And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith untoMatthew 26:40
Peter, "What, could ye not watch with me one hour?”
John chapter 17 – Jesus prays for his disciples and those whom will believe in Jesus to save them.
Chapter 18 follows with John’s account of the betrayal in the Garden of Gethsemane. Matthew 26 gives us a more detailed account. What we see in Matthew 26 is Jesus praying for strength as He prepared to go to the cross. Each time Jesus went to His disciples, He found them asleep and He askded, “Could you not watch with Me for one hour?”
What did Jesus mean by asking “Could you not watch with Me for one hour?”
Perhaps we should trace a path toward an answer by asking another question;
What was the purpose for which Jesus came into the world?
Answering this question places us at the very center of Jesus’ focus. He came to die for us. We are the reason He prayed so intensely in John 17 for the disciples and those (us Christians) the disciples would be given to become one as Jesus and The Father are one.
Here is another question we must answer as we trace a trail back to answering, what did Jesus mean by asking if His disciples could not keep watch with Him....
What does it mean that we become “one”?
1 Corinthians 12:12-14 describe it like this: "The body is a unit, though it is
made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So
it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body -
whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free - and we were all given the one Spirit to
drink. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many."
(yet another question)
What more does Paul say of this “one” “body”?
Ephesians 1:22-23, "And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him
to be head over everything for the church, which is
his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every
Paul is telling us, the Temple is no longer the “House of God” but the body of Christ; The Church is The House of God.
Take a look at how fiercely Jesus intends to defend (keep watch) The House of God.
Prior to the Passover, people made their way to The Temple (House of God) to make their offerings. Merchants set up tables with the intent to capitalize on the sins of the people. The merchants stooped, even as to take advantage of the poor. Jesus saw this as a direct assault on the House of God…
15So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep
and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their
tables. 16To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you
turn my Father's house into a market!"
17His disciples remembered that it is
written: "Zeal for your house will consume me."
Jesus did not go to Gethsemane to hide. He went to pray for strength. For He embraced the legacy His Father had handed Him. Jesus even reminded those who came for Him that if He wished, He could ask His Father to send armies of angels to rescue Him. Then He asked, ‘how will the scriptures be fulfilled? This must be done.’ ‘Put up your sword’.
When Jesus asked His disciples if they could not keep watch ‘with Him’, He was referring to His mission; to be in defense of the House of God. Jesus’ focus was on us, the church. We are what He came to live, die and be resurrected for. We are what He was keeping watch over.
To ensure God would be united with His family was the mission Jesus came to fulfill.
Jesus prayed, in John 17 over many concerns for the church. He prayed for the disciples, that they would be one as Jesus and The Father are one. Jesus prayed that his disciples would continue the mission to defend the church as The Gospel was delivered for the purpose of building God’s family.
Why then, do we say we are Christians and allow all manor of assault on the Church, The Body of Christ? What is all of this compromise about?
I hear a lot said these days of how the Holy Spirit is capable of convicting and changing those whom are in direct conflict with what God’s Holy Word says. The problem is, God did not instruct us to keep our mouths shut against those things which mislead and falsely teach, as well as present a false appearance to the world. We are commissioned to carry the word of God to the world. This is plainly laid out for us in John 17 as the ‘Truth’.
When we consider Christ having asked His disciples "Will you not keep watch with me...?", we should also consider, who of us today are His disciples? Christ is asking, “Will you keep watch with me…?”