Blessed… He Fell On His Face

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane. He said to the disciples, “Stay here while I go and pray over there.”  When he took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, he began to feel sad and anxious. Then he said to them, “I’m very sad. It’s as if I’m dying. Stay here and keep alert with me.” Then he went a short distance farther and fell on his face and prayed, “My Father, if it’s possible, take this cup of suffering away from me. However—not what I want but what you want” (Matthew 26:36-39, Common English Bible).

The picture on the left above is probably the most traditional and recognizable of all the pictures of Jesus praying in the Garden. We see this picture all the time, particularly in church buildings. Sometimes we see it framed and hanging on the wall. At other times we see it in stained glass windows. There is little doubt it is the most common for people to see.

That picture bothers me. It isn’t Biblical at all. The only thing that picture has in common with the picture described in Matthew 26:36-39 is, Jesus is praying in the Garden. Other than that, it isn’t even the same picture. When we listen to Matthew’s words, “I’m very sad. It’s as if I’m dying…. Then he went a short distance farther and fell on his face and prayed…” The picture has this very serene, calm and collected Jesus praying as if he had no clue anything was about to happen. This isn’t a man who feared he was dying. Additionally, he isn’t prostrate, face to the ground.

I believe the picture top right above is far closer to what Jesus would have looked like in prayer that night. He is upset. He knows what is coming and is begging for it not to happen. And yet, he submits to the will of God.

The thing that impresses me most in this story is, even though Jesus knew what was about to happen, he stopped and prayed. He prayed that God takes the future he sees away, but then he is still willing to do what has to be done.

How often do we forget to pray when things get tough? And friends, I don’t mean we are about to die tough. Further, we, at best grumble pretty loudly when things don’t go our way. So much for “Not what I want, but what you want.

There is an old choir anthem I remember hearing probably a gillion times over the years.  The chorus says,  “He could have called ten thousand angels, to destroy the world and set him free. He could have called ten thousand angels, B=but he died alone, for you and me.”

He fell on his face. And, in the end, said, “Not what I want but what you want.” Thanks be to Jesus, the Savior of the world, that he was willing to endure and die, for you and for me.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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