We are going to be considering our teaching on the account of Jesus Christ and his disciple in the garden of Gethsemane which we can rightly call a place of prayer.
We are going to base our scripture reading from Matt.26 which is the pivot of our teaching on this subject.
“Then saith Jesus unto them, all ye shall be offended because of me this night; for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.
Peter answered and said unto him, though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.
Jesus said unto him, verily I say unto thee that this night, before the cock crows, thou shall deny me thrice.
Peter said unto him, though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.
And while he yet spoke, Lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and elders of the people.
That the scriptures of the prophets might be
Fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and
Fled” -Matt.26:31, 33, and 34,35,47,56,70.
“Self confidence!” that’s it. The two words we believers are often counseled to have. They say we could do anything; all we needed was to be confident in ourselves. What is built in believers by some teachers and preachers is self confidence, self aggrandizement or self esteem in the name of faith. Hence many Christians are more soulish than spiritual. This soulish life is what Jesus says we should deliver to death as we bear our own cross. We have a church and a society of people having great confidence in them, in their ability, prowess, strength, knowledge, wisdom, achievements, and many more. “Will Power” has been substituted for “faith”.
Many Christians today still behave like Peter who believed he couldn’t be offended because of Jesus even when Himself said he would. Just like the early Christians, today believer have the same infirmity in their individual spirit when it is not fully submitted to the Holy Spirit. We are so self-assured of our will to succeed that we dismiss with a wave of hand, His categorical pronouncement that… “without me ye can do nothing”. We are so sure of ourselves that we do not see any need to pray over the things we boast about even when we are brought to a place like Gethsemane. Why do we need to pray God to help us over a situation we believe we can confidently handle? Have we not all at one time or the other boasted in the fleas about our great and strong resolve to succeed where God Himself declares that we would fail? Have we not made positive confessions never to go into a particular bad habit which the master himself knew we would and had declared so to us, what then is the secret of our boasting? Confidence! Self-confidence is it. But, then, have we not ended up with a successful failure, humiliation and embarrassments? Peter and all the disciples ended up in that pit. Only yesterday (so to speak) they boasted of their resolve and were confident in themselves that even if all the people forsook the Lord, they would not; they would rather die with Him than denying Him. No sooner these positive confessions were made than a great multitude of soldiers with swords and clubs arrived. The situation was allowed by God to test Jesus’ submission to God’s will and also to test the disciples for their claims. Then what testimony did the Bible record about the disciples? Their testimony was simple:
“… then all the disciples forsook him, and fled” for their dear lives.But he (peter) denied it before them all, saying I know not what thou sayest… and again He denied with an oath, I do not know the Man(Jesus)… then began him to curse and swear,Saying, I know not the man” … Matt. 26:70-74
That was the testimony of their confidence in the flesh a humiliating, shattering and an embarrassing experience that resulted into bitter weeping afterwards. May the Lord deliver us from self confidence in Jesus name Amen. I’m looking forward to seeing your comments as the teaching will be unfolding daily. Shalom!