This is written by Rick Blyth. He is married to Henrietta and is the Head of Policy at Royal Town Planning Institute.

Mark 14:32-52

32 They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, 'Sit here while I pray.' 33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 'My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,' he said to them. 'Stay here and keep watch.'

35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 'Abba, Father,' he said, 'everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.'

37 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. 'Simon,' he said to Peter, 'are you asleep? Couldn't you keep watch for one hour? 38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.'

39 Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. 40 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.

41 Returning the third time, he said to them, 'Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!'

Jesus arrested
43 Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders.

44 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: 'The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.' 45 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, 'Rabbi!' and kissed him. 46 The men seized Jesus and arrested him. 47 Then one of those standing near drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.

48 'Am I leading a rebellion,' said Jesus, 'that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.' 50 Then everyone deserted him and fled.

51 A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, 52 he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.


When discussing this passage many people concentrate on Jesus' ordeal. Maybe not so many on the disciples, but they do get a look in usually. But I hadn't noticed this passage was so much about one disciple. Like : "Peter I can't believe that you among all of them went to sleep!" Jesus knew what was going to happen, and in particular what this disciple was going to do to disown him, because he said so at the supper they had together earlier. Surely Peter would get that this was a time for a prayer deep-dive!

But Jesus didn't make an outright condemnation of Peter despite all that he knew was to come - he made an accurate assessment: "Part of you is eager, ready for anything in God; but another part is as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire." (MSG)

Have you ever either had to give feedback on someone, or receive it? The best ways of doing feedback are accurate. They don't concentrate on poor performance, although they don't ignore it either. Because doing that will only demotivate the other person, and will fail to build on their strengths. And that can be applied not only in places like work, but also to our more personal relationships.

Lord help me understand you, myself and other people not naively but accurately. Understanding both their strengths and weaknesses. And help me relate to myself and others accordingly.

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