Jesus prays in Gethsemane


Jesus prays in Gethsemane

Explain the meaning and significance of Jesus’ prayers in Gethsemane

·         Gives very interesting insight into Jesus as both the Son of Man and Son of God.  As the Son of Man, Jesus showed a very human reaction to the horrors that awaited him.  Mark’s account states that Jesus was very disturbed and upset by what he knew was going to happen to him, something most people would fully understanding. Stresses his humanity and divinity; as God he knew death awaited him, as human, he anticipated the torture he would have to face before he was killed.


·         Whilst in this scared state, Jesus asked God to stop what was going to happen.  It was the human Jesus who asked his closest friends to stay by him during the coming events

·         Then Jesus shows his divinity by speaking as the Son of God.  He shows obedience and acceptance to God’s will when he says “not what I want, but what you want.”


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Jesus prays in Gethsemane

·         ‘Abba’ is the Aramaic word for ‘father’ showing he is Son of God, at the time Jewish people would have thought this was blasphemy however Mark recognises how close Jesus is with God

·         Gethsemane became the place where Jesus accepted that his mission to the world involved suffering and death

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Jesus prays in Gethsemane

Explain why the prayers of Jesus in Gethsemane cause problems for some Christians

·         Jesus was greatly troubled and distressed – this is not what we expect of God. Some Christians find it hard to understand why he behaved like a frightened human at the start of the story.

·         Why is God the Father making his Son go through this agony?

·         Jesus seems to be lacking faith by asking God to take away the cup of suffering – yet he berates his disciples for lacking faith.  Some Christians might struggle with the idea that perhaps Jesus didn’t trust that God would resurrect him on the third day

·         He seemed to be questioning God.  Does this show that Jesus was not God? If Jesus is part of the Trinity, then he is God.  This should mean he has no need to pray to his Father.

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Jesus prays in Gethsemane


  •          By saying “Yet not what I want but what you want” he implied that he was separate from God.  Again – if he was God, he would not have a different desire from God.

·         Peter’s behavior might also cause Christians problems because, despite his assurances of never letting Jesus down, Peter failed his friend.  Christians might wonder at the behavior of the person closest to Jesus; the man who was to become a saint and the first Pope.  If he failed esus, what hope do other Christians have?

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Jesus prays in Gethsemane

Think about….possible opinion questions (b and d) - “Gethsemane shows Jesus was only human.” (question d)

·         Agree:

o   Jesus showed fear about his forthcoming death.

o   He obviously didn’t want to go through with his suffering.

o   He showed irritation with his disciples.

·         Disagree:

o   His willingness to go through with God’s plan for him.

o    The way he faced those who came to arrest him.

o   His subsequent resurrection showed his divinity.The way he faced those who came to arrest him.

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