Matthew 26: 43 Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.
In today’s NT90 reading we see Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane and the disciples who are supposed to be keeping watch and praying fall asleep. Not once, but three times Jesus discovers his followers sleeping contrary to his instructions. This passage makes me wonder how often our eyes are heavy and we avoid what it is God has asked us to do in a situation because sleeping is an easier way out. I don’t think the disciples intended to disappoint Jesus with their behavior, they just let their immediate desires take over the bigger purpose. I’m struck by how the rebuke of Jesus to the disciples remains grace filled. Even as he knows what is coming he simply asks if they are still taking their rest.
I’m challenged by both the disciples behavior and the response of Jesus. How often do I neglect what it is that God has put before me because something else is the easier way out? I wonder how often I’m asleep to the world around me when confronted by injustice, suffering and the lost. More challenging though is how I respond poorly when I’m disappointed by those around me. Jesus knows he is facing his arrest and maintains calmness and mercy towards his disciples, even though they have failed to follow his simple instructions. The second time he discovers them sleeping he doesn’t even wake them. I’m increasingly aware that when the people around me let me down my initial response often doesn’t represent the type of grace I have received and would hope to give to others.