Life-Study of Markby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In 14:27-42 the Lord Jesus warned His disciples of their stumbling and charged them to watch and pray. In verse 27 He said to them, “You will all be stumbled, because it is written, I will smite the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.” Then the Lord told them that after He was raised, He would go before them into Galilee (v. 28).
When Peter heard the Lord’s word concerning the disciples being stumbled, he said to Him, “Even if all shall be stumbled, yet I will not!” (v. 29). Then, also as part of His preparation of His disciples for His death, the Lord went on to say to Peter, “Truly I tell you, that you today, in this night, before a cock crows twice, will deny Me three times.” The Greek verb rendered “deny” is a compound that signifies utterly deny, as in verses 31 and 72. But Peter, being rather rough, confident, and bold, said emphatically, “If I must die with You, I will by no means deny You! And all said similarly” (v. 31).
After warning the disciples of their stumbling, the Lord Jesus went with them to a place named Gethsemane (v. 32). Gethsemane means the place of the oil press. The Lord was pressed there to flow out the oil, the Spirit.
Taking with Him Peter, James, and John, He “began to be awestruck and distressed” (v. 33). Regarding “awestruck,” C. E. B. Cranfield says that the Lord was “in the grip of a shuddering horror in the face of the dreadful prospect before Him.”
The Lord said to Peter, James, and John, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death; remain here and watch. And going forward a little, He fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass away from Him.” The Slave-Savior’s sorrow and His prayer in verse 35 are the same as in John 12:27. There He said that He came for this hour; that is, He knew that the Father’s will was that He should die on the cross for the fulfillment of God’s eternal plan.
According to verse 36, the Lord Jesus prayed, “Abba Father, All things are possible to You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.” The Triune God determined in His divine plan in eternity past that the Second of the divine Trinity should be incarnated and die on the cross to accomplish His eternal redemption for the fulfillment of His eternal purpose (Eph. 1:7-9). Hence, the Second of the divine Trinity was ordained to be the Lamb of God (John 1:29) before the foundation of the world, that is, in eternity past (1 Pet. 1:19-20); and in the eyes of God, as the Lamb of God, He was slain from the foundation of the world, that is, from the existence of God’s fallen creatures (Rev. 13:8). From the time of man’s fall, lambs, sheep, calves, and bulls were sacrificed by God’s chosen people as types (Gen. 3:21; 4:4; 8:20; 22:13; Exo. 12:3-8; Lev. 1:2), pointing to Him who was to come as the real Lamb foreordained by God. In the fullness of time, the Triune God sent the Second of the divine Trinity, the Son of God to come in incarnation to take a human body (Heb. 10:5) that He might be offered to God on the cross (Heb. 9:14; 10:12) to do the will of God (Heb. 10:7), that is, to replace the sacrifices and offerings, which were types, with Himself in His humanity as the unique sacrifice and offering for the sanctification of God’s chosen people (Heb. 10:9-10). In His prayer here, immediately before His crucifixion, He prepared Himself to take the cup of the cross (Matt. 26:39, 42), willing to do this unique will of the Father for the accomplishment of the eternal plan of the Triune God.
In verse 38 the Lord Jesus charged the three disciples, “Watch and pray that you may not come into temptation; the spirit indeed is ready, but the flesh is weak.” The Greek word translated “ready” may also be rendered “willing.” In spiritual things our spirit is often ready, willing, but our flesh is weak.
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