Matthew 26:39, “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
The Bible teaches us that when Jesus came in the flesh He humbled Himself by becoming a servant. Paul wrote in Philippians 2:7, “Rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” Jesus did not think of His privileges in heaven (as the second person in the God-nature, equal to the Father and the Holy Spirit) as something that He had to forcibly hold on to. Rather, He willingly emptied Himself of His divine advantages to become a man so that He could be sacrificed for our sins (Philippians 2:6-11).
Luke recorded in his gospel that because of Jesus’ incarnation (coming in the flesh) He humbled Himself to grow both in wisdom and stature with God and man (Luke 2:52). At the same time, Jesus never stopped being fully divine; He just limited His divine attributes while on earth to live as a normal man, dependent upon the Father and the Holy Spirit.
For this reason Jesus said in John 5:19, “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” Likewise, because of Jesus’ humility, He limited His knowledge of the future and said in Matthew 24:36, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
When Jesus walked the earth, He wasn’t like Superman; He was a man just like us. He demonstrated that what Adam failed to do (obey God), He could do in humility.
In today’s passage, Matthew recorded that before Jesus’ crucifixion He expressed His weakness to the Father because He knew the suffering that was coming. He wasn’t complaining or trying to get out of obeying God because He knew that there was no other way to redeem mankind and satisfy the wrath of God. He was admitting, as a man, the honest thoughts and feelings of facing the cross. Nevertheless, He set for us the perfect example because He didn’t let His fears deter His obedience. Jesus humbly placed His faith in the Father and submitted to His will.
The author of Hebrews declared, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are —yet he did not sin” (Hebrews 4:15). We can be encouraged by Jesus’ obedience and trust the Father in our weaknesses. If Jesus Christ, God the Son in the flesh, expressed His weakness and still obeyed the Father by going to the cross; may we trust the Father by obeying all His commands!
Do you have enough faith in God to say, “Not my will but your will be done in every part of my life?”
- Repent for the times you have not submitted yourself to God’s will for your life.
- Don’t let fear stop you from submitting to God. Francis Frangipane wrote, “Any time we open ourselves up to fear, we fall prey to his deceptions and intimidations. Yet, if we submit our hearts to God and stand in faith, we can resist those first fearful thoughts. As we yield to God we can master our reactions to fear and the enemy will soon flee.”
- By faith, obey the will of God!
One Year Reading Plan
Ezekiel 42:1-43:27, James 5:1-20, Psalm 119:1-16, & Proverbs 28:6-7. Click here to read online.