But we lost sight of something so dear and critical in our relationship with Jesus. Partnership.
We see ourselves as only, merely, servants. We are servants, yes. Bondslaves, absolutely. But out of love and utter devotion. Completely surrendered. "Not my will, but Your's be done."
But we are called to be partners. We are the Bride of Christ. Not the concubine.
Until the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus taught His disciples. He sent them out on test runs. "Go do what you've seen Me do."
Then came Matthew 26. Jesus is about to endure the greatest ordeal of His or any man's life. He goes to the Garden to pray. Here's what He says to His friends,
"Sit here while I go over there and pray.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. "My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.” And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed...
Jesus is not teaching or demonstrating, or hanging out with the disciples, He's imploring them to pray with Him. The toughest hour of His life is about to come upon Him and He, the God-Man, needs His friends. He needs support in prayer. This is the only time we see Jesus call us into partnership with Him. "Do this with Me." Not for me. Not to Me. Not because of Me. But with Me.
Then, He leaves them. He goes to another spot in the Garden to pray. Why? Seems odd, doesn't it? "Watch with Me, but I'm going to be over here."
This is such a picture of what was to come. Of what IS our life with Him now. We are here. He is "there." He sits at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us. We are still called to partnership in intercession with Him!
When He returns, the disciples are sleeping. We know it well.
"And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Romans 13:11, Ephesians 5:14 have verses that call to the Believer, "Wake up!" We are to be on the alert, watching and waiting.
But we are weak. Prayer is hard. It's a spiritual battle. But it is THE ONE THING where Jesus invites us to partner with Him. "Keep watch with me."
He is coming. Will we be found watching or sleeping?