John & the Agony by Patrick Henry Reardon

John & the Agony

Although the Gospel of John does not record the Lord’s agony in the garden, it does include several texts that put us in mind of that scene. These Johannine passages reflect, furthermore, the sentiments and resolution expressed by Jesus during the agony as recorded in the other Gospels.

For example, our Lord’s determination to obey the Father’s will, a resolve so essential to his prayer in the garden, is expressed earlier in John in what he says to the disciples at the Samaritan well: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to finish his work” (4:34). In the next chapter of John, Jesus speaks again of this intended obedience: “I do not seek my own will but the will of the Father who sent me” (5:30).

Exactly the same resolution on Jesus’ part appears in the chapter after that: “I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me” (6:38). Two chapters later, Jesus says of his Father, “I always do those things that please him” (8:29).

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Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor emeritus of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Out of Step with God: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Numbers (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019).

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