Christ asking for the cup to be removed in Gethsemane


“36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and** began to be grieved and agitated**. 38 Then he said to them,** “I am deeply grieved, even to death;** remain here, and stay awake with me.” 39 And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” 40 Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? 41 Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial;[e] the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again he went away for the second time and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”” Mt. 26:36-46 (NRSV)

I think that this incident is extremely interesting theologically and would like everyone’s take on it. There are several questions that arise:

  1. Why did Christ pray for the hour to pass from him?
  2. Is there a conflict here between Christ’s will and the Father’s, as v. 39 seems to say? If so, how could Christ and the Father be one in essence?
  3. How do we deal with the fact that Christ knew all along that he was going to the cross and even wanted to go (see Mt. 16:21-23), yet here he wants the hour to pass from him?

I think that this passage is obviously impressively authentic, since an opponent could probably use this passage as a negative statement about Christ. Anyways, what are everyone’s thoughts?


|Holy Bible (Douay Rheims)[RIGHT].[/RIGHT]Mt 26:38“Then he saith to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death: stay you here, and watch with me.”[RIGHT].[/RIGHT][LEFT]Commentary[/LEFT]Ver. 38. My soul is sorrowful. The cause of our Lord’s grief was not the fear of suffering; since he took upon himself human nature, to suffer and to die for us; but the cause of his grief was the unhappy state of Judas, the scandal his disciples would take at his passion, the reprobation of the Jewish nation, and the destruction of the miserable Jerusalem. Our Lord also suffered himself to be thus dejected, to convince the world of the truth and reality of his human nature. S. Jerom.[RIGHT].[/RIGHT]|

|****[RIGHT].[/RIGHT]Mt 26:39“And going a little further, he fell upon his face, praying, and saying: My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”[RIGHT].[/RIGHT][LEFT]Reference[/LEFT]Lk 22:41“And he was withdrawn away from them a stone’s cast; and kneeling down, he prayed,”[RIGHT].[/RIGHT][LEFT]Commentary[/LEFT]Ver. 39. Going a little further. S. Luke says, about a stone’s cast, kneeling down; or as here in Matt. prostrating himself. He did both. — Father, if it is possible. Which is the same, says S. Augustin, as if he said, if thou wilt, let this cup of sufferings pass from me. — Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. He that was God and man, had both a divine and a human will. He was pleased to let us know what he naturally feared, as man, and in the sensitive part of his soul; yet shews his human will had nothing contrary to his divine will, by presently adding, but not my will, but thine be done. Here, as related by S. Luke, followed his bloody sweat. Luke xxii. 43. Wi. — These words are a source of instruction for all Christians. These words inflame the breasts of confessors; the same also crown the fortitude of the martyrs. For, who could overcome the hatred of the world, the assaults of temptations, and the terrors of persecutors, unless Christ in all, and for all, had said to his eternal Father: Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou willest. Let all the children of the Church then understand well these words, that when calamities violently beat upon us, we may with resignation exclaim: nevertheless, not as I will, but, &c. S. Leo the great.[RIGHT].[/RIGHT]|


People tend to forget the humanity of Christ.
Do you really think that from a small child He understood what would happen 25 years or so later?
He was fully human, AND fully Divine.

Everything He went through, we can relate to.
Doubt, suffering, pain, betrayal. the list goes on and on.

As the previous poster points out:
He naturally feared, as a man, but overcame the will through His divinity.


It is also said he was shown in a perfect way during his agony in the Garden of what exactly was going to befall him and how much suffering he was going to have to endure. Natural man before he is tortured really does not know how much pain he is about to undergo before his torture but Jesus did.

The answers to your question are many things. One good book to read on this is the Dolorous Passion by Anne Catherine Emmerich.

Also Jesus was permitted or wished to experience the great sadness and fear that all men fear at some time in their lives, so in one way his supernatural strength was taken away from him during the passion so that he could suffer more. This was by his own wish in union with the Father.

One of the worst things was knowing that there would be many, many souls that would still perish because they would reject what he was about to do for them. So they would be condemned since they cared not to make use of Our Lord’s Redemption. This caused him bitter anguish.


Although His divine will was always aligned with his Father, His human will, being at home in His human body, did not want to suffer.

