Audio Sermon “God's Miniature”

Oct 2, 2017
“God's Miniature" No.9 by Rev. Toru Asai
Mat 26:36-46, John 8:36, etc.

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Eph 5:1-2)

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Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled (Mat 26:36-37).

Up to this point, Jesus had been totally fearless about the coming sufferings and death that he was going to experience. Every time he prophesied to the disciples concerning what was going to happen in Jerusalem, no hint of sorrow, agony, or worry was found in his speech. He always set his face forward to Jerusalem knowing exactly what was ahead. Here, however, the Bible says, "he began to be sorrowful and troubled." He said to the three disciples:

My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me (v. 38).

His sorrow was so strong that he felt like dying. To hear such words from the mouth of Jesus who claimed to be "the resurrection and the life" is so unlike Jesus. And his request to the disciples, "Stay here and keep watch with me," even sounds as if he is begging them to pray for him. Is this the same Jesus who said, "Get behind me, Satan!" at Peter's sympathetic denial of the prophecy concerning his death and sufferings?

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will (v. 39)."

Note that the expression, "if it is possible," indicates that his request was different from what the Father desired. Jesus' own desire was for this cup to be taken from him, and the Father's desire was for Jesus to drink from it. The "cup" in this sense is often used symbolically to mean the wrath of God manifested in his judgements in the Old Testament. Jesus, at this point, came to desire what the Father did not desire. This was completely different from Jesus who said, "I and the Father are one," or "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." All these indicate that Jesus was purposely made to be in this condition by the Father, and it was for our redemption.

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body (flesh) is weak (vv. 40-41)."

"The spirit is willing" means that the spirit who is living in in them is willing to do what God desires, and "but the flesh is weak" means that another desire that is in their flesh works against it causing them to sleep spiritually so that they end up not doing what God desires. When one walks according to the flesh, he/she cannot do what God desires. This is the most fundamental problem that our world of humanity has been facing. For this very reason, Jesus suffered in the garden of Gethsemane.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed (John 8:36).

Here, being "free" means to be able to do what the Father desires as what he/she desires. This is the way that you live as his miniature. However, if there is division in you between your spirit and soul, you will try to do a good thing that God tells you to do only as something that you must do while you in the flesh desire a different thing, and will eventually end up doing what your flesh desires, not what God or your spirit desires. Thank God who saved us from this slavery through Christ! It is crucial that you know that the Son has set you free, and it was a redemption. It is not by trying or working hard that you overcome the problem mentioned above, but by faith in this redemption, or by accepting this spirituality that you begin to live as God's miniature.

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