Written by Ann Jackson

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.  Matthew 26:41

Jesus has just finished what we commonly call the Last Supper with His apostles. They have walked to the Garden of Gethsemane. He is about to be betrayed by one of His own. His flesh and blood life is soon to be over. He is going to suffer an agonizing physical death and a more agonizing spiritual torture: bearing every vile, disgusting, violent sin that ever was and will ever be committed by mankind. And He is well aware of it. His disciples have just pledged their undying loyalty to Him. So, when He says He’s overwhelmed with sorrow and asks them to stay with Him while He prays, what do they do? They fall asleep.  Only a few hours later Peter will deny Him, and the rest will scatter and hide.

It’s so easy for us as humans to do the same thing. We accept Jesus. We want to serve and be good disciples. We know we should read the Bible, help others with our time and treasure. But when it’s time to do any of these things, how often our weak flesh betrays us. We set the alarm a half-hour early to read Scripture, then when it goes off we roll over and go back to sleep. We know we should tithe, but maybe we’d rather buy those new pants or go to that concert. We need to visit that sick friend or parent in the nursing home, but it’s been a long day, and we just don’t feel like it. I know I’ve done all those things and more.

Discipleship doesn’t happen just when it’s convenient or when we feel like it. Easy was never a promise Jesus made when He asked us to follow Him. But He gave us tools to help us overcome our weak flesh. It’s in the first part of the passage, “Watch and pray.” We can watch for opportunities for serving God. We can pray not to give in to our weaknesses. He will always give us strength when called to do His will.

Prayer— Father, I know I am weak, but I desire to carry out Your will as Your disciple.  Please give me the strength to _______________________ . Nothing is too hard when You are leading me.  I pray in Jesus’ name.