Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.”
Gethsemene was a garden just across the brook Kidron, about 200 yards from the city wall of Jerusalem. The word Gethsemene means the oil press, referring of course to the pressing of olive oil. It was a favorite place of retreat when Jesus was at Jerusalem. It may have been owned by Joseph, or Nicodemus, or some other wealthy follower of Christ–but that is not made clear to us. The simple truth is that it was a beautiful, calm, and private place of retreat where Jesus chose, on this portentuous night, to gird HImself in prayer as He faced what came next.
I always feel a sense of awe, of holiness, when I think of Gethsemene. Jesus faced His immediate future there, seeking a final time of fellowship with the Father before He began His journey through the horrors that awaited Him. I have friends who have seen Gethsemene, and they all came away from it with a stillness of spirit, knowing how Jesus struggled there in prayer.
It makes our own struggles seem a little small in comparison, doesn’t it?