During the Gethsemane experience, Jesus was frustrated that the disciples failed to watch and pray while he went off by Himself to pray. The idea that the disciples were to watch is, at first, a bit perplexing. What were they to be watching? It seems the thought is that Jesus was expecting them to be alert, stay focused, so as not to be distracted by earthly matters—not to fall into temptation.
Jesus has the same instructions for us today. In other words, we are to pay attention to how we serve God and how He serves us. The scriptures are filled with instructions like, “…it is all the more necessary that we pay attention to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.” (Hebrews 2:1); “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around … looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8); and “Pay careful attention to your own work … (Galatians 6:4).
Jesus gave us a pattern to follow when He looked up and saw the crowds that were like sheep without a shepherd. He lamented that the laborers are few. (Matthew 9:36-38) The instruction was to watch the crowds and pray. “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers …” The “watch and pray” by Jesus in Gethsemane is an instruction to actively seek to make a difference for His name’s sake. Take a next step to become more fully engaged in His global enterprise. Register and complete a profile at missionnext.org