The Bible that I carried as a child contained a picture of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. He seemed peaceful, yet one reading of the Gospels disrupts that image. Mark says, “Jesus fell to the ground” (Mark 14:35). According to Luke, Jesus was “full of pain” (Luke 22:44). What do we do with this image of Jesus?
Simple — we read it when we feel the same. We read it when we feel afraid. For isn’t it likely that fear was one of the emotions Jesus felt? He saw something in the future so fierce, so foreboding that he begged for a change of plans: “Father, if you are willing, take away this cup of suffering” (Luke 22:42). How remarkable that Jesus felt such fear, but how kind that he told us about it. We see no mask of strength, but we do hear a request for strength. And the fact that he prayed invites us to do the same.