Jesus didn’t “just happen” to be on the Mount of Olives at his arrest. Luke says Jesus went to the Mount “as usual” (literally “as was his custom”). This fits with what we know of Jesus’ disciplined way of life. Pastor Hamilton’s devotional connects Jesus’ custom with Zechariah’s prophecy (Zechariah 14:4) that Judah’s king would stand on the Mount of Olives.
- John 18:2 says Judas knew just where to find Jesus because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. God’s can meet us anywhere, but Jesus (like many of God’s people) knew the value of having a special place of prayer. Have you chosen such a place for your own prayer life? If not, will you choose one and use it often?
- We keep finding “king” and “kingdom” images. We are used to living in a democracy, so these can be tough. Like all images, they have their limits. God, for example, does not rule by coercion and fear, as many kings have. What does it mean to you to make Jesus your king? In what ways is it hard for you to submit to him totally?
We looked pretty deeply into what went on at Gethsemane at the base of the Mount of Olives during our midweek worship services on Wednesday, Jesus, prayer and praying being one of those things.
The GPS reminds us that prayer was Jesus’ “custom” maybe a better way to describe this would be “holy habit” and that the Garden of Gethsemane may have been one of his favorite places to pray. The GPS also asks if we have a favorite place to pray. I know some folks have home altars and other places that are set a side for prayers, these can be excellent places and reminders to take time out to make it your custom to pray. If you have a place or a reminder to help your pray regularly, I would love to hear about it, either in person or in the comments.
In my life I have found that there are two particular types of places that I find it easy, even necessary to pray.
The first is the shore near a large body of water… It has to be big enough so you can’t really see the shore on the other side. Some of my favorites are the shores around Washington Island, WI, the jagged shore line of Northern Washington State and the smooth sandy beaches off of Naples FL.
The second would be found way up in the mountains. On my list of favorites here are Holden Village out in Washington again, and just about anywhere in the Rockies!
Large bodies of water are not conveniently located here, and while the hills around Reedsburg, the Baraboo Bluff’s, are not exactly mountains, if I need some time in a place away to pray… A 5 minute drive out in any direction will get me to a fair sized hill to clear my mind for prayer!