The Meaning of Matthew 26:39 (Let this cup pass from me)

“And going a little farther, he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39

When I was a theology student, I learned the importance of prayer. One of my favorite verses
that have always guided me on how to pray is Matthew 26:39. The verse describes how Jesus,
the son of God, prays to His father even while in pain. Jesus fell on his face and used humble
words to pray to God. I believe every Christian should understand the meaning of this verse
since it teaches us the importance of having faith and trust in God. Also, understanding this
verse helps believers tell the difference between having faith and being optimistic.

I wrote this article to shed more light on the meaning of Matthew 26:39. Join me as we look at
how Jesus prayed and learn more about the will of God. By reading this article, you will also
learn the context of Matthew 26:39. Here is more!

How People Interpret Matthew 26:39

Some people think the prayer was just a way of Jesus and God trying to help Jesus not face His fate. According to how people interpret it, God’s will was not for Jesus to suffer, and He did not answer Jesus’s request because of their agreement. Also, they suggest that God and Jesus were still one unity even after Jesus suffered after the prayer.

However, this belief is misleading because, according to How Jesus asks God, only God knew his final will, even if there was an agreement. The prayer lets us know that God is omniscient and Jesus, in human form, had to rely on God’s will and not his human desire.

Let this cup pass from me
What happened before Jesus was arrested and crucified? See below

The Context of Matthew 26:39

For any belief to correctly comprehend Matthew 26:39, it is essential to understand what happened before and after the verse. The setting of this verse is the Garden of Gethsemane. Christ had gone with His disciples to pray. It was among the last events before his arrest and death to fulfill the prophecies. Jesus prayed three times to God, but He requested God’s will to happen in all prayers. Therefore, the context of this verse implies the human nature of Jesus regarding the suffering He was going through. He expresses the human desire to eliminate suffering and pain from His life.

The Meaning of Matthew 26:39

“And going a little farther, he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39. This is a prayer from Jesus to God, and the meaning can be determined by breaking down the phrases.

“And Going A little farther” At this point, Jesus wanted more intimacy with His father, and He could only achieve it by isolating himself and talking to Him. This bit suggests that some prayers can be uttered privately, provided there is a deep connection with God.

“He fell on his face and prayed, saying,” Jesus is presented as being in agony about what was about to happen, and all he could do was humble before his father. The meaning of this phrase implies that even when in so much distress, as illustrated by the righteous one, believers are supposed to stay humble and depend on God.

“My Father, if it be possible,” This phrase coming from the most righteous of men and the one part of the Holy Trinity reminds believers that there are some things that only God knows. God is omniscient, and Jesus honors that because when he says, “If it is possible,” he implies that if there is another way to save humankind, God should use it. And this other way, if there is, only God knows it because, in his human nature, Jesus could not know. Therefore, the meaning here is that God is powerful, and only he should be in control and determine what happens.

“Let this cup pass from me;” Although Jesus was going to save humankind, his human form was going through the pain of the flesh like any man. Therefore when he asks that the cup of suffering be taken from Him, he suggests that the physical pain should end. All in all, the cup still signified the wrath of God towards the sinful human race, and it affected Jesus.

“Not as I will, but as you will” This phrase reminds believers that at the time, Jesus was in human form, and He knew that in His human form, He would be more inclined towards the desire of the flesh. Essentially, he tells God to do his prayers according to His (God’s) will. It reminds believers that some prayers are not aligned with the will of God, and God will answer prayers according to His will for human beings.

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