Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.” Matthew 26:36-46
“In the way of Jesus with the heart of Jesus” is our mantra at South. We talk about this mission regularly and we make it our community’s aim. As we explore what we do with our emotions isn’t it appropriate to focus on what Jesus does with his emotions? We are in fact seeking to live in his way with his heart. What did he do with his desires? Even ones which were in competition with his Father’s mission?
In this passage we see Jesus honestly and sorrowfully pouring out his desire to his heavenly Father. He didn’t hold back his emotions regardless of them being contrary to what he knew was his Father’s will. I think this moment makes Jesus so relatable. He was the perfect sin-less Son of God and he experienced the full range of human emotions. The garden of Gethsemane was a regular place he had gone throughout his ministry to meet with God in quiet. He goes there again in his darkest hour. Having such intimacy of relationship with the Father, Jesus had full freedom to express his anguish. He is our example. We can do the same.
As you purpose to live in the way of Jesus with the heart of Jesus, consider this question: Where do you go to express emotion to God? Do you go there regularly? Why not pray your emotions today to God? If you’re angry, be angry. If you’re sad, express your sadness. If you’re disappointed, don’t hold back. God can handle it. He made you and he made your emotions. He welcomes all of you. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed or stuck in the process of sorting through or expressing your emotions, I encourage you take a step toward counsel or a support group offered at South.
By Ellen Rosenberger