John 18.1-2 cont.
1 Having said these things Jesus, with His disciples, went out beyond the Kidron brook (a winter torrent). There was a garden there, into which He and His disciples went.
2 Now Judas, the betrayer, already knew this place, because frequently Jesus gathered together there with His disciples.
The disciples did not appear to be concerned that Judas was not with them. Perhaps they thought that he would join them later, after he had bought the provisions they supposed he had gone out to buy. We know that Judas knew the garden of Gethsemane, and he knew that there was a certain time when Jesus would be there with His disciples.
John does not record for us the events in the garden that the other gospel writers record. From these accounts we know that Jesus was in the garden with His disciples for over an hour, during which time Jesus was praying, agonising over the trial that He was about to face. It was here that Jesus prayed:
“Abba, Father, everything is possible for You, remove this cup from Me, however, not what I want but Your will be done” – Mark 14.36.
It was a time when the disciples could not stay awake.
No doubt we have all been in that situation where our eyes become so heavy that we are unable to prevent them from closing and sleep engulfing us.
Sadly it is probably the experience of us all that we drift off to sleep when we are praying. Jesus could easily say to us:
“Can’t you keep watch for one hour? Indeed the spirit is ready, but the flesh is feeble” – Mark 14.37.
The disciples were relaxed and unaware that their fellow disciple, Judas, was approaching with armed men to arrest Jesus.
It is also in times when we are relaxed that the enemy will try and strike us.
Jesus had told them to sit and pray, but they failed to do that.
On the occasions when Jesus tells us to sit and pray are we likely to drift into sleep, or allow our mind to wander from what we should be praying about? In these times of praying it is good for us to focus on Jesus, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide our thoughts. It may be helpful to have a Bible with us, since the Holy Spirit may prompt us to read certain verses to aid our praying.
There are times when we need to be relaxed, but they can also be times when we are in danger of being attacked by the enemy, who is like a roaring lion seeking to devour us.