Pastor Jonathan Falwell
He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him
Last week, “Walking The Road” requires discipline, respect and obedience. Today, we talk about that road again, but how to go a little farther in our faith. For many Christians, their faith walk begins either in a moment of crisis or at a very young age. While the first few steps are celebrated, for many, the walk seems to become mundane, difficult, painful or pointless.
Christ’s death on the cross is proof positive of ultimate victory for all believers. Quitting is not an option, giving up is not acceptable. Going the distance is the only way to go.
Mark 14:32 (NKJV)
Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. 34 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.” 35 He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. 36 And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” 37 Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words. 40 And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him. 41 Then He came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Mark 14:32 (NLT)
They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.” 33 He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. 34 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 35 He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by. 36 “Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” 37 Then he returned and found the disciples asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? 38 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” 39 Then Jesus left them again and prayed the same prayer as before.40 When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open. And they didn’t know what to say. 41 When he returned to them the third time, he said, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But no—the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
What does it mean to “Go A Little Farther” In Our Faith?
1. Pain is a normal part of the journey
14:34 …and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. 34 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.”
– Many Christians misunderstand pain as God’s absence
– They will take their current situation as proof of God’s abandonment or worse, evidence that He doesn’t exist
– However, pain is a natural pathway to perfection
1 Peter 5:10
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
2. God’s will is always better than our desires
14:36 And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”
– Allowing our natural wants to supersede God’s supernatural will
– Jesus, in His humanity, didn’t want to suffer this death but He knew that God’s will was necessary and ultimately far better
3. Going the distance is the only option
14:41 Then He came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough!
– Too many Christians give up one step short of God’s best
– The road becomes too hard, too difficult, too painful
4. Are you willing to go a little farther?
14:35 He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him.
– What does it mean?
1. Accepting our current state because we are promised future glory
2. Knowing that God is the ultimate source…we need him, period!
3. Being willing to finish what He started