In that, He was like all of us.

Yet, His divine mind was what “led His limbs,” as Dante would have said.

He was obedient into death.



Since Christ was human & divine…His human nature didn’t want to suffer & die but remember …He said to the Father “not My will but Thine.” So your # 2 question is wrong.


I highly recommend listening to Dr. Scott Hahn talk about this very subject.


They are both awesome! Especially the first one.

Dr. Scott Hahn discusses how Christ was fulfilling the Jewish Passover.


You have to remember and are correct the human in him did not want to suffer, we all agree as humans we don’t want to suffer, but you must also remember as a human he also had Free will, and although he indeed did not want to suffer, he used his free will to freely choose to suffer so that he could untie his will with the will of his Father.

That is why he more less said that he as a human used free will, to do the will of his Father. When he said his will is the will of his Father. He showed human will can be surrendered to the will of God.


Being who he was…perfect…his body was much more sensitive to pain than any of us. He was expressing what any of us would have expressed…please Father, you can do anything! Even tho we might know full well that it has to be this way, we still would have gone on our knees and asked anyway.

What is so striking about this passionate plea is his total love for his Father and for us…not just his life, but the painful way he had to give his all.

  1. Why did Christ pray for the hour to pass from him?
    Because, as He was fully human as well as fully God, He knew what suffering was.

  2. Is there a conflict here between Christ’s will and the Father’s, as v. 39 seems to say?
    Jesus always submitted to the will of The Father.

  3. How do we deal with the fact that Christ knew all along that he was going to the cross and even wanted to go (see Mt. 16:21-23), yet here he wants the hour to pass from him?
    As pointed out above, He was fully human.


And God didn’t?

That doesn’t answer the question. That Christ submitted to the will of the Father is of course true, but Christ also claimed to be one with the Father (see Jn. 10:30). If Christ is one with the Father then how can his will be separate from the Father’s?

So are you saying he made a mistake?


As far as those saying Christ was “fully human”:

Christ was human in the sense that he was flesh and blood. However, he was certainly not human in the sense of perceiving reality the same way as human beings do, e.g., understanding good/evil a certain way and so on. In that sense he did not have a human nature at all, for if he had a human nature (in that sense) he would actually be evil, as human beings are.

So to say Christ was “human” is inaccurate. The only way Christ was human was in the fact that he possessed a body, as human beings do. Christ’s nature (i.e., spirit or heart) was not in any way close to a natural human beings as many passages of Scripture show. So that refutes the idea that Christ asked for the cup to be removed “because of his humanity.”


He was fully human. You have to remember that He was different than the rest of us, as He was also divine, and you also have to remember that He was also sinless, too. He didn’t sin. Being evil was not part of His make up.


It is not in any way inaccurate.

Human bodies only come with human souls, else they are dead bodies.

HE was a fully human being.



What are you trying to prove with your questions? Are you saying Jesus isn’t God because He had the human emotions of fear of pain & death?
Jesus never the less bowed to God the Father’s will…so no conflict there.

Read everyone’s comments that Jesus was fully human & divine and fulfilled the Father’s will.


I have never faced a trial like Jesus did, but I have faced many trials that were physical or spiritual or emotional. We know the pain involved and we know to get through the trial we will have to suffer. We would rather not go through this trial, but we find ourselves there.
We might tell ourselves - God I don’t want to do this, but you know it is something you will have to go through. We can pray to God to help us through it. And maybe we don’t know the outcome God will’s for us.
That is how I see it.



You are ignoring what has preceded the agony in the garden of Gethsemane, i.e. Jesus has already sacrificed Himself by offering His Body and Blood at the last supper. He has already begun to fulfill His Fathers will and so now His time of suffering has already begun. His human nature truly suffers betrayal of His beloved disciple and anticipation of the pain He will endure. There is no conflict with Jesus’ human will and God’s will, only human suffering.


Everyone answered your questions as best they could, without having God come down & explain it to you, Himself.
I hope you are clear, now.


Well from what I read in some private revelation books it seems that Jesus was going through some consternation about some people who would be ungrateful, and he was kind of having a argument with the Father over the fact that not all would be saved by his death.

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