Not Into Temptation
September 1, 2019
In our Christian life, we decide many things. Sometimes, the things are about our Christian life. For example, we decide to read the Bible regularly, or to pray everyday, or to have a personal devotion time every day.
In my view, many Christians tend to decide something about their Christian life twice a year. First time is when the new year begins. In the beginning of the new year, many people decide, “Okay, during this year, I will finish the whole Bible.” And many people fail to finish the whole Bible. And, the second time is right after retreat. After summer retreat, Christians with passionate hearts tend to decide to pray hard or to be a missionary. And, sometimes we fail our commitment.
Even the disciples of Jesus decided something big about their Christian life in front of Jesus, and they also failed. Our Christian life is very similar to the life of Jesus’ disciples.
Today, I would like to share what we can take away from the failure of the disciples. And, at the end, I will talk about prayer.
In verse 26, after Lord’s supper and singing hymns, the disciples are so passionate. They are like soldiers who can die for Jesus. It seems they want to follow Jesus at the end.
But surprisingly, Jesus tells his disciples who are very passionate in verse 27,” You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’”
The disciples couldn’t understand what Jesus was talking about because they were very passionate, they were so ready to die for Jesus. And, in verse 29, Peter says, “Even though they all fall way, I will not.”
Peter made distinction from the other disciples. “Even though they all fall away, I will not.” But, Jesus replied with a bad news. In verse 30, Jesus says, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” Peter couldn’t believe that he would deny Jesus, and Peter very strongly and very boldly says in verse 31, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.”
Not only Peter, but also other disciples said the same thing, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.”
In front of Jesus, they made a promise, “I will die with you.” They swore like soldiers. After Lord’s supper and singing hymns, they were very passionate. And, they didn’t know what was about to happen to them.
And they went to a place called Gethsemane. Jesus knew that he would die soon, so he was very sorrowful, even to death. In the place, he began to pray to his Father. In verse 37, after his prayer, Jesus came and found the disciples who were sleeping. And in verse 38, Jesus asked his disciples to pray.
Jesus didn’t just ask them to pray, but Jesus gave them a reason why they had to pray. In verse 38, Jesus says, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Jesus told them to pray so that they might not enter into temptation. Jesus already knew that they were about to face temptation.
However, the disciples didn’t pray. Rather, they fell asleep. Later, temptation came to them. The temptation was when a crowd came to arrest Jesus. The crowd was from the chief priests and the elders. They came with swords and clubs to arrest Jesus. When the disciples faced the crowds, they faced a temptation.
Can you guess what happened to the disciples? They entered into the temptation by running away. In verse 50, it says, “And they all left him and fled.” The disciples strongly had said to Jesus, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you!” They made promise, strongly. But, they didn’t pray and they entered into temptation.
But, when Jesus told them to pray, it was not a hard task. It was not a hard task for them because Jesus already taught them how to pray twice.
In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches them how to pray, I will read Matthew chapter 6, verses 7 through 10. “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this.” “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” I believe that you know the rest of the prayer.
Moreover, in Luke chapter 11, one disciple asks Jesus to teach how to pray. In Luke 11:1, the disciple says, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And Jesus answers, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins….”
Jesus taught them the Lord’s prayer twice; in other words, the disciples already learned twice how to pray; however, they didn’t pray.
Moreover, Jesus wanted to remind them about the Lord’s prayer when he said, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Again, “Not into temptation.” That phrase is also included in the Lord’s prayer, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” In verse 38, by saying, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation,” Jesus wanted his disciples to pray the Lord’s prayer which they learned before; however, they failed to pray and they entered into temptation.
Highland Church, we cannot avoid facing temptation. We all face temptation in our life. We could face temptation at home, workplace, parking lot, even in the church.
Jesus faced temptation in the wilderness.
Again, we cannot avoid facing temptation, but we can avoid entering into temptation. For example, when Jesus faced temptation, he didn’t enter into temptation. If we pray, we will not enter into temptation.
And, prayer is not hard. Prayer is easy. You know why? Jesus already taught us how to pray and what to pray. Yes! We have the Lord’s prayer. I believe that one of the reasons why Jesus gave us the Lord’s prayer is because we are weak. We fully don’t know what to pray. And sometimes, when we begin to pray, we don’t know what to pray. And sometimes, we tend to pray for our own things. Sometimes, we pray for ourselves. We pray for our righteousness.
Therefore, God gave us the Lord’s prayer to help us to seek God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness.
In closing, we cannot avoid facing temptation, but we can avoid entering into temptation. If we pray, we will not enter into temptation. And prayer is easy because we have the Lord’s prayer. Because we fully don’t know what to pray, God gave us the Lord’s prayer like a college professor who gives all answer keys before the final exam.
Highland Church, the Lord’s prayer is a gift from God for us.
Soli Deo Gloria