An Answer to Prayer
And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to
his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.
And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore
amazed, and to be very heavy;
And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry
ye here, and watch.
And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the
hour might pass from him.
And he said, Abba, Father, all
things are possible unto thee; take
away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.
And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon,
sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour?
Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
And again he went away, and prayed,
and spake the same words.
Jesus Christ prayed to God, that if
it were possible, he might not have to go through the pain, suffering,
and death which the Word of God clearly indicated the Christ would have
to endure. At the same time, Jesus Christ was humble and always
did God's Will. So he included in the prayer the statement that
he would do God's Will no matter what the answer. Mark tells us
that he prayed this once and then he prayed again the same words.
To some it would appear that God did not hear this prayer or that God's
answer was "NO." Lets go to the Word of God to find out.
knew the Word of God. Jesus Christ knew that God hears and
And I knew that thou hearest me
always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they
may believe that thou hast sent me.
LORD, thou hast heard the desire
of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause
thine ear to hear:
Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right
The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth
them out of all their troubles.
O thou that hearest prayer,
unto thee shall all flesh come.
The Word of God contains two other
records of Jesus Christ's prayer in the garden of Gethsemane - the
Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of Matthew. By using the Biblical
research principle of *scripture
build-up we see that *the
immediate context of these three records provide us with
evidence that God heard and answered Jesus Christ's prayer.
And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down,
Saying, Father, if thou be
willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine,
And there appeared an angel unto
him from heaven, strengthening him.
And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was
as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he
found them sleeping for sorrow,
The Gospel of Luke
provides added information about Jesus Christ's prayer. This
record tells us that immediately after praying the first time, God sent
an angel to strengthen him. This is the first and immediate
answer to the prayer. However, being in an agony he prayed more
earnestly after the angel strengthened him. We know from Mark
that "he went away, and
prayed, and spake the same words." As Jesus kept praying God kept supplying
the answer he needed to do the job set before him.
Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto
death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed,
saying, O my Father, if it be
possible, let this cup pass from me:
nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith
unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my
Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy
will be done.
And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.
And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same
The Gospel of Matthew tells us that
Jesus Christ prayed this prayer three times. Although this record
does not tell us about the angel that God sent to strengthen him after
the first prayer it does provide additional information about God's
answer. As soon as Jesus Christ finished praying a multitude lead
by Judas came to take him captive. Peter took a sword to defend
Jesus and cut off the ear of a servant of the high priest.
Then said Jesus unto
him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the
sword shall perish with the sword.
Thinkest thou that I
cannot now pray to my Father, and he
shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
But how then shall
the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?
After praying and receiving his
answer, Jesus Christ stated to Peter that he could immediately have
twelve legions of angels - that is 72 thousand! - and walk away from
the situation. He knew from God's Word that he had to go through
the pain, suffering, and death of the cross to fulfill the Word of
God. Yet God made available twelve legions of angels if he chose
to walk away. That is just beyond my comprehension.
This is the second part of God's answer to the prayer. God was
there with him to support him. God sent an angel to strengthen
him and God let him know that an army of angels was available to
In humility and obedience Jesus Christ chose the more difficult road
that lead to the fulfillment of God's Word and our salvation.
Who in the days of his
flesh, when he
had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears
unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he
Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he
And being made perfect, he became
the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
And being found in fashion as
a man, he humbled himself, and
became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath
highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Using the Biblical
research principle of looking at the *remote
context, we can see more of what God says about Jesus Christ's
prayer and His answer. First of all Hebrews 5:7 lets us know that God
heard his prayer. This record also tells us that Jesus Christ
obeyed God and carried out the Word of God. God rewards
obedience to His Word and Jesus Christ was given the promise of rewards
just as we are when we obey.
God's answer to Jesus Christ's
obedience was that Jesus Christ was made perfect and became the author
of eternal salvation. Philippians
2:9 tells us that God highly exalted him and gave him a name
above every name. Man's humility to God results in God's
exaltation. This is the third part of God's answer to his prayer
and to his obedience.
Looking unto Jesus
the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him
endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the
right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus
Christ was able to endure the cross "for
the joy that was set before him." God showed him what was
to come. The *immediate context
of this verse tells us a part of that joy set before him was that he "set down at the right hand of God."
The *remote context of God's
Word tells us more about this joy set before the Lord Jesus Christ:
I have set the LORD always
before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad,
and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
For thou wilt not leave my
soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Thou wilt shew me the path
of life: in thy presence is
fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are
pleasures for evermore.
