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By Rev. Wayne Palmer

Lenten Devotion

And He (Jesus) withdrew from them about a stone's throw,
and knelt down and prayed, saying, "Father, if You are
willing, remove this cup from Me. Nevertheless, not My will,
but Yours, be done" (Luke 22:41-42).

Read Luke 22:41-42.

Jesus doesn't go far from His disciples, about as far as one
can throw a stone. Matthew and Mark tell us He brings along
three disciples: Peter, James, and John. After strongly
encouraging them to keep watch with Him and pray, He
withdraws a few paces. This is a burden they cannot share.
He has to face it alone with His Father, but still it comforts
Him to know they are listening and praying for Him.

Jews normally stood in prayer, but Jesus kneels down,
showing tremendous humility, coupled with the weight of the
grief bearing down on Him. Immediately, He cries out in pain
and distress. Surely, His three closest disciples hear and join
in fervent prayer. He pleads with His Father to remove the
cup-the physical suffering, the abuse, the pain-but more than
anything, the prospect of coming under the wrath of God for
the sins of the world. Yet He immediately surrenders His will
to His Father, "Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done."

He isn't afraid of death-but dreads the thought of being cut
off, forsaken by His Father, and suffering the terrible wrath of
God. Yet He casts aside His own desire, His own will, and in
genuine love for His Father, accepts God's perfect plan as His

In our hours of greatest need our prayers often focus on
ourselves-but notice how Jesus focuses instead on His Father
and what He wants. Again, Jesus casts His own needs and
interests aside, embracing His Father's will-and our desperate


Lord Jesus, in awe and holy fear we listen as You lay Your heart
bare before Your Father. Teach us so to pray. Amen.

(Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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