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Mark - Who is Christ?
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to MARK
PART 8 - Christ's Passion and Death (Mark 14:1 - 15:47)

7. Jesus’ Struggle in His Prayer (Mark 14:39-42)

MARK 14:39-42
39 Again he went away, and prayed, saying the same words. 40 Again he returned, and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they didn’t know what to answer him. 41 He came the third time, and said to them, “Sleep on now, and take your rest. It is enough. The hour has come. Behold, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Arise, let us be going. Behold, he who betrays me is at hand.”

Thick darkness came upon the world and upon Jesus the Righteous. The wrath of God grew thicker on him who took away our sins, and the hosts of evil swooped on the souls of his followers. Jesus went outside the city to the garden of Gethsemane, which contained an olive press. There it pleased the Lord to bruise him, and crush him, that fresh oil might flow to all believers from him, that we might partake of the root and richness of that good Olive. There he trod the winepress of his Father’s wrath, and trod it alone.

Jesus trembled. He became sorrowful and deeply distressed. The sorrow in his heart was so great that it almost crushed him. No man can explain this fear except him who loves him and feels with him. Such a person is able to explain this stage of Jesus’ life carefully and with meaning.

The Son of God feared neither death, nor Satan, for he had already wrestled with these wicked powers and overcome them in his body, obtaining victory over them several times.

However when he humbled himself and took away the sin of the world in his love, his holy, just Father hid his face from him, made him a scapegoat bearing the sins of men, and punished him in our place.

Jesus trembled greatly because of his separation from his Father during the judgment of the world, which was poured on his person. Christ’s body and human soul opposed his drinking the bitter cup of the wrath of God, which was prepared for men as a punishment for their sins.

The Son prayed the prayer of help, that his Father might save him from the fearful hour, if there were any other possibility for the world’s salvation. Worshiping and trembling, he strove for the redemption of the world, seeking another way, if possible, without a response from his Father. In spite of this hope, he became broken, denied himself completely, appealing to carry out his Father’s will in the first place, and prepared himself to drink the cup of God’s wrath. This terrible struggle teaches us that there is no other way to redeem the world except through the cross.

Jesus came to his disciples that they might support and encourage him with their prayers. Yet, Peter who had insisted, only a few minutes before, on helping Christ by all means, fell asleep under the influence of the authority of darkness. No man can overcome the devils and their power by himself, for the Spirit of God alone can protect believers and grant them victory.

He who relies on himself will see that darkness puts us to sleep at the critical juncture. The struggle is rendered powerless from the very beginning. By his own experiences, Jesus warned us that we must watch in the power of the Holy Spirit, study the Holy Bible, and pray continually, for the study of the Bible strengthens our minds, that we may be able to discern the evil spirits and their several ways. With prayer, we overcome the temptations of Satan the deceiver.

Yet he who does not read the Gospel carefully, and does not pray persistently will, certainly fall into temptation. Though man is willing to serve God, yet the flesh is weak. We are all in need of the power of God, that his Spirit may strengthen our spirit and lead us to victory. Do not neglect the fact that the matters of faith and the coming to God involves wrestling with spirits. The Spirit of God alone can inspire you and strengthen your spirit, that you may overcome the lusts of your flesh, and the foolishness of your mind.

All the disciples were asleep in that spiritual wrestling, though Christ had commanded them to keep awake. This experience shows to us that no man can reconcile the world to God, and that no one can prevail over Satan except Jesus who kept awake and prayed, though all his companions fell asleep. What a great comfort is Jesus’ watchfulness, for now he is not asleep in heaven, but is watchful day and night, interceding for us, though we are asleep and weak! His faithfulness overcomes our unfaithfulness, and his strength is made perfect in our weakness.

What a great loss it was that men were asleep in the beginning of this critical juncture, which Jesus had repeatedly foretold! Heaven and earth had waited for this moment. It appears that all Jesus’ teaching did not help the disciples, for the Holy Spirit had not yet dwelt in them.

“It is enough!” Jesus said when his disciples failed the divine test. Finally, Jesus said to his disciples: “Behold!” that they might open their eyes to see the strange event before them. Wherever we read the word “behold” in the Bible, we have to open our eyes and be watchful. What was the important thing at that moment? It was Jesus Christ’s submission to his Father’s will, letting himself be chained violently by the sinners. The Creator gave himself up to the hands of his sinful creatures.

Anyhow, he awakened his sleeping disciples before this event that they might flee, and said to them: “Behold, the traitor has come to reward my faithfulness with his treachery. I redeem him, and he hates me. I pray for him, and he refuses me, and destroys himself.”

What about you dear brother? Will you sleep, or will you hear Jesus’ words carefully, watchfully, and prayerfully?

PRAYER: We thank you our Lord Jesus for your sufferings, which you bore in our place. Forgive our human imaginations, and spiritual sleep. Awaken us with your words that we may discern temptations pouncing on us. Strengthen us with your Holy Spirit that we may carry out your commands, and do your will, and glorify you, for you watch and intercede for us. You have drunk the cup of God’s wrath for us. Amen.


  1. Why did Jesus become troubled and deeply distressed?


Dear reader,
If you have carefully studied this fourth booklet on the Gospel of Christ according to the Evangelist Mark, you will be able to answer the following questions easily. If you give correct answers to 15 of these 19 questions, we will send you the last booklet of this series.

  1. Are there two Lords?
  2. What did Jesus think of the offerings of people?
  3. What is the significance of Jesus’ discourse about the destruction of the temple?
  4. Why did the Lord Jesus say, “There must be wars”?
  5. How is the preaching to the world connected with the end of the world?
  6. What is the meaning of the abomination of desolation?
  7. Who will enter into the great tribulation?
  8. What are the characteristics of the antichrist, and what are the signs of his appearance?
  9. What are the last signs of the coming of Christ?
  10. What is the meaning of the statement “This generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place”?
  11. What did you understand from the prophecy about the end of the worlds?
  12. How do we watch the coming of the Lord?
  13. What is the significance of the paschal lamb?
  14. What do we learn from the anointment of Jesus by Mary, and from the discussion after this anointment?
  15. Why did Judas intend to betray Jesus and his disciples?
  16. What was the mark by which the two disciples knew the man whom Jesus wanted to prepare the supper in his house?
  17. What is significant about the Lord’s Supper?
  18. What was Peter’s fault when Jesus warned him?
  19. Why did Jesus become troubled and deeply distressed?

Please write your name and full address clearly on the answer sheet, and send it to:

Waters of Life
P.O.Box 600 513
70305 Stuttgart
Internet: www.waters-of-life.net
Internet: www.waters-of-life.org
e-mail: info@waters-of-life.net


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