the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak

a person wants to do something, but he lacks the skill, energy, or strength to follow through
—I’d love to play tennis with you, but my 60-year-old body doesn’t agree. I guess the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

The Jewish authorities knew that Jesus said that they deserved God’s judgment. The more they heard him the more angry they became, and they wanted to arrest Jesus and kill him. Knowing that the Jewish leaders would succeed and that he would die soon, Jesus went with his disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray:

Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and became anguished and distressed. Then he said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, even to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with me.” Going a little farther, he threw himself down with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if possible, let this cup pass from me! Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. He said to Peter, “So, couldn’t you stay awake with me for one hour? Stay awake and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak [the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak].” (Matthew 26:36-41)

In modern English, gethsemane can mean “a time or place of great suffering.”

Next Post
Comments are closed.
  • All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://bible.org. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

    Scripture in brackets is from the King James Bible.

  • Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed by Craig Thompson under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

    Any reproduction of this content using passages from the NET Bible must follow NET Bible's copyright policy for use of those passages.

    For information on creating translations of Putting Words in Our Mouths, please go here.

  • Visit My Blog: Clearing Customs

    Miriam Beard on Travel: A Change in the Ideas of Living

    I’ve often wondered how a single phrase finds its way from being buried in a memoir or novel to being plucked out as a stand-on-its-own “quotation.” Of course, the creator of the thought is important, but so is the one who finds it and decides it’s worthy of display on its own. “Next to the […]

    Back Away from That Keyboard: These Books for Cross-Cultural Workers Should Remain Unwritten [—at A Life Overseas]

    Seen any good best-of-the-year book lists lately? I have, but this isn’t one of them. Instead, I’ve created a much different kind of list. First, it is a collection of book titles—for cross-cultural workers—but there aren’t real books to go with the names. Second, these titles aren’t any kind of best, and probably shouldn’t even make it […]