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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Mark 236 - Once More

Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.

Mark 14:39,40

Ever been stuck in a rut? You just keep doing the same thing over and over and over. You can’t seem to breakout of the same ol' same ol' lockdown of life.

Herman’s Hermits sung about this in their song, Henry the VIII[1]. The second verse was the same as the first. They just keep singing the same thing over and over. There is nothing new. Nothing exciting.

This is where the disciples are. They’ve been with Jesus for more than three years. They’ve been in and around Jerusalem for about a week. In and out of the temple every day. Their schedule and movements were predictable.

And after all this moving around, all the activity, all the crowds, it’s no wonder they were tired. But they were more than tired, they were so tired; it was like there were weights on their eyes. But not just with physical weight, there was more to their tiredness than that. Not just their eyes, but their whole person was weighed down. And when you’re weighed down, you’re under a burden. Not just part of the way down, but all the way down. Their bodies were under a great weight.

This is exactly what my brother did. He was not only older, but he was oh so much more powerful I was a skinny punk kid, and my brother was a sculptured, muscular man. When we wrestled, he threw me around the room like a wet dishrag. They he pounced on top of me, sitting on top of me, there was nothing that I could do as he tickled me mercilessly.

It was exactly like this when Penny wrestled Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory[2]. She threw him over and pinned him to the ground. Sheldon was helpless. He couldn’t move. He couldn’t get up. He couldn’t stop her.

And when something like this happens, what can you do? The short answer is nothing. You’re helpless. You’re hapless. You’re hopeless. You can keep struggling but it’s no good. It’s no use. You can’t break free no matter what you do or say.

So, when Jesus asks them why they fell asleep, they didn’t have an answer. They didn’t have an excuse. They didn’t have anyone else to blame.

When you can’t deflect your wrong words, thoughts, actions, or attitudes on someone else, what can you say? Exactly. Nothing. There is nothing to say because you’re responsible. You’re to blame. You can’t push it off on anyone else. There’s no one around to accuse.

This is where Peter, James, and John find themselves. There’s no one else to blame. There is nothing to say. And this is exactly the same place where we find ourselves. We alone are guilty. We alone are to blame.

Modern psychology will tell us that it’s from our DNA. From our upbringing. It’s in our culture. We have so many choices when it comes to who to blame. And there are even more solutions than there are sources. Get a prescription for a pill or two. Self-medicate with supplements, alcohol, drugs, porn. Or get some therapy and meditation. Do some cleansing our bodies and memories. Justify our actions and emotions.

But when it comes to facing our problems, our fears, our weaknesses, where should we turn? Perhaps you’re familiar with the ever-popular invitation from Jesus.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:29

But what about this one?

These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

John 5:39b,40

There were people that refused to come to Jesus to have life. He was right there in front of them, and they hit the “decline” button of life. They were offered so much, and they turned their face away from the only possible answer for life’s deepest question, our most desperate need.

Which brings up the question, why do we turn down this great and gracious offer from Jesus? It can be summed up in one word – pride.

Pride in ourselves. Pride in our own strength. Pride that we can figure it out for ourselves. Pride that we can do it all on our own.

Let me tell you something. Pride is a weak friend that runs at the first sign of trouble. It doesn’t stick around when life gets tough. But Jesus doesn’t run. Jesus doesn’t abandon. Jesus doesn’t give up.

Jesus never fails.

[1] [2]

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