Matthew 26:36-46 ~ "The Battle of Prayer"
Please turn with me in your Bibles to Matthew chapter 26. We are continuing our way through the text this morning. If you're here with us for the first time at First Baptist I just want to say welcome. I see some folks who have been out with illnesses and we are glad to have you back as well. We are continuing our way through the account of the crucifixion and this morning we find our way to Matthew chapter 26 beginning in verse 36.
As is our custom, before we dive in and begin to pick apart the Scriptures and see what it is that the Lord has for us this morning, it's a good thing to just to stop and pray and to seek his help. Let's just take this moment to ask the Lord to bless our time together. Father, we thank you so much for sending your son. We thank you Lord for the life that he lived. We thank you Father for his miracles and we thank you for his teaching. We thank you so much Lord for all of the amazing things that he accomplished during his time on this earth and most of all we thank you Lord for his sacrifice on the cross and the salvation that he accomplished there. Father as we approach that ultimate moment of victory, Lord we know that there were many steps that led to that moment; many steps of faithfulness, many steps of obedience all the way through. he was constantly beset by the temptations and the snares of the evil one and yet he reigned over it all and he conquered overall. He resisted temptation and He remained faithful and he ultimately won the victory for us. We just say thank you Father for your son. Lord, even though the victory has been accomplished we know it wasn't easy and so we come to this passage this evening Lord we look at what Jesus did on that night in Gethsemane and the struggle that he faced. We pray God that you would open our eyes to see and to understand exactly what was going on in the heart and in the mind of your precious son and that we would have a greater appreciation for the struggle and by that we would also learn by his example. Father, we pray God that you would open our eyes to see your word and to receive all that you're saying to us this morning we ask these things in Christ name, Amen.
The celebration has wound down and we find ourselves now in the garden. All is still, all is quiet, you can hear the swish of the wind through the trees and if you stop and listen carefully you can even here the scraping of the gravel as feet are shuffling their way up the path. They are making their way to a garden. It is a special place where they were known to go and to visit and to frequent. It was a place of quietness and it was a place of solitude. It was a place where they routinely came when they wanted to be alone with the Father and when they wanted to talk to him. Shadows are cast across the path by the warm glow of the moonlight and if you look across the valley you can still see the city a glow with lights. There are still revelers making their way home through the streets and torches sway back and forth casting garish shadows and glimmers of light and you can still hear the singing of the Halal, the final hymn, as Passover is slowly and surely making its way to an end. Night is falling, but the real work is about to be done. Though the city is slowly making its way to bed and though some of the men here are slowly making their way to bed there is one man, one God man, who is going to come up against the greatest struggle that he is ever faced as a man as well as the greatest temptation. He will be victorious, but the other 11 not so much. Just moments before he had warned them that one would betray him. Judas Iscariot is noticeably absent, but no one stops to say “Hey, where is Judas?” He has moments before just told them on this very night you will all betray me. They had all assured him it would never happen and here they are in this moment where Jesus is saying “I need to get away and I need to pray.” He will be victorious and they will succumb to their temptation what's the difference? Let's look closely at Matthew chapter 26 beginning in verse 36. It says they went to Gethsemane and that as Jesus approaches he gets all of his guys together there in this beautiful garden that's pruned that's tended and that is green and flourishes. He gathers them together and he says sit here in this place, you guys stay and I am to go over there. But, he doesn't go alone he takes three with him. It says in verse 37 “taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee,” which would be James and John. He grabs these guys and says, with them, he went a stone's throw away; so anywhere from 60 to 80 feet by Claycamp’s reckoning. - The gospel Luke tells us that it was a stone's throw. Now some of you may have stronger arms than I do, but I did in fact go out into my cul-de-sac this last week and pick up a rock and chuck it to see how far I could throw it. So by Claycamp’s arm strength and by Claycamp’s reckoning, a stone's throw is anywhere from 60 to 80 feet depending on the size of the stone and the mood of the one throwing it. Now some of your thinking “Oh come on, I can throw a rock farther than that.” That's fine, a stone's throw is little bit further for you. We don't know exactly how far it is. - They walked about this distance from the rest of the group. Now Jesus says to them you guys watch and pray. Notice His expression is “sorrowful, even to death.” He makes the statement, remain here and watch with me. He is beginning to get very grieved. He is beginning to get very way down and it's very obvious that his soul is sorrowful and he tells them “my soul is sorrowful even to death.” He is being explicitly clear, “I am in anguish.” Now if your friend says that they are in anguish and that they are depressed and that they are way down even to the point of death, would that not deeply concerned you? All throughout this evening he has been telling them that He is going to be crucified. He has been telling them that His moment has arrived and He's been telling them that on this night they would betray him, but somehow they just don't