I have this issue with falling asleep when I’m watching TV at night and my family makes serious fun of me. I can be totally invested in a series and extremely anticipatory of the outcome of the episode and boom, I’m asleep in 15 mins. Sometimes snoring in my chair, much to the delight of my children. Let’s just say pictures and recordings have been taken.
My point is this, no matter how much I want to watch the show I have physical, human limitations that prevent me from doing what I want. In chapters 14 and 15 I think we see this in Peter. He is adamant that he will stand with Jesus no matter what. Jesus tells him he will deny he even knows him before the night is over. Jesus asks him to watch and pray and Peter can’t stay awake. Peter can’t do what he wants to do when faced with his human limitations. When faced with pain, suffering, and most likely death, he can’t keep his promise of allegiance and denies he knows Jesus 3 times in one night. When asked to stay awake and pray he just can’t do it and falls asleep over and over again.
Peter has human limitations of exhaustion and fear. Peter is human just like us. We fail even when our hearts are in the right place. We want to provide for the less fortunate. We want to love our friends no matter what. We want to stand in the gap for the oppressed and those who can’t stand up for themselves. But still, we pass by those in need because we just don’t have the strength to deal with it. We shut out a friend whose mess seems too difficult to navigate and we are afraid of the repercussions. We keep quiet on issues that matter to us because we are afraid of conflict.
Jesus knows that we have human limitations. He knows that there will be times when our hearts are in the right place but our bodies just can’t follow through because we are tired, weak, or afraid. But still he doesn’t want us to miss out on the best show on earth. Partnering up with Jesus to do what He is doing to help others, to love others, to stand up for those that can’t, is the best gig there is and he wants you to be a part of it. He offers relief and strength to get through your human limitations through prayer. In Mark 14:38 He says, “Keep watch and pray, so the you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” The more you spend time with him in prayer and reflection, the stronger you will be in the face of your human limitations. And the less likely you will be caught asleep in the middle of your favorite show.
Director of Family Life