Awhile back I was listening to a message by the now (unfortunately for us) deceased Dwight Pryor and he was going through the book of Hebrews. He talked about how “in His flesh” Jesus was tempted in every way we are yet was w/o sin. Yes, Jesus was fully God but He was also fully man and these two truths must be held in tension.
In His man-ness Jesus was tempted by sin yet every day and in every way He submitted to His Father’s will. Every day of His life in the big things and small things Jesus said “not My will but Your will be done.” So that in the garden when everything within Him was crying out to say “no” to His Father, when everything within Him was horrified at what He was about to go through and probably wanted to run (remember the sweating of blood), Jesus was able to sit and stay (in His human-ness) and say “yes” to His Father.
In His humanity Jesus had to “learn to submit to and obey” (Heb 5:8) His Father. That day in the garden may not have been the first time Jesus was tempted to say “nope, I really don’t want to do that!” He fasted for 40 days and nights, w/o food and water, in the incredibly hot and humid desert in Judea. He said “yes” to those His Father told Him to heal but what about all those He had to say “no” to? How it must have hurt Jesus to see anyone in pain – physical, emotional or spiritual. And on the cross, to be able to cry out “Father forgive them” to those who were watching Him die an agonizing death may not have been easy either.
Being a disciple of the Rabbi Jesus means walking in His footsteps and being like Him. Which means learning like Jesus did to say yes to the Father in every way, not just the big things but even the small. Yes, Lord, I will get up this morning and spend time with You even though I’d rather stay in bed. Yes Lord, I will choose not to eat but instead I will fast bc You are asking me to. Yes Lord I will forgive my spouse who hurt me and doesn’t seem sorry enough. Yes Lord, I will serve my family, my friends, my co-workers with joy even when I feel grumpy and cranky. Yes Lord I will stand for You even though no one else is.
May we learn to say “yes, not my will but Your will be done” to our Father in everything, the big issues and the small. May we learn obedience through suffering as Jesus did. And as we grow in obedience may we too one day stand firm, even though all else stand against us.