Friday, September 5, 2014

Watching With Jesus


Stay here and watch with Me —Matthew 26:38

Watch with Me.” Jesus was saying, in effect, “Watch with no private point of view at all, but watch solely and entirely with Me.” In the early stages of our Christian life, we do not watch with Jesus, we watch for Him. We do not watch with Him through the revealed truth of the Bible even in the circumstances of our own lives. Our Lord is trying to introduce us to identification with Himself through a particular “Gethsemane” experience of our own. But we refuse to go, saying, “No, Lord, I can’t see the meaning of this, and besides, it’s very painful.” And how can we possibly watch with Someone who is so incomprehensible? How are we going to understand Jesus sufficiently to watch with Him in His Gethsemane, when we don’t even know why He is suffering? We don’t know how to watch with Him— we are only used to the idea of Jesus watching with us.
The disciples loved Jesus Christ to the limit of their natural capacity, but they did not fully understand His purpose. In the Garden of Gethsemane they slept as a result of their own sorrow, and at the end of three years of the closest and most intimate relationship of their lives they “all . . . forsook Him and fled” (Matthew 26:56).
“They were all filled with the Holy Spirit . . .” (Acts 2:4). “They” refers to the same people, but something wonderful has happened between these two events— our Lord’s death, resurrection, and ascension— and the disciples have now been invaded and “filled with the Holy Spirit.” Our Lord had said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you . . .” (Acts 1:8). This meant that they learned to watch with Him the rest of their lives.
Oswald Chambers with wife and baby


  1. Thersites,

    "To be absent from the Body is to be present with the Lord."

    I don't think that rather silly statement came directly from St. Paul, but it pretty much epitomizes his attitude toward sex.

    St. Paul was obviously a deeply conflicted individual when it came to sex. He, apparently, regarded it as a great evil, but then said "It is better to marry than to burn."

    I believe "Saints" Paul and Augustine both left a dismal, corrosive legacy that has done great harm to the human psyche, and to our hope of ever understanding the purpose for which Christ Jesus came to earth. It also poisoned the Institution -- or variety thereof -- that bear His Holy Name from the outset.

    Denying the virtue and value of sexual affection effectively sowed the seeds of Failure into the soil that nourished the great movement that became institutionalized Christianity.

    Sex is like Fire. It can be good or bad depending on the uses to which it may be put., and by that I don't mean the classic Procreation v. Recreation argument. It's far subtler and more complex than that.

    As Shakespeare said, "There's nothing either right or wrong but thinking makes it so."

    Sex used either as a weapon or a medium of exchange is obviously not something we ought to encourage.

    Sex used purely as a means of self-gratification that fails to take the needs and feelings of a partner into account is equally undesirable -- "fun" thought it may be for the moment.

    The notion that sex should be engaged in only as a grim "duty" we must perform in order to propagate the species is possibly the most evil thoughts ever to enter human consciousness.


    But getting in touch with Spirit is a higher calling -- and ultimately far more sustaining -- than mere carnality as such.

    Take it from one who found that out the hard way. ;-)

  2. Waylon, I'm sorry, but whenever I see a term like HOLOHOAX emerge n a piece that purports to be serious, red flags immediately start to fly in my mind.

    While I tend to agree that the horrors of the Holocaust have been overemphasized, probably dstorted, and capitalized upon too much by strong, highly vocal elements among the Jews, I would never even dream of going so far as to champion the notion that the Holocaust never happened.

    But I DO believe that the significance of Jesus Christ was to show us that the barbarism, brutality, pettiness, vindictiveness, vituperativeness, legalistic thinking and tribal CONCEIT of the Old Testament was an EVIL that could -- and MUST -- be overcome by all-encompassing Love in order for mankind to be "saved" from his selfish desires and power mad proclivities.

    I'm not a all sure Oswald Chambers believed what I have come to believe, but his daily meditations gathered posthumously by his wife into the volume she called My Utmost for His Highest have helped me a great deal cope wit the exigencies of daily living.

    "The proof of the pudding," as they say, "is in the eating." ;-)

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. My bad, this was supposed to be the "Law to Love" link, above. :(

  5. Respect is something that is earned, Lurker.

    Those who fail to "earn" it have no legit room to complain.

  6. ...especially those who fail to adhere to the Constitutional limits imposed upon them by our agreed to "social contract".

  7. "If once you forfeit the confidence of your fellow-citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem." - Abraham Lincoln

  8. "Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth."
    - Albert Einstein

  9. In the Garden of Gethsemane they slept as a result of their own sorrow...

    I never interpreted that portion of Scripture in that way. Rather, I thought they fell asleep because they were either bored or didn't know how to pray properly.

  10. Gethsemane is a symbol for the Depths of Despair, the Bottom, the Nadir, the Lowest Point, the Pits. It's a symbol for Agony for the Loss of Hope.

    Frankly, I think the disciples fell asleep simply because they were physically and emotionally exhausted.

    After their inspiring journey with Jesus it looked like The End was nigh.

    They were not expecting The Resurrection.

    It is important to remember that they were human beings like all the rest of us, and that Jesus too was fully human. That made Him as capable of suffering pain as we. If that had not ben true, His life would have little meaning for us.

  11. FT,
    I see Gethsemane as both literal and figurative.

    I agree that the disciples didn't understand the bigger picture.

    I've never really criticized them for falling asleep. But it is sad that they spent three years with their Messiah and still didn't "get it."

    The resurrection and the Holy Spirit later made all the difference. We have the benefit of knowing about both right now.



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