Remember the last time you were in a really bad place or in a tough situation and when you needed your friends the most, they weren’t there or they didn’t give you the support you desperately needed? Well, it happened to Jesus.
After the Passover meal, He and His disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane. He took Peter, James and John with Him and it was then that He became troubled and greatly distressed. He said to the three men, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.” Now imagine that you are one of these men, and you can see that your Master is very upset and He asks you to stay there and watch” what would you do? Would you go and sit under a tree where you end up falling asleep because you have had a long day and are tired or would you move about so that you can stay awake?
Jesus went a little farther and fell on the ground where He prayed that if it were possible that the Father might take the cup away from Him but resolved that He would do the Father’s will. When He returned to the three disciples, they were sleeping. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour?” Why did He address Peter specifically?
When Jesus had predicted that the disciples would be made to stumble because of Him, Peter had declared that while the others might stumble, he would not. He vowed that he would not deny Jesus and would willingly die with Him. Yet, here he is not available when Jesus needed him. Like the other two, he was asleep instead of being awake and watchful as Jesus had asked them to be. How is it that even after Jesus had shared with them how He was feeling at that moment, that they weren’t there for Him?
When the storm raged while He slept on the boat, they woke Him, asking “Master don’t you care that we will perish?” What about the storm that Jesus is going through now. Didn’t they care? Why couldn’t they have watched with Him? Why couldn’t they have prayed among themselves for what He was going through? Jesus later told them, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.” He told them to do two things–watch and pray. Be alert and pray. Yet, when He returned, they were sleeping. When Jesus comes again, will He find us watching and praying or sleeping?
How would you feel if your closest friends didn’t stand by you in your hour of need as the disciples didn’t stand by Jesus in His hour of need? They were physically there but their lack of support left Him all alone in His agony. Do you find that when you need your friends to be there for you, they are asleep? In other words, do they seem oblivious to what you are going through? Perhaps, like Jesus, you have to tell them what you are going through and ask them to pray for you.