Matthew 26:38-41 Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’ Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’ Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. ‘Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?’ he asked Peter. ‘Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.’
One of my favorite shows is Game of Thrones. One of my favorite characters is Lord Commander John Snow. The “Keepers of the Watch” killed him for bringing their lifelong enemies the “wildings” into the castle, so they could unite against the undead. Magically John Snow is brought back from the dead and he has to execute the men who murdered him, one of which was a young boy named Ollie that he loved. The Watchmen convinced Ollie that John had betrayed them by bringing the “Wildings” into the castle. Ollie’s family was murdered by the “Wildings.” Ollie who should have been watching out for John Snow joined the other men who stabbed him to death. After John’s resurrection he reluctantly executes the men. He hands his mantle over to one of the other commanders. He asks John, “What do you want me to do with it?” He said, “burn it or wear it. I don’t care. My watch is over.” John walks out of the castle.
We are all called to watch over someone and something. It’s usually something or someone that we love dearly. We watch over our family, friends, community, church, and country.
It’s important that when you are in danger you have somebody that you can trust to watch over you. You need God and somebody “godly” to watch over you. Psalm 127:1; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
Jesus was in distress because he was about to be crucified and murdered by the people he was sent to watch over. They felt like Jesus had betrayed them by bringing the “Wildings” or Gentiles into God’s Kingdom. The very ones he came to save wanted him dead.
Jesus asked three of his closest disciples to “watch with me” while he prayed. When he went away to pray Jesus asked God to take away the cup of death but if there was no other way to save his people then let God’s will be done. Facing an excruciating death is one thing but to have your closest friends fall asleep on their watch is another thing.
Jesus came back from praying at night and found his three disciples sleeping. He asked them, could you not watch one hour?”
Have you ever faced something difficult in your life and you needed someone to “watch with you?” What were they watching for?
- They were watching for the people that wanted to kill Jesus. You need safe people in your inner circle who are going to help you watch out for unsafe people.
- You need people in your inner circle who know how to watch and pray. Some people know how to watch but not praying and some people are praying but not paying attention to what’s coming up around you. You need both.
- You need people who can stay awake in a crisis. One thing about watchmen is that they have to have the ability to stay awake while other people are sleeping. Can I count on you to stay awake while I’m trying to gather strength for the hardest thing I’ve ever had to face?
- You need people who are spirit led and not flesh driven. When you are in a crunch you need people who are not in their flesh because they will go to sleep on you! Fleshy friends will be the first to go to sleep on you in your time of need.
Jesus came back three times to find his disciples sleeping. He told them that the watch was over. His betrayer Judas brought the arresting party to capture Jesus. Jesus loved Judas. Judas had allowed greed to sell out Jesus. Judas pretended to be “All in” but was only in it for himself.
They crucified Jesus but God raised him from the dead. Whatever you are going through make sure you have the right people watching over you and if someone has trusted you to watch with them don’t go to sleep. Your watch is not over.
Thank you for watching over me all night long. Please send me people that will watch with me and not fall asleep on me. When it’s my turn to watch give me the strength not to fall into temptation but be delivered from it.
In Jesus Name,