Shortly before His crucifixion Jesus spoke to His disciples. He told them they all were going to fall away. But Peter insisted that even if the others fell away he wouldn't. Peter even mentioned that he was ready to die with Jesus. Peter was sincere in his statements. And here within Mark 14:32-38 we see that Jesus acknowledged his genuine desire. Jesus also mentioned something that suggests the source of Peter's failure.
32 They came to a place named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, "Sit here until I have prayed."
33 And He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled.
34 And He said to them, "My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch."
35 And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by.
36 And He was saying, "Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will."
37 And He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour?38 "Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Jesus said, ".....the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" In saying this He gave Peter a compliment. He acknowledged that he really had a willingness to do the things he said. But, even with a willing heart, Peter still denied Jesus. If Peter was sincere than what caused him to fail?
It appears that a lack of prayer led to failure. Jesus came and found Peter asleep. Peter had missed a time of prayer shortly before he would deny Jesus. His heart was willing to obey. But he needed the extra help that would only come from watching and praying.
Peter ended up doing the thing which he strongly opposed. But afterwards he was truly sorry and wept. So we need to learn from this passage so we can have victory. We must be committed to our personal time of watching and praying. Without prayer we can have a spirit that is willing to obey but lacks power. But with prayer our willingness can result in strength that leads to victory.
Scripture quotations taken from the "NASB" (www.lockman.org)
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