your faith should not fail (22:32) –
Peter has fallen, but will not fall away
We have all made promises to Jesus that we have not kept.
We weep bitterly, then return to the Lord who receives us back.
What did Peter see in the eyes of Jesus?
1. Surprise that Peter denied Him? No.
Jesus had predicted that Peter would deny Him.
2. Disqualification? No.
Jesus had predicted that Peter would return to Him.
3. Did Peter see sorrow, hurt, and disappointment?
Perhaps. Jesus was called a man of sorrows.
4. Did Peter see understanding and sympathy in the eyes of Jesus? Yes, sympathy.
Mat 12:20 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory.
5. Did Peter see love? Absolutely.
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

What would go on to happen?
Jesus would die on the cross.
He would be laid in the tomb.
He would rise from the dead.
The women would go to the tomb, and announce Jesus’ resurrection.

Mark 16:7 “But go, tell His disciples; and Peter; that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”

Jesus rejoined them after His resurrection, and Peter got to look into the eyes of Jesus again.
Jesus would re-commission Peter.
Peter would be a leader in the church.
He would preach the first evangelical sermon, and have 3,000 converts the first time.
Peter and the others would be used of God by doing miracles, and preaching more.
The church grew to about 5,000.

Peter confidently claimed that he would never fail Jesus.
When he failed Him, he looked into the eyes of Jesus and saw so many things.
Perhaps sorrow, hurt.
But definitely love, hope, compassion, mercy, pity.

We can be hard on Peter for failing. But at least he tried.

Father Stanton, an Episcopal priest:
Don’t ever forget that the look of Jesus, however wonderful, would have been no good, if at the moment Peter had not been looking His way.

The sorrow of looking at Jesus at the moment of failure would be lost in the joy of being restored.
The sweetness was all the sweeter, b/c it was contrasted to the failure.
But at least Peter was there, looking at Jesus, even as Peter failed, he still looked at Jesus.