33 And He taketh with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;
34 And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.
35 And He went forward a little, 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 unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.
37 And He cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and sayeth unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? Couldest not thou watch one hour?
38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit is truly ready, but the flesh is weak.
39 And again He went away, and prayed, and spake the same words.
40 And when He returned, He found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer Him.
In these verses, we see the humanity of Jesus. It is an illustration of the truth of Philippians 2:6-8, Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God…and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man…
Jesus was indeed, truly, a man. We see the agony of this man in these verses in Mark, as He interacts with those closest to Him. To emphasize the point, let’s do our study of key words, followed by a paraphrase of the verses.
sore amazed (Greek: ekthambeo; ehk tham ba o) astonishingly frightened (surprised by fear)
very heavy (Greek: ademoneo; ah dee muhn ee o) to be in distress of mind
soul (Greek: psuche; psu chee) spirit
exceedingly sorrowful (Greek perilupos; peh ri lu pahs) intensely and totally grieved; causing physical and spiritual suffering
death (Greek: thanatos; tha na tas) being deadly; death; able to kill
wist (Greek: eido; eh I doe) to know, to understand, to identify with
answer (Greek: apokrinomai; a pa kri na ma i) answer, respond
(Vs. 32-33) Jesus was astonishingly frightened (surprised by the fear) that distressed His mind, so Jesus had His dear friends accompany Him to a place where He could pray.
(Vs. 34) (As an example for all of us who would be like Him, honestly emotional) Jesus told them how His spirit was intensely, totally grieved, causing Him spiritual and physical suffering, to the point He felt it would kill Him, and asking that they please “be there” for Him.
After making that request, imagine His agony when (Vs. 37) leaving them to go pray, He came back to find them sleeping!
(Vs. 38) He questions Peter’s commitment and warns Him. What a gentle reproach, considering the extreme, emotional stress He was going through.
(Vs. 39-40) Leaving for more prayer, Jesus returns to find them sleeping again, and they are unable to answer or respond to His great need for their support. They do not know how to respond to, understand or identify with His spirit, its immensely overwhelmed condition, nor His desire for them to spiritually identify with Him.
Consider: these were the very men who were to carry on the ministry that Jesus was bringing to “lost mankind.” Today, these men might be thought of as spiritual giants. But, as we can see, they were just like us. Yes, they were “called out,” but so are all Christian men called out.
Are we taking seriously our own calling?