For David speaketh
concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on
my right hand, that I should not be moved:
Therefore did my
heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall
rest in hope:
Because thou wilt not
leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see
Thou hast made known
to me the ways of life; thou
shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
Psalm 16 tells
us that at the right hand of God there are pleasures for evermore and
that in God's presence is fulness of joy. Acts 2 lets us know that the
passage from Psalms refers to
Jesus Christ rather than David. The joy set before the Lord Jesus
Christ when he prayed in the garden was the knowledge that God would
not leave his soul in the grave and that following his resurrection
Jesus would be seated at the right hand of God where there is fullness
of joy and pleasures for evermore.
Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of
death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death
for every man.
him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing
many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect
For both he
sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause
he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
tells us that by the grace of God, Jesus Christ was able to taste death
for every man. Grace is God's divine favor. It was
God's help and
God's giving to him that made it possible for Jesus Christ to endure
the sufferings and death of the cross.
Again, we see the promise of what his obedience would
He was tasting death in behalf of all men. He was our
would be able to "bring many sons
by his suffering. His suffering would make available the family
and a multitude of brethren. We would be able to receive all this
grace. It is a gift of God to us because Jesus Christ paid the
God made known to Jesus the gift of His grace that would become
available to all because of his suffering. A knowledge of God's
gave Jesus Christ the help he needed to taste death for every man - not
only God's grace to him, but also God's grace to those who would
believe because of his obedience.
In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus
Christ prayed O my Father, if it be possible, let
this cup pass from me:
nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. God heard his prayer and provided
God sent an angel to strengthen him.
God made available twelve legions of
angels if he chose to walk away.
God provided a joyful hope:
He would not be left in the grave.
He would be seated at God's right hand for evermore.
The joy of God's presence for evermore.
The joy of God's countenance for evermore.
God promised he would be crowned with glory and
God promised He would exalt him and give him a name
above every name.
God provide grace to help in this time of need.
God promised he would taste death for
every man and that his sufferings would bring eternal salvation by
grace to all who believed.
God promised his sufferings would result in brethren
- bringing many sons unto glory.
Seeing then that we have a
great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of
God, let us hold fast our profession.
For we have not an high
priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but
was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the
throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in
time of need.
& Christine Cortright's Fellowship Homepage
© Copyright September 2005 Michael
The Biblical research principal
of The Immediate Context:
The Word of God is its own context. Every passage of scripture
its own importance derived from the place where it is located in the
Word of God and the words used in each verse must be understood in
light of the immediate context in which they are found. It is important
when studying the words in God's Word that every word and verse remain
in the context in which God placed it in His Word. If the
verse is clear and God has defined the meaning of a word, concept, or
expression right where it is written, then going to past usage of that
expression which contradict the defined meaning in the immediate
context in an attempt to change the meaning is an inaccurate working of
The Biblical research principal of The Remote Context:
The Word of God, being one whole, is its own context. Each
of scripture is to be read, explained, and understood in light of the
rest of the Word of God. The Bible is the Word of God. The Bible
had many writers but only one author: God. All of the Word
of God is "God-Breathed" and although the Word was delivered "at sundry
times, and in divers manners:" it
is the same God who authored ALL of
it. Many times a scripture in the Church Epistles will
give a greater understanding of a scripture in the Old Testament or the
Gospels. This is not because Paul is expressing his opinion about
a previous record. This is because God has revealed to Paul
something that was not previously known. It is ALL God's
The Biblical research principal of Used Before:
The Word of God itself, being its own context, must be the source
used to understand the words used in the Word. In the first usage of a
word, expression, or idea, God provides an explanation which is usually
complete enough to carry through all other references in the Bible of
that same word, expression, or idea. If God ever changes the usage of a
word or expression, He always explains it. To understand a word
or expression in the Word that is
not clearly given in the immediate context you must look back in
the word to see how God used that word or expression. The first use of
the word or expression provides the initial meaning and the subsequent
uses provide a deeper understanding.
The Biblical research principal of Scripture
Several passages of Scripture on an identical incident or subject may
augment the information given in each other. It is especially important
when studying records from the Word of God to recognize that each
passage of Scripture relating to the same incident may not give the
same details but the Scriptures
must complement and agree with each
other or we do not have the true Word of God. In studying the
development of identical
situations in various passages of Scripture, it becomes vitally
important to observe The Word with a keen eye and perceptive mind to
see the depth of it. If the situations are identical, that which is set
forth in one Scripture cannot contradict that which is set forth in the
other. However, one record may report certain details, another record
others, and a third record still others. Put together the details from
individual record supply us with the whole picture.