take it seriously. He exhorts them to stay there and pray. He makes a statement “stay here and watch with me.” In verse 39, going a bit for further on, according to the gospel Luke he went another stone's throw away from the group of disciples. So, He takes the 11 into the garden and says “you watch and you pray.” He takes the three guys that He is closest with (Peter, James and John) and he goes another stone's throw distance and tells them to stay at that point to pray and then he goes by himself another stone's throw distance further and he will pray and get alone with God. What we gather from this is that in the moment of greatest temptation Jesus knows he has to be alone, he has to be all by himself and he needs to be with the Father, but just because Jesus needs to be alone with the Father in order to gain the strength necessary to overcome the temptation that is possessing him he does not want to be without company. He wants to be alone, but not unaccompanied. He knows this struggle is entirely his own, but he wants his guys watching and praying for him. In verse 39 he falls down on his face and he says “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as you will.” In the Old Testament the cup is a metaphor for judgment, specifically the judgment of God. It can be a metaphor for blessing, but it can also be a metaphor for judgment. In this particular instance it is clear that Jesus doesn't want to drink the cup that is being handed to him by God the Father. His prayer is I don't want to do this, I don't want to go to the cross, I'm not excited about dying and if there is any way, if there is any “Plan B,” if there is any other way that we can achieve what you want to achieve let's go with that. Let's go with “Plan B.” In this regard Jesus is exactly human like you and me. You can do it the hard way or you can do it the easy way and who among us wants to take that hard way if there's an easier way. Of course, the problem here is that the only way is the hard way. The only path to salvation goes right through that torture stick, that slow instrument of death that you and I refer to as the cross. He is praying God if there's another way let's go with the other way, but he still surrenders himself back to the Father “not as I will but as you will.” He is saying God I don't want to do this if there's any other way let's go with that, but I want to do what you will for me to do. I wonder what temptations came to him in that moment? I wonder what kinds of thoughts the enemy was whispering into his ear or what kinds of suggestions. Jesus, being God, would have known the horror that he was about to face. He would've known it intimately even though he'd never experienced it as a man he would've understood in his omniscience exactly what it was he was about to go through. But more than the physical pain Jesus is holy and pure and he has never sinned. He has never done anything wrong. He has been perfect his whole life; the second person of the Trinity. He has never once done wrong, He has never once sinned and now in this moment he is facing stepping out of purity into, as Paul says in 2 Corinthians, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” He is facing the reality of taking upon himself the sins of the world, he is facing the reality of embracing all that you and I have done that is wrong and that is evil and that is impure. Do you suppose that the enemy was sitting there whispering in his ear, you're going to be wicked tomorrow. You are going to be bearing the weight of the sins of all mankind tomorrow. You who have never known wrong, you who have never experienced any kind of a break in your relationship with God the Father, you are going to have all of that tomorrow. Or perhaps Satan took it a step further and posed the question: what's worse Jesus, becoming defiled by sin or having your father bring the full weight of his divine wrath against you? To know not only that you are now stained and scarred and marked by sin, but you're only father is now coming to bring judgment upon you. All these thoughts undoubtedly ran through his mind and so he turns back to God the Father and in prayer and he says I don't want to do this. If there's any other way then let's go with Plan B; nevertheless not as I will but as you will. Jesus is praying and the manner of his prayer ought to be instructive to us. When we pray how often do we look for a door out? God, open the door so I don't have to face this difficulty. Or, how often do we pray and we say “I know what the Bible says to do, but I'm just not going to do it because I don't quote unquote have a piece about this.” How often do we justify disobedience by saying I'm just not at peace about this? I introduce you to our saviour who looked for door, but knew that there was no door forthcoming and didn't even bother asking for peace about what he was about to face. Sometimes obeying God will require suffering. The thing of it is that what Jesus desires is right. He desires righteousness, he doesn't desire to be marked by sin and Satan has just juxtaposed his desire for holiness and purity alongside the call of his father to go to the cross; obeying the father, being righteous, being holy. Normally these things do not come into conflict with each other. For all of us they will not come into conflict, but on this night for this man, those two things were pitted against each other and Jesus knew that God's will for him was to go to the cross bearing the sins of others so they could be set free. In that moment when he is coming up face-to-face against the devil, when he's coming up face to face with the greatest of all temptations do you know what he wanted? He wanted to be able, in the midst of his agony and in the midst of his prayer, just to be able to look back and to see his guys; to be able to look them in the whites of their eyes and to know I am doing this for you for them. But when he looks back he doesn't see that, he sees a bunch of guys sleeping. It says in verse 40 “He came to the disciples and he found them sleeping.” The next verse says that it was