When Jesus was praying and agonizing over His soon arrest and crucifixion, He asked His disciples to “watch” with Him but all of them “fell asleep.” When the Roman soldiers came to arrest Jesus, His sleeping disciples woke up and all of them fled except for Peter who stayed nearby warming himself by a fire in the courtyard. Eventually, one or more of the people there recognized Peter as being Jesus’s disciple and asked him if he “knew” Jesus. Being a fallible human being like we all are, Peter “denied” knowing Christ out of fear of being delivered over to the same fate as Jesus.
Mat 26:30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.
Mat 26:31 Then Jesus said unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night; for it is written, I will smite the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.
Mat 26:32 But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.
Mat 26:33 Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended in thee, yet I will never be offended.
Mat 26:34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night before the cock crows, thou shalt deny me three times.
Mat 26:35 Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
Mat 26:36 Then Jesus came with them unto a place called Gethsemane and said unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
Mat 26:37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
Mat 26:38 Then he said unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death; tarry ye here and watch with me.
Mat 26:39 And he went a little further and fell on his face, praying and saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
Mat 26:40 And he came unto the disciples and found them asleep and said unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
Mat 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Mat 26:42 He went away again the second time and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me except I drink it, thy will be done.
Mat 26:43 And he came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.
Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
Mat 26:47 And while he yet spoke, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the princes of the priests and elders of the people.
Mat 26:48 Now he that betrayed him had given them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; hold him fast.
Mat 26:49 And forthwith he came to Jesus and said, Receive joy, master; and kissed him.
Mat 26:50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, why art thou come? Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took him.
Mat 26:55 In that same hour Jesus said to the multitude, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.
Mat 26:56 But all this was done that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him and fled.
Mat 26:58 But Peter followed him afar off unto the patio of the high priest and went in and sat with the servants to see the end.
Mat 26:69 Now Peter sat outside in the patio; and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.
Mat 26:70 But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.
Mat 26:71 And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him and said unto those that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth.
Mat 26:72 And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.
Mat 26:73 And after a while those that stood by came unto him and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them, for thy speech makes thee manifest.
Mat 26:74 Then he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately a cock crew.
Mat 26:75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, who said unto him, Before the cock crows, thou shalt deny me three times. And he went out and wept bitterly.
In this bible account, believers can see parallels between what occurred with Jesus and His disciples then and what’s happening in our world and in the Church, today. First, I believe Jesus is agonizing over the decaying state of the world right now and is asking believers everywhere, “Could you not watch with Me one hour?”
What happened with Christ’s disciples is still happening! While the world is rapidly sliding into an abyss of moral decay so deep and so dark it will never recover outside of divine intervention, many believers are sleeping instead of “watching” with their LORD. When the soldiers came to arrest Jesus they were caught unaware, caught off guard and they FLED! Peter stayed behind warming himself by a fire but ended up “denying” that he knew Jesus – three times! I would rather WEEP bitter tears interceding for the world, than weep bitter tears because I failed to watch in prayer and fell as a result! If we don’t watch, we won’t SEE the Enemy coming, and when he attacks us we won’t have the spiritual strength to “stand fast.” What will you do when the Antichrist sends soldiers to YOUR house to arrest you? Will you change your testimony about Christ and deny Him, or will you “stand” by Him? You best decide before the soldiers show up at your door.
Friend, I’m sure that if you know Christ, you wouldn’t want to deny Him, BUT remember, our “flesh is weak”, meaning that it is prone to committing sin, to doing the wrong thing. The way to avoid giving in to our flesh, our natural inclinations and find strength to “resist” the Devil’s temptations is to “watch” and “pray” that we “enter not into temptation” but be delivered from evil – Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Eph 6:12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Eph 6:13 Wherefore take up the whole armour of God,that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand.
When the Antichrist begins his campaign to annihilate anyone who refuses to worship him, I wonder if there will be Christians who “deny Christ” in order to save their lives. May you nor I be one! I often pray that no matter what happens to me or to my loved ones, I will never abandon or deny my Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
If ever there was a time for “watching” and praying, it is now. If we do not watch, we will stumble and possibly fall in the hour of trial and testing, just like Jesus’s disciples did, and friend, that HOUR is upon us RIGHT NOW. Believe it or not, this generation is living in the LAST HOUR just before Jesus Christ returns to this earth to judge unrepentant sinners and to “gather His elect” to Himself. [Mt 24:31]
If ever there was a time for hearing the message of the Cross and of the believer’s obligation to take up his/her own cross and follow Jesus, it’s now. Don’t be fooled, believers have been called to “suffer” for Christ – to walk in His footsteps which lead to the Cross. We cannot have a Christianity void of persecution and we cannot have a Christianity which has no Cross! Jesus said, if we want to follow Him we must “take up our cross daily” [Mt 16:24] Ours is to be a life of “self-denial,” of denying our fleshly, natural inclinations to spare ourselves from suffering! Our flesh strives to “save itself” but Jesus teaches us to “lose our lives” for His and the gospel’s sake in order that we might “save them for eternal life” – Mat 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
Trials and tests show who you really are, whether you’re a true believer or not. Mature believers understand that they are called to suffer for the sake of Christ, but babies in Christ may not have fully grasped this truth. While ministers should be teaching the message of the cross, they are preaching a false prosperity message which promises material blessings to those who TITHE to their church, and do whatever else their Pastor asks of them. The prosperity message is wrong – Jesus never promises His followers easy lives devoid of suffering if they tithe to the church. In fact, the tithe or ten percent of one’s income is an Old Covenant law which New Covenant believers are no longer “under” or obligated to keep (Rms 6:14, 7:4 & 6). Under the New Covenant, which Jesus instituted just before His death (Jer 31:31, Heb 8:8 & 13), giving to the maintenance of the ministry is through free will offerings. Ministers who say the tithe is MANDATORY for New Covenant believers are either misinformed or dishonest. Do your own research and you will see. 
As always, if you have any questions or concerns regarding this message, or want to encourage me please feel free to contact me – I would love to hear from you. I pray that the message was helpful to you and that if you’re a believer in Christ you will faithfully follow in the steps of Jesus by taking up your cross daily and denying yourself; for in losing your life for His sake, you will save it for life eternal.
Peace to all who embrace the cross and crucify their flesh nature, that Christ may be formed in them (Gal 4:19).