The Sermon on the Mount Part 11


by Mike Ratliff

36 Τότε ἔρχεται μετ᾽ αὐτῶν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς χωρίον λεγόμενον Γεθσημανὶ καὶ λέγει τοῖς μαθηταῖς· καθίσατε αὐτοῦ ἕως [οὗ] ἀπελθὼν ἐκεῖ προσεύξωμαι. 37 καὶ παραλαβὼν τὸν Πέτρον καὶ τοὺς δύο υἱοὺς Ζεβεδαίου ἤρξατο λυπεῖσθαι καὶ ἀδημονεῖν. 38 τότε λέγει αὐτοῖς· περίλυπός ἐστιν ἡ ψυχή μου ἕως θανάτου· μείνατε ὧδε καὶ γρηγορεῖτε μετ᾽ ἐμοῦ. 39 καὶ προελθὼν μικρὸν ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ προσευχόμενος καὶ λέγων· πάτερ μου, εἰ δυνατόν ἐστιν, παρελθάτω ἀπ᾽ ἐμοῦ τὸ ποτήριον τοῦτο· πλὴν οὐχ ὡς ἐγὼ θέλω ἀλλ᾽ ὡς σύ. (Matthew 26:36-39 NA27)

36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go there to pray.” 37 And having taken Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be grieved and to be distressed. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sad to the point of death. Remain here and keep awake with me.” 39 And having gone forward a little, he fell upon his face praying and saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me, but not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:36-39 Possessing the Treasure New Testament v1)

I have been a Christian quite a long time (since January1986). Even though I began serving first as a Bible teacher then as a deacon while still teaching only a few years after God had mercy on me, I must confess to everyone that as I evaluate my walk prior to 2004 in light of my pilgrimage on the narrow path since then, I shudder. Of course we cannot go back and change our past. We can’t travel back to some specific point in time to meet ourselves in the midst of some self-focused nonsense and ask the poignant, “What are you thinking?” There were high points to be sure, but these were followed by long stretches of self-focused living with my religiosity just being part of that.  Continue reading