about an hour that Jesus was in prayer. He came to the disciples and he found them sleeping and he says 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.” Jesus' statement to Peter is “come on man, can you not just pray, can you not just sit here with me for one hour, can you not just keep the watch?” Then he exhorts him, he encourages him to pray in order that you may not enter into temptation and then he offers forth the statement which has become a proverb throughout the churches and throughout the ages “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” Jesus' observation of Peter and the other disciples is simply this, he knows that they love him, he knows that they want to do what is right, he knows that they want to stick with him and they've all professed just moments before “I will never deny you!” They are trusting in their own strength and they are thinking “We are going to stay true to Jesus,” but Jesus knows the only way you get through these temptations is through prayer and he looks back and they're all sleeping. They're not praying and his exhortation to them is, “I know that you guys have a heart for this and you want to do what is right. the spirit is willing but sure flesh is weak, it is powerless in your own strength you don't have what it takes to overcome the battle that is quickly approaching.” So, his instruction to them is “watch and pray that you may not to enter into temptation. “You know when we do Bible study and when we come together for care groups, all too often we will be reading through a section of Scripture and will see Jesus doing something and facing down some sort of struggle or some sort of difficulty and routinely in care groups when we encountered these passages we say “Yeah, he just got off it and he just did what was right,” and somebody will say yeah we should be like Jesus and we should follow his example and we should strive to do things the way that Christ would have us do things and invariably somebody will say “Yeah, but he is Jesus.” Meaning, we can't do it the way Christ did it because we are not God in the flesh. We don't have the same resources that God has. Now when we look at the person of Christ we know that he is God fully in the flesh. As we read about this encounter here in the Garden of Gethsemane in which he is facing the ultimate temptation and he's coming up to the greatest spiritual struggle that any man would ever know on this earth, we are tempted to conclude that the way he was able to be successful through the midst of this temptation was simply by tapping into that divine power which was inherent to his nature as the second person of the Trinity. He was able to overcome because he was God, right? Their scriptural backing for this is James chapter 1 verse 13. James makes a statement “Let no one say when he is tempted, I am being tempted by God, for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one.” We know that Jesus is God in the flesh and James says God can't be tempted so, when we read that we think “okay, well Jesus is God. He's got flesh; therefore, he can't necessarily be tempted, but if that is true then that makes everything that he is saying here in the Garden of Gethsemane just a drama, just an act, just something that is put on for the observation of you and me. He's not really struggling with going to the cross and he's not really toying with the idea in his mind of disobeying God or running away from the crucifixion if it's true that he can't be tempted.” When we think of Jesus we think that it's impossible for Him to be tempted, it's impossible for him to experience weaknesses in the same way as us because he is God. This is the thinking that we sometimes engage in, that he can't truly identify with us because he doesn't experience the same weaknesses and he is not prone or subject to the same temptations that we are. Here's the problem with that: there is another Scripture verse, this time from Hebrews chapter 4:14 “Since then we have a great high Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet was without sin.” Now James says God can't be tempted, but the author of Hebrews says that Jesus whom we know is God faces every temptation that you and I experience. He faced down every trial that you and I faced down. Now we know Jesus is God and we have got to know God can't be tempted, but we also know Jesus was tempted so now we venture into a paradox of sorts. How do we reconcile these two things? A theologian by the name of Bruce A. Ware described the Kenosis in this way, some of your eyes glazed over, Kenosis is from the Greek word, Kannotow - essentially meaning the joining of a human nature and a God nature. Jesus is fully man and he was fully God. In Philippians chapter 2 Paul makes a statement that he emptied himself; referencing Jesus as he emptied himself by taking on human form. What Paul means by that is not that Jesus lost the second person of the Trinity or lost any of his divine attributes, but that he humbled himself by embracing and adding to his divine nature a human nature. There are a lot of problems that we sometimes toy with in our minds as followers of Christ. We tend to think that he had the body of a man but he had the mind of God. That's most commonly what we think; that Jesus had the mind of God, but he just had the body of a man. That's not true. The Scriptures are clear that he was fully man and fully God which means he had a human intellect, he had a human personality, he had human emotions, he had human desires and those desires were conjoined with the divine person. It is a mystery. The best analogy or illustration that I have ever encountered is presented by Bavinck, he says that regarding the second person of the Trinity, God in the Son could be likened to a rock solid bar of steel. Then you have the man Christ. Jesus the human man with the human will that could be likened as to a copper wire that was wrapped around that iron steel will of the divine person. Now you have a human who is fully human and a God who is fully God conjoined together in one person. The God man Jesus Christ.
