Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Was Jesus just now feeling that weakness of flesh? Though He was God, He was dwelling in the body of a man. And that flesh is capable of being tired and weary, of being discouraged and attacked. That flesh can feel extreme pain and be damaged, bruised and broken to the point where blood spilled out. The flesh could bear wounds and scars. That flesh could be pierced through with thorns and nails. That flesh could hang exposed on a cross in horrible agony bearing an unimaginable weight.
Jesus was willing to do His Father’s will. But Jesus also bore the weakness of a man in Himself. And so does He go back to His Father three times with the same prayer not because His spirit isn’t willing, but because His flesh is weak? It is man’s flesh, after all, clay and water, bones and muscle—disposable in a way, not strong in many ways. Surely that was the part of Him that bristled at what was to come for Him as He faced the crucifixion.
And so if even Jesus needed that reassurance and that strength that could only come from communion with the Father, how much more do we need it? Though we have His Spirit dwelling in us, we must remain in close contact with our Father. We have to ask for His help to overcome the things of the flesh that will drag us down. We need His grace to endure the weakness that is so manifest in us. We need to know Him and know His will so we don’t go astray down some crooked path away from what He wants for us. We need strength for that part of us that is unwilling even when our spirit is.
Do we see the importance of unbroken fellowship with the Lord in prayer? Is it evident to us how diligent we must be about spiritual things? Jesus knew a war was waging around Him and inside Him, and yet the disciples were sleeping through it. He wanted them to see that the flesh and blood and bone within us is no match for temptation. Our strength must come from elsewhere. So let us go where Jesus did in His great moment of sorrow and need. Let us turn to whom Jesus turned when He’d reached the end of Himself. Let us be watchful in prayer to overcome the weakness of our flesh.