Kefa, Ya’akov, and Yochanan Accompany Yeshua to the Garden of Gethsemane

In my last post, we looked at both Mattityahu’s and Mark’s reporting a conversation between Kefa (and the other emissaries) while they are on the Mount of Olives. In this post, Yeshua asks Kefa, Ya’akov, and Yochanan to accompany Him to the Garden of Gethsemane.

Because we are focusing on Kefa in this series, I will not be saying much about Yeshua’s actions.

36 Then Yeshua went with His talmidim to a place called Gat-Sh’manim and said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”

In the place today, called the Garden of Gethsemane, are very old, gnarled olive trees; they may have been alive when Yeshua was on earth.

They may have arrived at Gat-Sh’manim by 10 or 11 p.m. (which was well into the night in that culture). Because Pesach night had to be spent within the more significant boundaries of Yerushalayim, which did not include Bethany, they would not return to Bethany that night.

37 He took with Him Kefa and Zavdai’s two sons. Grief and anguish came over Him, 38 and He said to them, “My heart is so filled with sadness that I could die! Remain here and stay awake with Me.” 39 Going on a little farther, he fell on his face, praying, “My Father, if possible, let this cup pass from me! Yet — not what I want, but what you want!” 40 He returned to the talmidim and found them sleeping. He said to Kefa, “Were you so weak that you couldn’t stay awake with Me for even an hour?

Note once again, that Yeshua addresses Kefa as the leader of the group.

The talmidim were asked to stay awake like the porters, slaves in charge of the door. It was customary to stay awake late on the Pesach night and to speak of God’s redemption. They should have been able to stay awake to keep watch. According to one Jewish teaching, if anyone in the Pesach group fell asleep (not merely dozed), the group was thereby dissolved. [1]

41 Stay awake, and pray that you will not be put to the test – the spirit indeed is eager, but human nature is weak.”42 A second time He went off and prayed. “My Father, if this cup cannot pass away unless I drink it, let what you want be done.” 43 Again He returned and found them sleeping; their eyes were so heavy. 44 Leaving them again, He went off and prayed a third time, saying the same words. 45 Then He came to the talmidim and said, “For now, go on sleeping, take your rest… Look! The time has come for the Son of Man to be betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Get up! Let’s go! Here comes my betrayer!” ~ Matthew 26:36-46 (CJB)

Romans appreciated loyalty to one’s sense of duty; Judaism stressed faithfulness to God’s law even to the point of dying for it. Thus, Yeshua’s intense faithfulness to his calling.

The Temple Guard for the Cohen HaGadol came to arrest Yeshua. Then they laid hold of Yeshua and arrested him; 47 but one of the people standing nearby drew his sword and struck at the servant of the Cohen HaGadol, cutting off his ear. [2]Then Shim’ on Kefa, who had a sword, drew it and struck the slave of the Cohen HaGadol, cutting off his right ear; the slave’s name was Melekh. Yeshua said to Kefa, “Put your sword back in its scabbard! This is the cup the Father has given me; am I not to drink it?” [3]

As a slave of the Cohen HaGadol, Melekh would be an influential person with much authority; it is possible that Melekh was leading the expedition. Kefa’s sword was short and could be hidden under his robe.

Once again, we see Kefa’s impetuous nature in full action. Yeshua’s remark to Kefa: This is the cup the Father has given me; am I not to drink it?” fits his prayers perfectly at Gat-Sh’manim.

In my next post, Kefa Denies His Knowledge of Yeshua.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] Bible Background Commentary – New Testament.

[2] Mark 14:46-47 (CJB)

[3] John 18:10-11 (CJB)

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