|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:32-42 Christ's sufferings began with the sorest of all, those in his soul. He began to be sorely amazed; words not used in St. Matthew, but very full of meaning. The terrors of God set themselves in array against him, and he allowed him to contemplate them. Never was sorrow like unto his at this time. Now he was made a curse for us; the curses of the law were laid upon him as our Surety. He now tasted death, in all the bitterness of it. This was that fear of which the apostle speaks, the natural fear of pain and death, at which human nature startles. Can we ever entertain favourable, or even slight thoughts of sin, when we see the painful sufferings which sin, though but reckoned to him, brought on the Lord Jesus? Shall that sit light upon our souls, which sat so heavy upon his? Was Christ in such agony for our sins, and shall we never be in agony about them? How should we look upon Him whom we have pierced, and mourn! It becomes us to be exceedingly sorrowful for sin, because He was so, and never to mock at it. Christ, as Man, pleaded, that, if it were possible, his sufferings might pass from him. As Mediator, he submitted to the will of God, saying, Nevertheless, not what I will, but what thou wilt; I bid it welcome. See how the sinful weakness of Christ's disciples returns, and overpowers them. What heavy clogs these bodies of ours are to our souls! But when we see trouble at the door, we should get ready for it. Alas, even believers often look at the Redeemer's sufferings in a drowsy manner, and instead of being ready to die with Christ, they are not even prepared to watch with him one hour.
Verse 38. - Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation. The great temptation of the disciples at that moment was to deny Christ under the influence of fear. And so our Lord gives here the true remedy against temptation of every kind; namely, watchfulness and prayer - watchfulness, against the craft and subtlety of the devil or man; and prayer, for the Divine help to overcome. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Here our Lord graciously finds excuses for them. It is as though he said, "I know that in heart and mind you are ready to cleave to me, even though the Jews should threaten you with death. But I know also that your flesh is weak. Pray, then, that the weakness of the flesh may not overcome the strength of the spirit." St. Jerome says, "In whatever degree we trust to the ardor of the spirit, in the same degree ought we to fear because of the infirmity of the flesh."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation,.... Of denying Christ, and falling off from him, which would quickly offer to them, when they should see him apprehended, bound, and led away.
The spirit truly is ready. The Persic version renders it, "my mind"; as if the Spirit or soul of Christ was meant; whereas it is either to be understood of the evil spirit, Satan, who was disposed to attack them, and especially Peter, whom he desired to have, and sift as wheat; or else the spirit of the disciples, their renewed spirit, which was ready and disposed watching and praying, and willing to abide by Christ:
but the flesh is weak; they were but flesh and blood, and so not a match of themselves for so powerful an adversary as Satan, and therefore had need to watch and pray; or "their body", as the Syriac, Arabic, and Persic versions render it, was weak, and subject to drowsiness and sleep; and especially they were weak and feeble, and very unequal of themselves for spiritual exercises, as they had flesh, or a corrupt nature in them; See Gill on Matthew 26:41.
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