Temptation is the effort by Satan to lure mankind by appealing to his human desires and for the fulfilment of those desires in a way that is contrary to the will of God. So you have the divine will which cannot be tempted and then you have the human will wrapped around that divine will. In a sense what we are encountering in the person of Christ is Satan approaching Jesus and trying to pull that human will apart from the divine will and trying to entice that human will to do something that is contrary to the divine will. Jesus resisted, but I want to take it a step further, He resisted the temptation without drawing upon the power of his divine nature. This is where things get really interesting. All throughout the Gospels as you walk with Christ you will find time and time again on every occasion he uses his divine power to bring blessing to all those around him yet he himself never takes advantage of those divine resources for himself. For example he goes down to John the Baptist and he gets baptized, he comes up out of the water and all of the Scriptures say his spirit like a dove descended and rested upon him. They will all say that after right after the baptism the Spirit drove him out into the wilderness where He fasted for 40 days. Immediately Satan came to him and began to tempt him with all manner of different things and Jesus continued to push back against all of these temptations. One of the temptations that Satan confronted Jesus with was “You are hungry, tell the stone to turn into some bread and eat and be filled.” Jesus refused. He would not use his power for his own advantage he would always use his power for the blessing of those around him. We find this throughout the Scriptures. Take the woman at the well in John chapter 4; He is weary and he is tired and he is thirsty. He could instantly brought about water and quenched his thirst, he could easily done that and yet when the Samaritan woman approaches he said “would you give me some water”.
Now that dialogue is going to lead to whole another discussion, but time and again we find Jesus not using his powers for himself. We find time and again that as a man the temptation was always there for him to take a shortcut and the easy way out, but God lived his life as a second person of the Trinity, Jesus, fully as a man. He walked every step of every journey he took totally as a man. This is how Paul is able to say in Philippians chapter 2 that He emptied himself and took upon himself the nature the flesh of a man. Listen to me carefully, the reason Jesus could not sin is not the same reason ultimately that Jesus did not sin. I will say it again, the reason Jesus could not sin, namely that his will was conjoined with the second person which is the divine will of the Trinity and God cannot be tempted so ultimately Jesus could not have fallen, was not ultimately the reason he did not sin. You say “how do you figure that preacher?” To illustrate this in two different ways, does anybody here enjoy math? Does anybody just love to sit down and take an algebra test? Precious few of you. Now imagine your algebra of teacher says let's have a math test. You studied and you are ready. You are told you can utilize a calculator in order to take this math test; therefore, you have been given an advantage. You've been given a digital device that can compute numbers much quicker and much more efficiently than your human intellect can. So you have your calculator, but you say “I'm not going to use the calculator in order to take this test.” You sit down and you say “I've studied, I've applied myself and I've learned all of the concepts. I'm familiar with all of the formulas.” You take the test and when the teacher marks it and hands it back you get a mark of 100%. Your friend argues that you got 100% because the teacher let you use a calculator; to which you respond “Yes, I could have used a calculator in order to pass the test, but I did not. The reason you could have passed the test is not the reason in which you did in fact ace the test.
