Today’s Bible Reading:
Today’s Bible Verse(s):
John 18:1-2 (CSB): “After Jesus had said these things, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron Valley, where there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it. Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples.”
Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):
Virtually everyone who is familiar with Jesus’ crucifixion knows that He spent time with His disciples in prayer the night before His death on the cross. Most folks know that He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives.
Yet, many might suspect that this was a rare occasion. It may be supposed that Jesus might have gone to that place to pray only on the night He was betrayed.
But, our verses for today make it clear that Jesus went there so often that, even though Judas wasn’t in the room when Jesus may have said that He was going to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, Judas knew exactly where He was.
In fact, I suspect that if one of the disciples had said that Jesus had gone out to pray, all of them would have suspected that He was in the Garden. It seems that it was His favorite spot to pray when He was in Jerusalem.
I want to draw out to things from this:
First, since Jesus had a special location that He regularly prayed, we should consider doing the same thing. Is there a special location that you can select that is away from the hustle and bustle of life where you can get alone with God to pray? Consider following Jesus’ example by finding such a place.
Finally, I like visualizing things. I suspect that you do, too. So, I’ll end with some videos and pictures of the Mount of Olives and Garden of Gethsemane that I took in the summer of 2018.
This first video is taken from the top of the Mount of Olives. The Garden of Gethsemane would have been near the base of this mountain. Also, the thousands of graves in the Kidron Valley were not there 2,000 years ago.
This next video was taken in the Kidron Valley below the traditional site of the Temple Mount. As I pan the video around, you can see the “Church of All Nations” with the traditional site of the Garden of Gethsemane to the left of the church, with all of the olive trees.
Finally, here is a picture in the place that is believed to be the Garden of Gethsemane.
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Lord Jesus, thank You so much that You went to that Garden and then went to the cross and then vacated the tomb. You did it all to demonstrate how wonderful our God is and You also did it to invite me into a relationship with the Trinity. I will be eternally and overwhelmingly grateful to You for what You did for me. And as I consider how You spent so much time in prayer, I desire to increase my own prayer time so that I am spending more time with You. Amen.