Daily Readings and Thought for August 19th. “WATCH AND PRAY THAT YOU MAY NOT … “
Jesus said to the 3 disciples with him in the garden of Gethsemane before he was arrested; “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” [Mark 14 v.38] How were they going to be in danger of falling into temptation where they were? What kind of temptation were they going to experience? It was obviously dark; very few people were about as Jesus was praying in the Garden with three of his most loyal disciples. We suspect that his words were accepted by them as some kind of parable.
Judas came “and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests …” and he “went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” And he kissed him. And they laid hands on him and seize him.” [v.45.46] The 3 disciples, initially, “left him and fled.”[v.50] Now Jesus has said this was going to happen; after they had sung a hymn on the Mount of Olives Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.'[v.27]
Now, we must perceive and meditate on the parallel message for us – today in 2023! First we note what we read later in the chapter about the words of Jesus to the High Priest after bluntly he asked; “Are you the Christ?” [v.61]
Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” This appears to mean that the High Priest would be raised to see the wonder of the return of Jesus! This is also stated in Matthew’s Gospel, “Jesus said to him … you will see the Son of Man … coming on the clouds of heaven.”[26 v.64] There seems no way top understand this as anything other than the forecast of a literal event!
We think this will be virtually parallel with our resurrection – if we have fallen asleep! Paul wrote that “God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.” [1 Thess. 4 v.14]. It is an absorbing study to fit the references about this together. But our minds must be centred on the present, on the here and now! Let “watch and pray” and be ready to “see” – if it is our Lord’s will, that we “will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and be part of the coming with the clouds of heaven.”