Let's put it another way. It's become a popular thing as of late to swim the English Channel. The Channel at its narrowest point is 32 km. Who would like to go out and swim 32 km? Apparently a lot of people want to do this. It's become vogue where they go and they start in Britain in the narrowest point and they swim to the French side. The fastest it has ever been done was the record set in 2007 by a fellow by the name of Peter Storichaff and he was from Bulgaria. He is set the world record in six hours and 57 minutes and 20 seconds. Seven hours swimming, who wants to do that? Some people do. Did you know that people swimming the English Channel never go alone? There is always a boat that follows them. The boat stays a little distant so that if you're swimming and you start to run out of energy and you realize that you're not going to make, it in order to keep you from drowning, the guys on the boat will reach in and grab you out of the water. Now if you were to say to Peter Storichaff “the only reason you were able to swim the English Channel in six hours and 57 minutes and 20 seconds was because of boat watching every step of the way and the reason you are successful was because the boat kept you from failing, Peter Storichaff would be deeply offended. Yet, he would not drown. The ultimate failure was prevented and he could not actually drown because the boat was watching him, but the reason he could not drown was not the reason he did in fact succeed. They are two different things. As we approach Jesus we found that in his life he was ultimately successful in everything that he did. He could not ultimately fail because he was conjoined with the second person of the Trinity, but just because he could not fail is not the same reason that he did not fail.
Throughout the Scriptures if you follow Christ closely and if you follow all of the different struggles he came up against and all of the different spiritual battles that he faced and all of the temptations that beset him you will find there are certain things that he goes to over and over again. You will find ultimately when you look closely at the life of Christ he always depended upon the power of the Holy Spirit. He refers to it in frequently, but when he does it is clear in the context of those passages that he is looking for strength from outside of himself; from the third person of the Trinity. The second thing is he is relying on the truth of Scripture. He routinely responds and comes back to the temptations and the different suggestions that are put forth and he routinely will say it is written. His confidence is not in the dialogue or the discussion or all these novel new ideas that are being thrown out. His confidence is ultimately in what the word of God says. The third thing is prayer. All the gospel accounts record that Jesus routinely got away and prayed and he shared his struggles with the Father and he asked that the Lord's will would be done. He was routinely seeking an intimacy with his Father in heaven and he was routinely looking for guidance and direction through that relationship. Lastly we see here in the Garden of Gethsemane that although he does not need it being the second person of the Trinity, he sought out the fellowship and the companionship of his brothers. Those are the fourth things. He looked to the power of the Holy Spirit, to the word of God, to prayer and he looked to the fellowship and the company of those who were believers around him.
Now let me ask you this question: Jesus was completely successful, he did not utilize his divine power in order to be successful, He utilized those four things over and over again. What tools did Christ have that we do not? Do you have access to the Holy Spirit? Absolutely! By placing your faith in Christ you do. Do you have access to the Scriptures? Absolutely! We have Scriptures flowing all throughout this church. We have them on the table foyer so there is no reason why any of you in this room should not have your own copy. If you find yourself here this morning without a copy of Scripture you will find one in the pew back right in front of you. Take it, keep it, it's yours. What about prayer? For those of us that have trusted in Christ we have access to the Father, we have an intimacy with him that we can have through prayer. What about the encouragement for brothers and sisters? Look around, we are here to encourage you. All those things though will require that you take advantage of them.
Time and again when I am talking with people who are struggling with different temptations in their life they tell themselves that there in capable of overcoming those temptations, they tell themselves that and perhaps there's an enemy who whispers that into their ear, but if you trust in Jesus, if you draw strength from the Holy Spirit, if you utilize the truth of Scriptures, if you give yourself to prayer and if you look to the body of Christ for encouragement there is no reason that you cannot be successful in overcoming the temptations which plague you.
A number of years ago, when I was an associate pastor in Cedar Heights Baptist Church in Texas, there was a fellow who’s name was Chris and he had given himself unfortunately to drugs. He was hopelessly addicted to cocaine apart from Christ. He came forward and he said this has got a hold on my life. In my following of Jesus I know what is says in the book of 1 Corinthians chapter 7 where it says “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit” and I know that I am poisoning my body and I'm cutting short the life that God has given me. Time and again he sought to be delivered from that addiction and time and again he failed. When I asked him why is it that you fail he said “the pull got too strong and I knew that I could not succeed.” To which I then responded “where did you come to that certain conclusion? Who told you couldn't succeed?” When you are in that moment of overwhelming desire for the drugs and when you were faced with that temptation, in that moment you surrendered to it. But, it wasn't because you were incapable of overcoming. It was because you believed you couldn't.
