WEEK TWO – EXTENDED REFLECTION OF PASSAGE
Insights on Coping with our own suffering (Matthew 26:36-46) NIV
NOTE FOR GROUP LEADER: With the group, read or listen to the passage again and discuss any, or all, of the reflection questions. Items needed: Reading passage and questions.
New International Version
36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
Questions for reflection and discussion:
- This passage takes place after the Last Supper and Jesus asks three of His disciples to join Him in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. What do you suppose they are talking about as they walk to the Garden?
- What do you suppose is on Jesus’ mind as He is walking to the Garden?
- What does Jesus ask his disciples to do once they arrive at the Garden? Why?
- Jesus told His disciples that He is “overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” What do you suppose He means by that?
- In His prayer, Jesus asks God “that this cup be taken from me.” Explain what you think He was asking God and why He was hoping that God would change this destiny.
- Why do you suppose Jesus finally said, “ Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
- From your perspective, what is Jesus’s destiny? Why?
- What do you suppose the disciples thought when He said that?
- What did the disciples do while Jesus was praying? What happened to them?
- Why couldn’t the disciples pray with Jesus? What do you suppose was their excuse?
- Do we ever disappoint someone because we did not follow through on our promise? How do we feel about it? How do you suppose the other person feels about our failure to follow through?
- As Jesus is approached by his betrayer, what do you suppose He is thinking? What do you suppose the disciples are thinking or fearing?
- Jesus’ prayer was not answered in the way that He had hoped, why do you supposed that happened?
- How did Jesus’ response to accept God’s will impact our lives?
- Was Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane meaningful for you? How?
- What is the message you received from reading this passage?
NOTE TO GROUP LEADER: At the end of the session, you may want to allow the group to have a few moments for open discussion about the session and what it may have meant for them.