“Going a little farther,
he fell with his face to the ground and prayed,
My Father, if it is possible,
cup be taken from me
not as I will, but as you will
Explanation and Commentary of
This is a gut-wrenching scene,
for those who love and cherish Christ.
Here is an example of a sinless one
making a request that is
not of the will of God.
We are taught first that, though God loves us,
not always his will to answer our prayers.
It is by faith that prayers are prayed which are granted,
but faith is not positive thinking or certainty of
God’s will in a situation.
Christ had faith in his Father,
but he did not have faith that what he was asking
was the will of God.
In fact, he said,
"not as I will, but as you will.”
This also shows us that it is not necessarily
a product of our sin
that we don’t want to suffer,
or that we would pray a prayer that
is not in
alignment with the will of God.
A true believer should take comfort from the fact that
God will do what is good and right for us,
no matter what we are asking.
It does not follow that we should never pray,
God will do what he wants anyway.
He has ordained it that he accomplishes
his purpose in partnership with his people.
He told Job’s friends that Job would pray for
them and they would be
forgiven for their sin against Job and God
As for Christ in the garden,
it was not likely the pain and death that he was so repulsed by,
although he could not have looked forward to it.
Rather, it must have been both the separation from his Father
in heaven for the first and only time in the eternal past,
and the subjection to the sin and wickedness of man
in his own body, having “become sin for us”
(2 Cor 5:21).
Breaking Down the
Key Parts of Matthew 26:39
#1 “Going a little farther,”
Jesus asked some of his disciples to stop and pray while he was praying. He went a little bit away to be alone.
#2 “he fell with his face to the ground…”
This is one of the first signs of his great distress to be at the culmination of his earthly ministry and what it was going to cost him.
#3 “and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible,”
This is one sign that in his earthly form Christ had laid down a portion of the omniscience of God. There were things only the Father knew (Mt 24:36).
#4 “may this cup be taken from me.”
Generally, in the Bible, when a cup is used as a prophetic symbol, it refers at least to suffering, and often to the wrath of God. Jesus refers to both when he thinks of drinking the cup prepared for him. It is a cup of suffering because it is the wrath of God for the sins of the world.
#5 “Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
The temporary misalignment of wills between the Son and the Father came as a result of Jesus’ humanity. It was not a pretended role that he played on earth. Christ was fully human and fully God. In his full humanity, he was bound to submit to the will of God even when his own desire was contrary. We should have the same attitude.