Matthew 26:44

ESV So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again.
NIV So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
NASB And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more.
CSB After leaving them, he went away again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more.
NLT So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again.
KJV And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

What does Matthew 26:44 mean?

Jesus is in emotional turmoil. He is in agony almost beyond comprehension (Matthew 26:37–38; Mark 14:34; Luke 22:44) at the prospect of the suffering He will experience in the coming hours (Matthew 16:21). He knows God's judgment for humanity's sinfulness will be poured out on Him. He knows, also, that He will experience some strain, beyond human comprehension, in His relationship with God the Father (Matthew 26:46) during this time.

Christ's response to these unimaginable stresses is a model for all saved believers. After expressing what He is feeling to His closest disciples, Jesus moves off by Himself to pray. When He prays, He lays face down on the ground in a position of absolute humility and respect.

His prayer is specific. He tells God the Father what He wants: for this suffering to pass by Him, if possible. In the exact same moment, however, He also submits to the will of God the Father, declaring His willingness to experience whatever God wills (Matthew 26:39–40). It's noteworthy that Jesus does not make this prayer once. He prays in this same way three times in a row. He repeats what He has already prayed.

This is not because God doesn't know the desires or the heart of His own Son. Jesus repeats this act because giving our requests to God is a way of sharing the mental and emotional burden with Him. Paul commands this exact process for anxious believers (Philippians 4:4–7).

We are not Jesus, of course, and there is a mystery here. The Son of God is making a request of God the Father to avoid the cup He has come to earth to drink. He is also submitting, willingly and obediently, to whatever the Father chooses. What is the relationship, exactly, between these two who are also one? It may be beyond our human capacity to understand on this side of eternity. What we do know is that Jesus, as One fully human (Hebrews 4:15), is expressing His very human emotions in a perfectly sinless way.
What is the Gospel?
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