Mt. 26:36-46; Mk. 14:32-42; Lk. 22:39-46; Jn. 18:1
At a late hour on Thursday night, Jesus and His disciples went to Gethsemane. Earlier, they had met in an upper room where they had observed the Feast of the Passover and He had instituted the Lord’s Supper. He had spent a long time that night with the apostles preparing them for the events which were to take place soon.
Gethsemane was a garden about one-half mile from Jerusalem and was a place where Jesus often went when He was in the area. It was at the foot of the Mount of Olives and had at one time been a place of oil presses.
Jesus was heavily distressed and instructed the apostles to sit while He went a little farther to pray. He took Peter, James and John with Him and left them at another place to watch while He went and prayed.
As Jesus prayed, the human side of Him being distressed prayed for that cup of suffering to be taken away from Him. Even then, He left it up to God that His will be done.
Earlier that evening, Peter had boasted of his loyalty and courage, but when Jesus returned, He found His three most trusted apostles asleep. As He scolded the men, He warned Peter to be on guard. He said, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Jesus returned to pray the same prayer twice more and each time, He returned and found the three apostles asleep.