Sunday, March 29, 2009

Will You Keep Watch With Me?

And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto
Peter, "What, could ye not watch with me one hour?”
Matthew 26:40

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."

John 2:15-17

Psalm 69:9

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…?”


Vicki said...

Hi Dearest,
I have always thought of this passage somewhat differently. Jesus went to Gethsemene to pray to the Father, to sweat blood in agony as He readied Himself for the humiliating death on the cross and to bear the weight of the sin of the world. He was giving the disciples opportunity to be supportive in prayer. Alas, they fell asleep. It seems that they were tired, but I think there was also escapism, and that was the added sorrow that Christ bore.
At this point our thoughts join. We often do not pray, nor do the work to hold the body of Christ together and accountable. Sometimes we are tired through emphasizing the wrong activities, and sometimes we escape our duties. We must watch and pray, and be ready to lovingly teach others morality, the difference of right and wrong, which has so sadly fallen by the wayside even inside the church.
May the Lord keep us alert and working until the time that Jesus returns.
Blessings and Love,

Tamela's Place said...

Hey JIm,
And may we who are His disciples not fall asleep. I pray that i sure don't. Holy Spirit please keep me awake and watching and always speaking and upholding the Gospel for we are the temple of God. Thank you Jim for sharing your insight, what you say is VERY TRUE! I truly believe that Paul's Words to Timothy in 2 Tim. 4 is just as much for the Timothy's of today.

In Christ Jesus

jeleasure said...

Hey T.
Thanks for the affirmation.
If God did not intend to reside with us and in us, then Jesus did not have to die on the cross. But, because it is God's will to have us abide with Him and in us as His Temple, we who are sober must not dishonor God in failing to keep watch over the Household of faith.

Anonymous said...

Tamela makes a great point; "And may we who are His disciples not fall asleep."

When Jesus returns will He find His church asleep in a sinful world, or prepared and watchful awaiting His return!

jeleasure said...

Thanks Larry,
It is often difficult to know exactly what is meant when we are reading. I guess that is what makes a great writer.

These guys were not writing for entertainment. They were writing as a matter of account. So, I often try and sort out what is relavant and what is not when I am guessing at something. And, I will say, I do beleive Jesus wants us to be found sober and vigilant when He returns. We can see that in a few parables.

What is different here, is the fact that Jesus is still with His disciples. So I have to weigh his words based on previous scenes, such as cleansing the Temple out of zeal for His "Father's House". And, I also find significance in what Jesus prayed in John ch. 17. But, none the less, let's continue to remain in Christ and strive to not allow the church to become corrupt as many pretend to not have heard the Word of The Lord.

thekingpin68 said...

'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.'

Hi Jim and Vicki,

I am very busy with revisions, but have two new articles for midnight April 1, including my selected PhD questionnaire graphs.:)

The Holy Spirit does at times convict persons of error, but can also guide other persons not in error on the same issue to assist. This should of course be done in love.

God bless, and thanks, Jim.


Andrew Clarke said...

This connects with what Jesus said about the last days: we do not know when the hour will come,so we are to watch. Remember the parable about those waiting for the bridegroom who fell asleep, and missed his arrival? As you say, we need to keep our focus and watch with Jesus. That way we also see the signs He shows us. This is a good reminder. Blessings.

jeleasure said...

Thanks Hun,
I guess people will still see things in a traditional light. Maybe the evidence I pulled from is not so compelling.

jeleasure said...

Thanks Russ,
I'm glad you have been able to see what I am refering to. You are right. The Holy spirit both directs others and convicts the conscience of others.

jeleasure said...

Hi Andrew,
I wanted to draw some attention to how people are out of touch with what God wants from His Church.
Jesus was said to be very zealous for His Father's House and demonstrated that when He drove the money changers out.
On an individual basis, yes, we need to be sober and vigilant as we watch for Jesus to return. However, the reference I made to the question Jesus asked is different because He was currently with them still.
Thanks Andrew, I appreciate your being in fellowship with me.

preacherman said...

I wonder if Satan had a role in the disciples falling asleep that night so it would just be Jesus and the Devil at battle. Satan's influence is strong compared to mankind.

I want to thank you and vicki for all of your prayers and encouragement that you have been to me and my family. You both are a true blessing to us. This week I had an MRI on my brain and upper spine. On Wed. I had an EEG. I still don't know the results of the tests. On Easter weekend I will have a 72 hour EEG where they will monitor see if I have any seazures. Please keep me in your prayers and if you would add me to the prayer list at your church.

You are a true friend, and Christian.
I hope you have a great weekend brother!

jeleasure said...

Hi Preacher Man,
It has been a delight to be in communication with you these past months. I look forward to more. Vicki and I will continue to pray for you.

Jody said...

I've been away from most blogging for the past week visiting family, my mom has dial up so I haven't been able to read much. I haven't read this yet, but wanted you to know I'm still around. Have a great Sunday.

jeleasure said...

Thanks Jody,
I'll be watching for your most recent post.

Greg said...

Hey, Jim! I like the angle you took on "keep watch." Now, more than ever, we need to "keep watch" and not be silent when we see injustice and immorality. I've been trying to follow the news less lately, due to all the discouragement it tries to pawn off on me.

Praying for a voice... and a soap box!

jeleasure said...

Hi Greg,
I like the angle, as well.
I've always wanted more significance to answer as to why Jesus took fierce action toward offense and fervant prayer over "The House of God" . I feel honored to have been given the ability to think through an answer for why Jesus asked the question "will you not keep watch for one hour?".

I worked late this evening. I promise to visit your blog and Farrah's tomorrow.

Nitewrit said...


Events lately have been somewhat disruptive on my keeping up with my studies and blogging, but I am trying to keep up with everyone elses postings. Pray I get back to normal soon after Easter.

I'm doing what i can to stay awake and watch, too.

Larry E.

jeleasure said...

Very cool.
We'll be in touch.
Happy Resurrection Day!

Tamela's Place said...

Hey Jim,

Been missing you! how are you guys doing?


Arlene Kasselman said...

Hey JIm, thanks for your comment. I responded. I tried to email you but I have the wrong email address. I always welcome what your thoughts are.
Blessings brother

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