My brothers and sisters, Jesus has come, he has died on the cross and he's come in order to set us free. We will all be beset by temptations and we will all fail at multiple points in our lives. But do not think for one second that the salvation Jesus purchased for you on the cross was some sort of a discounted half salvation in which you know that you go to heaven, but you cannot have deliverance in this life from sin. He absolutely died not only to seek your citizenship above, but to rescue you here and now. The question is not “can you,” but to whom and to where will you go for the power to overcome. Now ultimately these guys failed. In just a few hours Peter is going to find himself in the courtyard outside of the high priest home and little servant girls are going to come and say “hey you knew him to didn't you?” and he's going to begin to deny Christ and utter curses on himself. He should have been praying and he should've been watching.
Here is the moment of greatest instruction Jesus, knowing that the temptation was about to come, says to Peter watch and pray. You know the enemy is coming and you know the temptation is about to come. If any of you have ever been addicted to anything, if any of you have been beset by any sort of temptation you know when those temptations come there is a certain part of the day and at this certain website; you know there's a certain street that you can walk down and at the corner of that street there's something there and you know that when you go to that place you know in that moment you are going to feel the pull on your soul. What is the instruction that Jesus gives? Watch and pray. In Proverbs Solomon writes “the young man strays past the house where the adulterous lives not knowing that death awaits for him there,” the implication being, don't go that to that house and don't walk down that street corner. Jesus brings that teaching to its deepest point right here, “watch, see it, pray and pray that you will not enter into it.” In other words, if there's a place you go or if there's a thing that can come upon you that begins to pull on your soul and that begins to lead you into temptation you are to watch it, avoid it, and pray that you would not go towards it.
He is going to go to the cross. Even now he has surrendered “your will be done.” Verse 43, again he came and he found them sleeping for their eyes were heavy. Jesus is totally justified to wake these guys up, but he doesn't. Do you notice that? He came and he found them, verse 43, the second time sleeping their eyes were heavy, verse 44, so leaving them he doesn't wake them up. This is the sweetest part of this passage. Routinely I will go in the morning to wake my daughters up. I will go into the bedroom to get them ready for school and when I open the door they'll still be asleep laying soundly in their beds, they've got their covers all in total disarray and their jammies are pulled all over the place and is absolutely craziness, but they have such a sweet and serene happy look on their face. They are at peace. The thing of it is they are sleeping in a bed that I have provided, in the home that I've put over their heads, they're going to eat breakfast that I have paid for, that I'm giving to them. All of their needs are being met and they're laying there sleeping in sweet serene peace and I think to myself “I don't want to wake them up.” I take joy in watching them rest. Jesus knows they're going to fail and he knows that what they really ought to be doing is praying. Praying that they would not enter into temptation, but when he finds them overcome a second time he re-assures himself on the fact that where they will fail he will not. Jesus is always victorious. So as we come to close this morning I know that we are often times overcome by different temptations and different struggles. We should all be praying and asking God to deliver us from those things, but at the end of the day even when we fail we rest in the ultimate salvation that Christ brings to us. Where we will succumb he always conquers and you can trust in the ultimate deliverance and salvation of Jesus.
Let's pray. Father, we thank you so much for what Jesus did in the garden. We thank you Father for facing the temptations of the enemy. We thank you Lord that He overcame that great temptation. He is finished in Gethsemane is now on his way to the court to be tried and ultimately convicted. Now Father as we follow along with him in those footsteps and as we see the path that he takes we pray God that we would learn just exactly how much it is that you love us. We pray God that you would remind us time and again that our salvation is not a result of our own effort, but it is completely and totally provided for us by what your son did for us on the cross. It is in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
The Gospel of Matthew is a story about a once and coming King. Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of David, the long awaited for Messiah. He has come once, and Matthew tells the story of His arrival, ministry, sacrificial atoning work on the cross, and His promise to return soon.