What Jesus Did! 'The Father's Will' — Matthew 26:39-44

Thursday, December 2, 2021

[Jesus] went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine."

Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, "Couldn't you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!"

Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, "My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done. When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn't keep their eyes open.

So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again.

— Matthew 26:39-44 NLT

Key Thought

To call God Father can sound pretty chummy. In reality, to call God Father means to surrender our will to the work of the Sovereign God of the universe and all eternity. Jesus not only taught us to call God Abba Father; he also showed us what it means to be God's child. His frank, open, and heartfelt conversations and prayers with God remind us of God's desire for honest intimacy with us. This intimacy works, however, only when we are aware that he is God and we are not. We are here to obey and do his will. He has promised, and demonstrated in Jesus, that if we will trust our life's work to him, he will not forget us or leave us to decay. But he does call on us to follow him, no matter the consequences in the short run. When we do follow him, victory awaits! Jesus has shown us that the agony of submission gives way to the joy of vindication and victory!

Today's Prayer

O Master and King of the universe, thank you for allowing me to call you Abba Father. You are worthy of so much more praise than I could ever offer. Please accept my life, and the obedience to your will that I offer, as my sacrifice of thanks and praise to you. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Hebrews 5:7-10
  • 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
  • John 8:27-29


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Illustration of Matthew 26:39-44 NLT — "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.