Gethsemane and the Dilemma of Prayer 4

[Number 4 of 6 reflections on Mark 14:32-42]

He wrestles, repeatedly, with the same desire to avoid his calling. ‘Take this cup from me’. And the failures of those around him send him back again and again to the same point.

There is a significant inclusio here I think. His first instruction to the disciples is in verse 32, ‘Sit here, while I pray’. The passage ends in verse 42 with a series of imperatives, finishing with ‘Rise! Let us go’.

In between is a series of commands featuring a variety of instructions to the disciples to pay attention, or keep watch. This contrasts with the inattention of the disciples who continually fall asleep.

I’m interested in the third occasion he returns to them (Mark 14:41,42).

“Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!’

Jesus spine has been stiffened. His fate approaches.

To those who were called to watch and pray but who continually fall asleep he says ‘Enough!’

There comes a time when our ‘praying’ is little more than sleeping and resting.

At that moment Jesus utters a series of imperatives.





The time for sitting is over.

He Qi’s ‘Praying at Gethsemane’ here

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