During the time that Jesus was here on earth, He used many different methods to teach us. Sometimes he used sermons like the famous "Sermon on the Mount." Many great truths were presented through parables and through the way Jesus answered questions. However, some of the most powerful lessons were taught by example: by the way Jesus lived.
One example is the Garden of Gethsemane. It is hard to think about the Lord's Supper without being reminded of our Lord Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was already experiencing mentally the horror of what the next hours held in store for Him. We find Him humbly asking God for another way, finding no support from His sleeping disciples, and then at last saying those words, those immortal words of the faithful and true Son of God, "not my will but Thy will be done."
Indeed this had been the pattern of the sinless Son of God all his life. We certainly see this pattern in the Lord's Prayer, where Jesus taught his disciples how to pray: "Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done." KJV
The Lord's Prayer is often taught as a series of petitions, and that's okay. However, it is much more than than petitions: it also contains commitments. The phrase "Thy will be done" is a commitment we make to give God's will preeminence over our own.
We see this commitment to God's will again in Samaria after Jesus talked to the Samaritan woman. When His disciples offered food to Jesus in John 4:34 He responded, "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me and to finish His work." KJV
Once more we see His commitment to God's will in John 14:30-31. Here we see His almost ferocious determination to follow God the Father when Jesus says; "The prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my father has commanded me." NIV
Praise God for the wonderful truth revealed here. Here Jesus reveals that if God is truly first in our lives, if His will is truly preeminent in our affections, then although Satan might still grasp and paw at us, he will do it with slippery hands; he will have no hold on us.
Yet we need strength from above. Even in the Garden of Gethsemane, as Jesus continued in that drama, planned and orchestrated from days of old, an angel came to strengthen Him.
May God strengthen us, also. Let us pray:
Dear Heavenly Father, we aren't as strong as Jesus: we are weak; I am weak. Surely if Jesus needed to be strengthened in His hour of trial, we need to be strengthened, as well.
When you strengthened Jesus it was enough. Your strengthening grace will be enough for us, too.
Even as Jesus goes before us like an older brother, teaching us through His example of faithfulness, may each of us be strengthened to love you with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. And may we truly be able to say with deepest affection, "not my will but Thy will be done."
In the Precious Name of Jesus,