Rev. Klockers: Oddly enough, Jesus had a ‘come-to-Jesus’ moment, or two or three
Rev. Walter Klockers
| July 1, 2021 1:00 AM
Matthew 26:36-46, from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, says: “Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’ He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. Then he said to them, ‘I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.’ And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.’ Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, ‘So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ Again he went away for the second time and prayed, ‘My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.’ Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.’”
According to Dictionary.com, the term "come to Jesus" is defined: "Outside religious contexts, (it) refers to a meeting or moment where one undergoes a difficult but positive and powerful realization or change in character or behavior."
My belief is that Jesus was both divine and human. The above is a demonstration of his humanness. Some portray Jesus as being a superman of sorts, able to leap over the Temple of Jerusalem in a single bound. As such, they may downplay the human part of Jesus, or even discard it altogether.
What do these folks do with the above reading? Jesus prays, nay, begs three times, that his Father in heaven would take a different tack. This is hardly the action of a Man of Steel.
It was apparent that this sacrifice thing was a bit too much to swallow at that moment in time. It was a moment of human weakness, and to emphasize this point, it happened three consecutive times.
Jesus was able to gather himself; his crisis led to a resolve to move forward, which took strength and courage.
Some might be uncomfortable and still try to rationalize away the human element here.
Me? I welcome it with open arms. Jesus displays both doubt and weakness, just like I do at times.
This doesn't threaten my belief system. On the contrary, it gives it strength.
The hymn "What a friend we have in Jesus," echoes the same. A friend truly understands my struggles. Superman, not so much.
Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Moses Lake and has served as parish pastor for more than 30 years.