- Sermon Notes
Thy Will Be Done
1. When the apostles watched and heard Jesus pray, there was something “there” that they wanted to learn about and experience for themselves.
2. So, they asked Jesus to teach them how to pray.
3. Jesus began His lesson by providing an example of a prayer, an example which starts with God’s will:
Matthew 6:9-10, Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (KJV)
4. “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
5. It’s one thing to know God’s will. It’s another thing to accept God’s will in order to do God’s will.
6. During our study of Matthew 26 this evening, we will learn valuable lessons about knowing, accepting, and doing God’s will so that we may not just say but live, “Thy will be done.”
1. This is one of the most important sections of not only Matthew’s Gospel, but of the Bible itself; the night that Jesus was betrayed and arrested.
2. This passage is also important for us because what happened that night and after has everything to do with our life, our eternal life.
3. Last week, we read about Jesus’ last supper with His disciples; it was the Jewish Passover meal that He shared with them.
4. During the meal, Jesus explained the meaning of the feast, that it points to Him and the reason for His coming; to fulfill the Father’s will by establishing the New Covenant.
5. Jesus took unleavened bread and declared it was a symbol of His body.
a. In the Bible, leaven is a picture of sin. Like the unleavened bread, Jesus is without sin.
b. Jesus is called the “Bread of Life” because through His death, we have life. (John 6:35)
c. For this reason, Jesus said, “Take, eat; this is My body, given for you.” (Matthew 26:26)
6. Then, Jesus took the cup and said, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:27-28)
7. Before eating the bread and drinking the cup, Jesus told His disciples that one of them would betray Him.
8. Each took their turn and asked Jesus, “It isn’t’ me, is it?”
9. Finally, Judas Iscariot, the one who had already arranged to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, asked, “Surely not I, Lord?” Jesus replied, “You have said it yourself.” We’re told that Judas immediately left to go betray the Lord.
10. Matthew notes they sang a hymn before they departed for the Mount of Olives. (30)
11. Likely, they sang from the Hallel, Psalms 113-118, which contain prophetic words about the Messiah.
12. Please think about Jesus singing these words, knowing what would come next in order to fulfill God’s will, as I read a portion from Psalm 118.
Psalm 118:22-24, The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone. This is the Lord’s doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord
has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
13. While walking to the Mount of Olives, Jesus warned them that they would all fall away that very night because of Him; in fulfillment of a prophecy in Zechariah. (31)
Zechariah 13:7, Strike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered
Transition – And this is where Peter steps into the story. From Peter, we learn some valuable lessons regarding God’s will and how it is fulfilled.
I. Our Willpower is not Enough
• Jesus told them that they would all fall away that night because of Him. (31)
• But then He encouraged them when He spoke of His resurrection; that He would meet them in Galilee. (32)
• Then Peter stepped forward to offer his two cents.
• His response makes it clear that he was not listening to what Jesus had just said.
APPL – Frankly, it’s hard to listen when all you’re thinking about is yourself!
• Peter actually corrected Jesus, failing to remember what had happened when he had tried that before!
• The meaning of Peter’s words is obvious, “You don’t have it quite right, Lord!”
• Perhaps Peter said this to express how much he loved the Lord.
• The problem is there’s quite a bit of pride in what he said since he threw the other apostles under the bus to make himself look better, stronger, and more loyal.
A. The spirit is willing…
1. Overestimating ourselves can be very dangerous because it suggests we don’t rely enough on God.
APPL – Sometimes people overestimate themselves with the best of intentions.
• Maybe they are trying to rebuild their lives after a terrible failure.
• With renewed commitment, they say, “Lord, I will never do this again! I promise!”
• They have the best of intentions because they feel broken, but they are relying on themselves.
Proverbs 16:18, Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.
2. This was so true for Peter.
a. And Peter made matters worse when he doubled down on what he said.
b. When Jesus said that Peter would not be better, stronger, or more loyal than the others; that he would not only flee but even deny Jesus three times, Peter said, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.” (34-35)
3. I believe Peter believed his words. I also believe Peter believed his strength and willpower were enough to overcome any obstacle.
4. Not to be outdone again by Peter, the other disciples chimed in and said, “Me too!”
Transition – The problem is the spirit is willing…
B. But our flesh is weak
1. Then, Jesus and His apostles arrived at an olive garden called Gethsemane, which means “oil press”; an appropriate meaning when one considers what happened next. (36)
2. He told His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. (36-37)
3. Jesus told the three, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.” (38)
4. Jesus was asking them to watch and pray.
5. When Jesus came back to them, what did He find? All three were fast asleep!
a. After admonishing them Jesus said, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (41)
b. He came back two more times to find them asleep each time.
c. They had the best of intentions. They thought their strength would never faulter. Their spirit was willing, but their flesh was weak.
ILLUS – Listening to Pastor Chuck after pulling two all-night study sessions at Multnomah Seminary
APPL – The flesh is weak. That’s the truth.
• We must understand this truth about ourselves.
• We may have the best of intentions and the greatest of desires, but our flesh is weak!
Transition – Yet, God has not left us to flail about in our feeble flesh. He has an answer; one worthy of celebrating…
C. When we are weak, God is strong
1. From the Gospel of John, we’re told that Jesus also said to the disciples during the last supper…
John 14:16-17, I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever… you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.
2. After His resurrection, Jesus gave us more insight about the work of the Holy Spirit, the Helper, in our lives.
Acts 1:8, but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.
