The Fidelity of Jesus – Gospel in Life

The Fidelity of Jesus

Tim Keller |  May 10, 1998

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  • Fruit of the Spirit
  • Sin
  • Prayer & Meditation
Mark 14:32-42
RS 91-4


Moral reformation is the main source in the world for many good things, like honesty, self-control and generosity. This kind of reformation enforces rules. One wants to obey out of self-interest or out of fear. On the other hand, spiritual transformation consists of a deeper heart change. When the heart changes, then one’s life, including actions and behavior, changes. In short, moral reformation happens by looking at rules; spiritual transformation happens by looking at Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18).

We’re going to look at Jesus in today’s passage from Mark 14 when Jesus’ disciples fall asleep. They were supposed to be keeping watch. Something utterly shocks Jesus and he says that it is his time to die. It comes upon him suddenly. There are three words that give us clues to what’s happening in this passage: the cup, Abba, and began.

Mark 14:32–42

This story from the Garden of Gethsemane shows us that Jesus chose to follow God’s plan, even when it was very hard. His friends, the disciples, weren’t as focused or disciplined. This difference between them shows us how important it is to stay spiritually strong and to grow in our faith. It’s not enough to just try to be good people; we need to let Jesus change our hearts. This story also tells us how important honesty and loyalty are in relationships. If we’re not true to ourselves, we can lose sight of who we really are.

1. The cup

In the Bible, a “cup” is often used to symbolize God’s punishment for doing wrong. This might seem harsh, but when we get angry about injustices in the world, it shows that we, like God, care about what’s right and wrong. When Jesus drank this “cup,” he took on the punishment for all the wrong in the world. This was more than just physical death; it was a separation from God that was far more terrible.

2. Abba

Even small acts of disobedience pull us away from God. When we choose to go our own way instead of God’s, we disconnect from him. This affects our ability to love, think clearly, be creative, and find happiness. Everyone is dependent on God, whether we acknowledge him or not. Being cut off from God is incredibly painful. This is the agony Jesus felt when he was separated from his Father.

3. Began

Jesus’ time in the Garden of Gethsemane shows us his commitment to honesty and faithfulness, even when it was very hard. True prayer isn’t just about following rules, but about understanding and being touched by what Jesus did for us. Accepting Jesus’ sacrifice means God sees us as right with him. This changes our behavior and priorities, making us more honest, forgiving, and loyal.



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