September 10, 2012
Why an All Night Prayer?
“He went out into a mountain to pray and
continued all night in prayer to God.”
Luke tells us more about the prayer life of the Lord Jesus than the other Gospel writers. Little wonder that this Gospel is often called the Priestly Gospel. Prayer punctuated every significant event recorded by Luke and permeated the entire texture of his writing.
In Luke 6, the Lord Jesus is seen departing to a mountain and spending an entire evening in prayer to God. Elsewhere we read of the Lord Jesus rising a great while before day to pray; of His being in an agony in prayer; of His praying three times in the Garden. But this is perhaps the only time we read of Him spending all night in prayer.
His night of prayer was followed by His choosing the twelve disciples who would follow Him. Is there a link between the night-long prayer and the selecting of the twelve? Since this is the record of the dependent Man, it might well be that He is showing us His dependence on God in the choices and decisions of life. That alone is a truth which stirs worship. As a Man cast upon God from His mother’s womb (Ps 22:10), He was marked by trust and dependence at every step, not only the major decisions of life.
But there may be another and more touching reason for His night of prayer. He knew that He would be choosing Judas. Could His grief over the presence of a man in whose heart burned hatred, whose hand was stained by theft, and whose end was destruction, have been the reason He spent all night in prayer? Was the grief so great that He needed the undisturbed presence of God for comfort? Certainly, His holy manhood did not lessen His sensitivity to betrayal and rejection. His omniscience did not shield Him from grief over the outworking of the event. Perhaps it was just the opposite: that his sensitivity was so increased by His holiness, that every trace of sin brought infinite grief to His heart.
Imagine companying with a man whom you know will betray you, value you for a slave’s price, and reject every overture of love and care! Imagine the grief of watching an increasing wall of resistance being erected and hypocrisy ripening to self-destruction. As a Man, He sought out the presence of His God in light of the consequences the choices of the morrow would bring.
1. Why do you think that the Lord Jesus named Judas as the treasurer, and not Matthew who would have been the natural choice, in light of his financial background?
2. John 13:18 cites Psalm 41:9. Did the Lord Jesus bear with Judas and the grief it brought during those three years so that He could fulfill one verse of Scripture? What does that tell you about what He thought of the Word of God?
3. Luke 6 also contains the teaching of the Lord Jesus known as the “Sermon on the Plain” since there is some of the teaching here which was also in Matthew 5-7. How do verses 27-36 mirror the manner in which the Lord Jesus treated Judas?