APPL – We need God’s strength, the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
• The life that is effective and accomplishes much is not the one who works the hardest or sweats the most or relies upon his or her own strength.
• Rather, it is the one who recognizes the weakness of their flesh and their need for the Holy Spirit to transform their hearts and empower their lives; that person will be effective and accomplish much.
• Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to transform and empower the lives of all who have entered into the New Covenant by placing their faith in Him for the salvation of their souls!
ILLUS – God’s solution for Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”
2 Corinthians 12:9-10, And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
APPL – That’s a word we need to hear.
• “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
• When we understand the sufficiency of God’s grace, then we can say, “When I am weak, then I am strong!”
• We need more of Jesus. We need the Holy Spirit to transform our hearts and renew our minds.
Transition – The transforming work of the Holy Spirit will also cause our hearts and minds to embrace God’s will so that we may say…
II. God’s Will will be Done
• In Gethsemane, we see the fact that Jesus came in the flesh with its weaknesses and frailties.
• But we also see that He overcame His flesh by the power of the Holy Spirit and prayed to the Father, “Your will be done.” (42)
A. Resolve in your heart to accept God’s will
1. Here we behold the intimacy of Jesus’ relationship with His Father as He prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” (39)
a. Why did Jesus make this request?
b. Did He have a change of heart? Was He afraid of dying? No.
2. The “cup” refers to God’s wrath being poured out on Jesus while He paid the penalty of our sin.
3. At that moment, Jesus experienced something He had never known before, separation from His Father, a break in their perfect fellowship. That’s why He cried out on the cross…
Matthew 27:46, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
APPL – Let’s be honest, we know what it’s like to not have fellowship with God.
• But Jesus did not. Jesus had only known perfect fellowship with His Father.
• On the cross, the perfect union between the Father and the Son was broken for the first and last time when the penalty for our sin was placed on Him.
• While in Gethsemane, the thought of being separated from the Father so agonized Jesus, that the Father sent an angel to strengthen Him because His sweat was like drops of blood. (Luke 22:43-44)
• So, Jesus asked the Father if there was another way.
• Since it was the only way, Jesus willingly accepted the Father’s will.
APPL – And imagine the Father’s heart for His Son!
• A father’s heart is such that he would want to spare his son.
• But you see the Father’s heart beautifully and powerfully in this Gospel.
John 3:16, For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
APPL – Another lesson we learn from this is that prayer keeps us close to God, the very place we need to be.
Psalm 73:28, But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge
• In that place of prayer, we discover God is for us and that He is mighty to save.
Hebrews 7:25, Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
• In that place we also discover God’s will is the best will for our lives. We can rest in it and accept it.
Transition – When we have come to that place of accepting God’s will, doing God’s will from the heart naturally follows…
B. Resolve in your heart to do God’s will God’s way
1. After the last time Jesus found them sleeping, He said, “Behold, the hour is at hand…” (45)
2. Judas came up to Jesus and gave Him a kiss, the agreed upon signal so that the crowd would know who to arrest.
3. In the midst of this betrayal, Jesus still called Judas, “Friend”. (50)
4. John tells us that it was Peter who drew his sword and cut off the ear of Malchus, the servant of the high priest. (John 18:10)
5. I think it’s safe to assume that Peter, being a fisherman was not skilled with the sword!
a. And I don’t think he was going for the ear!
b. I believe Peter was going for the head!
6. I also believe it’s safe to assume that Peter was in a lot of trouble.
a. But here again, Jesus saved Peter.
b. Jesus reached down, picked up the ear, dusted it off, and reattached it.
7. Then Jesus rebuked Peter with a rebuke that is filled with insight for us all, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.” (52)
8. Again, Peter had missed the point. There was something being done of far greater consequence and Peter didn’t understand it, not yet.
APPL – When we react in the flesh in times of crisis, we completely miss what God is trying to do through it all.
• Your husband, wife, children, boss, neighbor, are not the enemy.
• Our struggle is not against flesh and blood.
Ephesians 6:12, For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the
spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
• In fact, when we react in the flesh, we’re giving our real enemy, Satan, a foothold in our lives.
Ephesians 4:26-27, Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.
• The point we must remember is that we are in a spiritual battle and the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh.
• Therefore, victory over the flesh will not be won by fleshly means.
2 Corinthians 10:3-4, For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.
APPL – Resolve in your heart to do God’s will God’s way.
– The choice is ours…
• Resist God’s will or Accept God’s will?
• The Cup or the Sword?
• Let’s make it our prayer, that the Father will make us more like Jesus!
Matthew 26:30-56 NASB
30After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
31Then Jesus *said to them, “You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, ‘I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered.’ 32But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.” 33But Peter said to Him, “Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away.” 34Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 35Peter *said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.” All the disciples said the same thing too.
The Garden of Gethsemane
36Then Jesus *came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and *said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. 38Then He *said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”
39And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” 40And He *came to the disciples and *found them sleeping, and *said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? 41Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. 45Then He *came to the disciples and *said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!”
47While He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came up accompanied by a large crowd with swords and clubs, who came from the chief priests and elders of the people. 48Now he who was betraying Him gave them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the one; seize Him.” 49Immediately Judas went to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. 50And Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him.
51And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached and drew out his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear. 52Then Jesus *said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. 53Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?”
55At that time Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as you would against a robber? Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me. 56But all this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures of the prophets.” Then all the disciples left Him and fled.