The Mountains are Calling: Mount of Olives

This is the second sermon in the series, “The Mountains are Calling and I Must Go”. To see all sermons in this series, CLICK HERE.

The Mount of Olives is an example of a mountaintop experience that is more challenging than celebratory. Some mountaintops we enjoy and some we endure, but we never stop climbing.

Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. 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.” Jesus Arrested While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him.

Luke 22:39-47

A couple day prior to this, Judas, one of the Twelve Disciples, went to the Sanhedrin and agreed to turn Jesus over to them for a sum of money. Jesus later had the Passover meal with His disciples – the Lord’s Supper – and told His disciples that one of them would betray Him.

Jesus knew what was about to happen. He knew the steps were in motion that would ultimately lead to His arrest, crucifixion, and finally, His resurrection. 

Even though He knew the resurrection would occur, Jesus had real, raw, human emotions and needed to be alone with His Father in prayer.

TWO TRUTHS FROM THE MOUNT OF OLIVES

VICTORIES WON IN PRIVATE BUILD COURAGE IN PUBLIC

Verse 39 tells us that Jesus went up to the Mount of Olives to pray “as usual”. This was not the first time He went away to pray.

In Luke 5:15-16, we see Jesus healing people, “but Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

After being approached by the Pharisees about healing on the Sabbath, Luke 6:12 says, “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.

FOLLOWING JESUS IS NOT ALWAYS GOING TO BE EASY, BUT IT IS ALWAYS GOING TO BE WORTH IT

When Jesus went up to the Mount of Olives to pray, His disciples followed Him.

Jesus doesn’t promise us happiness. In fact, in John 16, He tells us that there will be trials, but we can rest assured that He has overcome. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES ABOUT SUFFERING

#1 – SUFFERING IS UNIVERSAL AND UNAVOIDABLE

You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

2 Timothy 3:10-12

#2 – SUFFERING IS NOT A JUDGMENT FOR SIN

Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Hebrew 2:18

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.

Hebrew 4:15

#3 – SUFFERING IS TEMPORARY

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

1 Peter 5:10

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”

Hebrew 13:5-6

#4 – IN THE MIDST OF SUFFERING, IT’S OK TO ASK “WHY?”

I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul. say to God: Do not declare me guilty, but tell me what charges you have against me. Does it please you to oppress me, to spurn the work of your hands, while you smile on the plans of the wicked?

Job 10:1-3

TAKEAWAYS FROM THE MOUNTAINTOP OF SUFFERING

When we find ourselves on the mountaintop of suffering,

IF WE WILL PRAY

When we find ourselves on the mountaintop of suffering,

IF WE WILL YIELD

WE ARE ABLE TO FACE

whatever meets us on the mountain.

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