Words from the Heart for Tuesday April 11th, 2017
Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Matthew 26:40-41 (NKJV)
The Flesh is Weak
The disciples were overcome with grief. They heard him praying and could not keep watch. Jesus returns and explains to them that, yes, the flesh is weak. However, He has demonstrated to them that they could reach beyond the flesh to their spirit and find the same willingness to do the Father’s will.
When does weakness lead to strength? When it is a weak Canadian dollar and our nation’s tourism industry. A weak Canadian dollar has been good for Canada’s tourism business. Tourism spending in Canada jumped the most in nearly 20 years in the third quarter of 2016. Also helping our tourism business was when The Lonely Planet travel guide last October named Canada as the world’s top tourist destination for 2017. Gregory Hermus, associate director of the Canadian Tourism Research Institute, said there had been double digit year-on-year growth from regions such as Europe and Asia last summer. Growth could be just as impressive this year, when Canada marks her 150th birthday. The New York Times on Tuesday put the country at the top of a list of recommended destinations.
Jesus was always looking for opportunities to teach His followers the principles of the Kingdom of heaven, using the experiences He led them to or the nature He saw around them. He used such things as a fig tree, a wheat field and a well during His years with His closest followers. Even in the most painful moments, He taught them some of the most important Kingdom principles. As He did often, when He went to the Garden of Gethsemane, He took with Him three of His key leaders – Peter, James and John – to a quiet corner of the garden. Just a few steps away, Jesus, completely broken, spends time with His heavenly Father wrestling with the agony He would be facing over the next day or so. When He returns to the three, He finds them asleep. Matthew 26:40-42 records the incident this way: “Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” On the surface of this story we see the disappointment in Jesus as He realizes that even His closest friends don’t understand the suffering of this moment and He knows that only John would stay by His side through it all. But on a deeper level, Jesus teaches them, and us, a kingdom principle. If we are going to be victorious over temptation, we must be spiritually awake.
These have been words from the heart.