In Luke 22:40 the Lord Jesus had just arrived at the Garden of Gethsemane with his disciples.  The verse says, “And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.”  The Greek word for temptation in this verse is “peirasmos” and means “a putting to proof by adversity.”  It appears that the temptation was not the urge to fall asleep since trying to stay awake is not true adversity.  In Luke 22:45-46 we read, “And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.”  The word temptation in verse 46 is the same Greek word which indicates that the adversity that would prove the disciples’ faithfulness was still yet to come.

What was the temptation?  We are not directly told, but it appears that it would be the event that immediately follows verse 46.  As we read in verse 47, “And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.”  Judas arrived to betray the Lord Jesus with a kiss.  Jesus was arrested, bound and taken to the high priest.  How would the disciples respond?  We find the answer in Matthew 26:56, “Then all the disciples forsook Him, and fled.”  The disciples were tempted to forsake their Lord when He was arrested and they succumbed to the temptation.  They encountered adversity and did not stand by their Lord.

It is true that Matthew 26:58 tells us that “Peter followed Him afar off.” However, Peter did not stay with the Lord.  He distanced himself “afar off” from the Lord Jesus.  Peter subsequently denied the Lord three times.  In spite of the failure of all of the disciples, the Lord was gracious to them.  He restored Peter to Himself and spoke words of peace to the disciples after He rose from the dead.  As we see in John 20:19-20, Jesus “stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when He had so said, He shewed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.”  Imagine the emotions of the disciples knowing that they had forsaken their Lord.  They must have needed to hear more words of peace since He repeated His message as we read in John 20:21, “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.”

How is it with you and me?  How many times has our devotion to Christ been tested and proved to be less than what it should be?  I have failed many times in this area.  However, the Lord does not want us to be focused on our past failures but on Himself!  As He did for the disciples, He will give us joy, peace, and fresh opportunities to serve Him if we focus on our precious Savior who loves us and died for us.  (176.5)  (DJ)