Yet not what I will, but what you will!
By Pastor Lee Hemen
March 3, 2011
Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14:35-36 NIV)
Here is one of the most poignant moments in all of history. Jesus is going to soon be betrayed, taken by armed guard, tried and convicted, and brutalized beyond human comprehension simply because of what he preached and did. Interestingly, all of his remaining disciples would face similar fates, excepting one. But that is a thought for another day!
Here we find Jesus coming to the realization that his time on this earth is rapidly coming to a close. He knew God had plans for the accomplishment of his will for Jesus’ life. Jesus would need to go through the betrayal, the arrest, trial, and the outcome in order to finish the plan of God. Wow!
Does Jesus ask, “Why me?” No. Does he whine about the unfairness of it all? No. Does he begin to argue with God about the plan already laid out for him? Again, no. Now least you want to argue that Jesus was God’s Son, therefore God in human flesh, and he could face what was coming, never forget what he willingly laid aside to do so. (Philippians 2:6-8)
Instead we find Jesus going to the Father in prayer. He comes before the throne of God asking, “Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” He goes to the One who would know what to do and the One he could rely on the most. His “Abba”, literally his Papa God!
How sad to realize that Christians have far too often taken this prayer of Jesus and used it as their own escape clause. Here’s what I mean: I have heard others either begin a prayer or end a prayer they already know the answer to with the formula, “Thy will be done.” Thinking that they have just placed themselves into a righteous recipe of disguising their true motivation. To somehow gain God’s approval or to have him acquiesce to their own plan and will.
Jesus was not trying to manipulate God’s plan. Nor was he trying to justify his own actions. All Jesus desired in life was to be completely in the will of God. As sinful humans we often have a hard time with this concept and struggle with it constantly. After all, shouldn’t God desire for our lives be what we desire for our lives? Of course the answer here is, “No.”
I have learned that we are to look to see where God is working and join him there. This is what Jesus was doing. He went in his struggle to God the Father. He knew everything is possible with God, but Jesus also knew God’s will had to be done. In Jesus saying, “Yet not what I will, but what you will,” he was not making God the scapegoat for what happened next in his life. Nor was Jesus asking for a way out, he was asking that God’s will be done no matter how he felt. Jesus praying ” that if possible the hour might pass from him ” was a request to be strengthened in what was about to occur.
Jesus desired God’s will be done no matter what “cup” he had to drink from or face in life. Do you dear child of God ask for his will to be done no matter how you feel about the outcome or the situation you are in? Be careful what you reply, because God knows if you are telling the truth. Never ever be afraid to give God your will and join him in his.
Pastor Lee Hemen has been the outspoken pastor of the same church for 25 years in Vancouver, WA. He writes regularly on spirituality and conservative causes and maintains several web blogs. This article is copyrighted © 2011 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission.