Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Olive Press - Mark 14:32-41

Title: The olive press
Date: March 29, 2009
Text: Mark 14:32-41

- Ever been in a hard place
- No hope of making it
- Like chemistry class

Disciples thought they were ready
- Mark 10:35-40
- James and John thought they were up for anything
- Mark 14:27-31
- Peter is told he will deny Jesus 3 times
- All the others said they would never disown Jesus
- How often do we think we have it together
- We can do this thing
- With enough effort I can make it
- But there is a warning for us in Proverbs 16:18
- Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall
- Peter, James and John forgot about that proverb
Jesus knew he couldn’t do it on his own
- He had said previously
- Joh 5:30 – By myself I can do nothing, I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me
- So Jesus was very dependent on the Father
- So now let’s read about what happens in Gethsemane
- Gethsemane was a garden area on the mount of olives, where there were a lot of olive trees. I have been there and have seen these trees.
- Mark 14:32
- Jesus tells the disciples to wait while he goes and prays
- V 33-34
- He takes Peter James and John with him
- He tells them to watch
- Gregoreuo – watch, wake, be vigilant, to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one
- And it was used to describe the posture of a leopard lying in wait.
- It speaks of a certain spiritual posture. And the opposite of this word involves spiritual sleepiness.
- What happens
- Jesus prays and commits the anguish to God
- He knows he cant do it on his own
- Not what I will, but what you will
- V 38 - Jesus wants the disciples to pray not for him, but for themselves
- They weren’t totally tuned in
- It wasn’t just that they didn’t understand what was happening
- They thought they could handle it
- But they couldn’t
- And what is absolutely remarkable that in the midst of his deepest distress, he does come back and check on them three times and he tells them how to avoid failing the test.
- He says to watch and to pray with full reliance on God's Spirit. Jesus is basically saying to those three and he is saying to us, YOU CAN NOT MAKE IT THROUGH GETHSEMANE ON YOUR OWN STRENGTH
- The son and daughter-in-law of an eighty-year old woman were trying to persuade her to come and live with them. "Mom, now that Dad is gone you shouldn't live alone, you should be with us." But the woman resisted, protesting, she said, "No, a thousand times no. I've always said that I would never live with one of my children. It brings on too many problems. It just raises too many issues." The daughter-in-law insisted, "That's true mother, but you're different." The mother-in-law looked at her said, "Yes, I know dear, but you're not."
- We often have an unrealistic idea of our own capabilities
- So we don’t come for help
- That would be a sign of weakness
- The one person we need to go to for help is God, and specifically Jesus
- John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing
- Gethsemane means oil press
- Have you ever seen an oil press?
- The olives get loaded in and then they are squeezed and ground and crushed till the olive is unrecognizable and comes out as olive oil
- What is your trial that you are facing
- What is your insurmountable difficulty
- Is it your anger, foul mouth, your fear
- Is it your addiction
- We can feel that we have it together and that we can lick this problem
- But in reality, without Jesus we are pretty powerless
- God may be calling us in a particular direction, but we feel it is too hard
- And it may well be so, in the flesh
- But with God all things are possible
- And without Jesus we can do nothing
- Maybe our struggle today is in allowing Jesus to come in and fight our battles
- Maybe we smugly feel I dnot need this Jesus thing
- I can do it on my own, in the right environment
- Don’t forget the warning that the disciples ignored
- Pride comes before a fall
- Perhaps someone today is facing a hard decision and think "I can't do it, it's too hard, but God says, "Oh no, you can with my strength, you can do it."
- Maybe this is the day you have to make that choice
- Ask God to help you make that choice, and follow through on it
- With God’s strength we can do it
- The disciples may have failed this test, they all ran away and left Jesus standing alone
- But later on they were filled with the Holy Spirit and a new relationship with Jesus and they stood their ground, even facing matyrdom with courage
- So you cant do it on your own, but you can with God’s help
- Make that choice today

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