Flight School: Gethsemane – Trials

Luke 22:39-46
Jesus asked his disciples to pray with him on the Mount of Olives. Jesus went there often to pray. He asked his disciples to pray with him on this extremely difficult night. He told them to pray that they would not fall into temptation. The Greek word that Jesus used for temptation was “peirasmos”. Despite his instructions, the disciples fell asleep shortly thereafter. Jesus woke them up and told them again to pray that they would not fall into peirasmos.

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Flight School: Gethsemane – Self-Focus

Luke 22:39-46
Do you find yourself recalling something someone said or did that speaks to your present circumstances, even though you didn’t find it remarkable or even noteworthy back when it occurred? Many times, we’re just too caught up in our own circumstances to seriously consider what others are going through. Maybe someone showed great courage and we took it for granted at the time, but, now faced with trial, we recall with remarkable clarity how that person stood firm.

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Flight School: Gethsemane – Context

Luke 22:39-46
‘When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation”’ (Luke 22:45-46 NIV).

Jesus and the disciples are in the Garden of Gethsemane. They have left their personal celebration of the Feast of the Passover, what we know of as the Last Supper, and have walked to the Mount of Olives, less than a half-mile outside of the city walls, a place familiar to them from long practice where Jesus has asked them to pray with Him. He has taken Peter, James and John and separated Himself ‘a stone’s throw away’ (v.41) where He has been agonizing in prayer. When He returns to them, He finds them sleeping rather than praying and tosses this admonition into their midst. What is it that Jesus is trying to accomplish here?

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Flight School: Understanding

Matthew 16:5-12
So what are we to think about the ‘yeast of the Pharisees’ that Jesus is warning His disciples against in these verses? Is this some arcane ancient reference or does it have application to you and I today? The Pharisees are no longer around to badger us in the same way they did Jesus. But what is this ‘yeast’? Is it really something that we have to be concerned with today?

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Flight School: Sadducees & Pharisees

Matthew 16:1-4
Jesus and the disciples are, as seems to be the norm, out on tour. They have just crossed the Sea of Galilee after feeding the four thousand (Matthew 15:32-39) and are somewhere in the region of Magdala, on the western side of that Sea. As they are doing whatever it is they are doing, up walk a contingent of the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the religious and political leaders of the day, asking for ‘a sign from heaven’ (v.1). Jesus stops and gives them an answer, but it isn’t the answer or sign they were looking for. “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah” (v.4) is what He does give them and then He turns and walks away. The question that seems to be hanging out there begging to be answered is ‘What were these Pharisees and Sadducees trying to accomplish?’ Who are these guys and why did they take the trouble to run down Jesus in order to put in their request for a sign from heaven? If we are to have some idea about what Jesus means when He says “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees” (Matthew 16:5), where we are ultimately going this week, we have to have some idea of who these guys are and where they are coming from.

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