The Great Battle – Mark 14:26-52

By John Bellingham on August 28, 2016
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The Greatest Battle

Mark 14:26-52


I.  Prediction of the Battle

1)     Jesus repeatedly predicted the battle He would face, and dramatized it in the Upper Room

2)     Jesus predicted the battle His Disciples would face

  1. Judas will betray Him and be eternally lost
  2. The 11 remaining Disciples will be scattered and then regathered in fulfillment of Zech. 13

II.  Location of the Battle

1)     Garden of Gethsemane

  1. Located on the Mount of Olives near Bethany
  2. A favorite place of rest for Jesus (cf.   John 18:2)

2)     Garden of Eden

  1. In Gethsemane, Jesus continues a battle that had started long ago in a different Garden
    • The first Adam failed miserably when he faced Satan’s temptation in the Garden of Eden – brought a curse on humanity
    • The second Adam (Jesus Christ) succeeded gloriously when He faced temptation in Gethsemane– brought the curse upon Himself
    • What initially looks like defeat turns out to be a stunning victory – Genesis 3:15
  2. Jesus’ victory in Gethsemane opens the way back into Eden à The ‘New Jerusalem’
    • Garden/ Eden imagery in Revelation 22:1-5
    • Restoration of Fellowship with God in a Garden Temple

III.  Nature of the Battle

1)     A Spiritual Struggle for Jesus

  1. Jesus was “greatly distressed” and “troubled”
    •  Enduring the Father’s wrath for sinners was infinitely worse than enduring crucifixion
    • The stress of this trial was so immense that Jesus sweat drops of blood – ‘hematidrosis
  2. In His humanity, Jesus cried out to the Father for deliverance from the trial He was about to face


– Jesus’ struggle in the Garden reveals His true humanity

– If Jesus was this distressed and alarmed at the thought of enduring God’s wrath on the cross, the possibility of spending an eternity in hell ought to alarm us, and drive us directly to Jesus Christ for salvation.   Hell is no joke!

– The agony of Jesus in the Garden shows us the magnitude of God’s love and the price of our salvation

2)     A Spiritual Struggle for the Disciples

  1. The struggle against spiritual pride
  2. The struggle against spiritual sloth/ apathy
  3. The struggle against the fear of man


– No Christian however mature, is beyond the possibility of falling into grievous sin.   We must constantly be on guard against temptation and rely fully on God’s grace.

 IV.  Weapons for the Battle

1)     Prayer

  1. Jesus’ first impulse in this trial was to pray
  2. Instead of praying, the Disciples sleep!
  3. Peter resorts to the sword – not the weapon of a Christian or the way to advance God’s purposes

2)     The Family of God

  1. In a time of trouble Jesus sought the spiritual support of His friends and brothers
  2. Intercessory prayer – a tremendous privilege

Application:  What ‘weapon’ do you impulsively reach for during a difficult time of trial??

V.  Outcome of the Battle

1)     Victory for Jesus – Satan’s temptation has been resisted and He is now ready to face the cross

2)     Failure for the Disciples – The fear of man causes all of them to abandon Jesus… including a young boy who is also present in the Garden (was it Mark???)

Application:   No sin or failure is too great for God to forgive, if we will only repent.   The sheep may be scattered, but the Shepherd isn’t through with them yet!

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