Rev. Dr. Kelvin T. Calloway, Senior Pastor, Bethel A.M.E. Church
By Rev. Dr. Kelvin T. CallowaySenior Pastor, Bethel A.M.E. Church
Scripture: Luke 22: 39-42
Some time ago, while relaxing at home watching television, I saw an old episode of "Father Knows Best." In the 1960's and 70's, this was a weekly situation comedy composed of a father and mother and several children.
From week to week, the children would get into all kinds of predicaments for not following their father's advice. The series attempted to show, in a comical way, that children should follow the advice of their fathers because their fathers knew what was best for them.
In the text, Jesus was in the shadow of the cross. Â Having just instituted the Lord's Supper with His disciples and sensing that His hour was drawing near, He went to the garden of Gethsemane to pray.
What do you do when you sense that something is not quite right? Judas had gone to sell Him out and, shortly thereafter, would come and betray Him with a kiss. Jesus sensed that something was not right, so He went to Gethsemane and kneeled and prayed.
He prayed as we would pray; that God would not allow what He sensed was about to happen, to happen. He prayed that the cup be taken away - the cup symbolic of suffering and shame, the cup symbolic of torture and death -- He prayed that this bitter cup be taken away.
Then His prayer takes a dramatic turn from our prayers. He prayed that God would allow to happen, what God wants to happen. Nevertheless, Jesus said in the latter part of Verse 42, "not my will but Thy will be done." Jesus ends His prayer with cooperation, courage, and confidence in God, His father, ultimately sensing that God knows what's best.
God knows what's best for us because God's will is based on deliberate, careful thought and consideration. God does not act impulsively nor haphazardly, He acts deliberately. God knows what God is doing. There is no "if I shoulda, woulda, coulda" with God. There is order, and method, and purpose to God's acts.
God knows what's best for us because God's will is synonymous with God's character. Â I Peter 1:16 says, "Be ye holy, for I am holy." Â God's ways are not our ways and God's thoughts are not our thoughts. Deuteronomy 32:4 says, "God is righteous" and therefore, God's will is also righteous. It is straight, and fair, and without prejudice or partiality.
God is no respecter of personality. God treats everybody the same. Psalms 119:68 says God is good; "thou art good and doest good." God's will for us is good and everything that is good comes from God.
And then God knows what's best for us because God's will is in accord with His pleasure and delight. God's is gratified when we chose to be in fellowship and relationship with Him. God is just as proud to be our God as we are to be God's children. God is just as proud to be our doctor as we are to be God's patient. God is just as proud to have our back as we are to let God have our back. God is pleased to be called our God. God takes delight in knowing that we trust, and depend, and lean on Him.
Because of the inscrutability of God's will, we can never fully understand or comprehend God's will. Therefore, we must surrender in reverence and obedience to God's will. That's what Jesus did in the text; "not my will but thy will be done." He surrendered His will to the will of God.
We may not understand all the ways that God will lead us, but we will understand it better by and by. By and by, when the morning comes, when all the saints of God will be gathering home, we will tell the story how we overcome, and we will understand it better, by and by. Amen!