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Compare and Contrast of Jesus’ Three Agonizing Prayer in Gethsemane: Matthew 26:30, 36-46, Mark 14:26, 32-42, Luke 22:39-46, John 18:1.

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Compare and Contrast of Jesus’ three agonizing prayer in Gethsemane: Matthew 26:30, 36-46, Mark 14:26, 32-42, Luke 22:39-46, John 18:1. There were many differences in the way each author reported on this prayer. It was important because Jesus was praying right before He was betrayed by Judas and subsequently arrested.
The only thing that all four gospels report the same was that Jesus went to Mount Olive, a usual place for Him, and prayed.
Matthew, Mark, and Luke describe Jesus as being troubled and deeply saddened before He prayed. They all say that Jesus took men with Him to the garden. Matthew and Mark give names or description of the men that were with Jesus while Luke just says His disciples were with Him. Matthew calls the two men “sons of Zebedee” and Mark says they were “James and John.” He asked them to stand watch while He prayed a few feet away.
Matthew, Mark, and Luke all report that His prayer was that God take away the “cup” that had been handed to Him but that Jesus was willing to submit to God’s will willingly. Jesus said this prayer three times according to Matthew and Mark. Luke adds that Jesus started His prayer by acknowledging that all things are possible with God. This book also says that an angel appeared after the first prayer to strengthen Jesus. He then prayed more earnestly, to the point that He was sweating and it was “like drops of blood hitting the ground.” Matthew and Mark also say that He found Peter, James, and John sleeping when He came out of the garden between prayers. When Jesus found the disciples asleep, in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, He reprimanded them and warned them to pray so they will not fall to temptation.
Matthew and Mark end this section with Jesus warning them that He was about to be arrested and that Judas was on the way with the “sinners.” Luke just says that a crowd of men came upon Jesus and the disciples while Jesus was talking to them.
John was a very short summation of what happened. It just says that Jesus went to the garden to pray and that Judas knew He went there with His disciples often. John does not give any detail as to what was said while the other 3 do, albeit to varying degrees.
The three things that I chose from John that were not in the other gospels were: Jesus’ first miracle which was turning water to wine in 2:1-11, the healing of the child at Capernaum while Jesus was in Cana in 4:46-54, and the ridicule by Jesus’ half-brothers in 7:2-9.
Jesus first miracle was at a wedding in Cana in Galilee. Mary was at this wedding and therefore Jesus and His disciples were there, too. Mary approached Jesus because they were running out of wine. This was considered a serious offense and very inhospitable. Jesus tries to tell His mother that it is not time to reveal the power of the Holy Spirit. She walks away with directions to the servants to do as Jesus instructs them. Jesus told them to fill 6 ceremonial jugs to the brim and then bring them back. When they had done as He instructed, He told them to take some to the master at the head table. The master called the groom over to compliment him. It was usual that the family would serve the best wine in the beginning and then the cheaper stuff once everyone was too full to notice or care. The master thought that the groom had saved the best until last. This was the point at which the disciples realized His glory and followed Him completely.
The second miracle Jesus performed was the healing of the child of a government official at Capernaum while in Cana a second time. The official rushed to Jesus and begged Him to save his dying son who lay at home with a serious fever some distance away. Jesus said that unless the people saw miracles they would not believe. He told the man to go home because his son would live. The servants met the man on his way home and told him that his son’s fever broke. The man discovered it was at the same time Jesus had declared the boy would live.
I chose the ridicule by Jesus’ half-brothers in 7:2-9 because I thought it was interesting that John would report this. It is a testament to how much opposition Jesus faced, and knew He would face, that His half-brothers would make fun of Him. It was also a great testament to waiting on God’s timing. They challenged Him to prove His power to the world but Jesus was waiting on that spiritual nudge from God to reveal Himself.

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