If Satan truly had free reign and will, he could have attempted this attack long ago, perhaps before the possibility of Jesus having world wide ministry and impact. We know that there have been other chances. We know that the religious have been planning as well. We also know that the prophecies and Jesus have spelled the coming events out well so that Satan would know how not to go about this. And yet he does. God plays him like a fiddle.
Not sure if this discourse amongst the Disciples is given full justice by the text. I imagine this to have occurred much more organically over the course of the evening than presented. If our own dinner conversations where condensed down to two sentences, we'd look pretty foolish as well. What we are told is simply what we most need to know. Surely there was much discussed that night, all with sincere and honest and devoted intentions; just as much as that not discussed and reserved in fear and uncertainty. In other words, they were being human. It must have been a painfully haunting and surreal meal for Judas.
If not for it's profound sense of personal moral conviction, this passage of scripture would be viewed universally with no doubt as the greatest written literary work of all time. I can think of no other author's development of story and character and description, no other pull on the heart strings of the observant audience greater than this. Even Shakespeare (who is said to have had a small hand in the early translation of the King James Version) would have been humbled by this master piece for the accomplishment of prose and stark contrasts of light and dark put forth here. To have this profound and rich of a thematic idea is a writers never fulfilled dream, to be able to fulfill it's potential with it's deserved lyrical craft a writer's eternal curse. And yet it is written so simply. If not for the set up of this particular passage, the following climatic passion and crucification have not the same effect. Why this passage is not intellectually considered as such (even if as merely fiction) speaks volumes of the truer heart of man.
We find that Jesus prayed most all of the time. We are not privy to the contents of those prayers. Here we are privy and we must wonder both why and by whom? The disciples are in the distance sleeping. The Holy Spirit is telling us something very important here. This prayer is for our benefit as much as His. The cup cannot be taken away. This IS God's will.
"sleeping for sorrow". They knew something was about to happen. Mentally no doubt they had tried to work all the possibilities toward their favor. Jesus seemed to be taking this course regardless. This was there way of dealing with the sorrow and resultant mental fatigue.
I think that it is too easy for us here to judge Peter. He is not reborn yet. He is still trying to approach his relationship to the Savior Christ in intellectual rather than spiritual terms much like us. The fact is that none of us truly know how we would have reacted ourselves faced with this hostile and surreal situation. Rationally, if denial meant being able to continue observing the nights events without having been set out and/or beaten it may have been well worth it in a more practical way. None of the other twelve after all were risking the effort to witness the events unfolding; only the two Marys and doubting half brother James were also watching on.
The mob mentality begins. Perhaps you have witnessed or been part of this overwhelming dynamic yourselves. It is the most unexplainable force of humankind; what mobs of people will allow themselves to do when swept over by this force. Ration and reasoning, temperance and justice disappear. Captors assume license that in no other way would be granted. The strange, the ma-cab, the grotesque, the venomous comes out of men. The sin nature within us all becomes paramount like at no other time.
2012 - pBiblx2 Field Wise Bible System Version 2.0.9d - GPL3