Have the friend who let your spouse or another friend down or betrayed him or her by your actions?Our lesson here from Christ is that His love still goes out to those who let Him down or even betray Him, provided we are willing to ask for forgiveness.He arrives in the garden with a great armed crowd and identifies Jesus with the sign of a kiss. Jesus still called his betrayer “friend.” We can but imagine Jesus’ profound loneliness at this time.
Jesus’ sad and lonely night was not over yet, however.He rouses them, asks Peter if he cannot stay awake even for an hour to watch, and asks them to watch and pray so that they will not “enter into temptation” (Matt. Again he prays to his Father, asking if the cup might pass if it is the Father’s will, and again He returns to find His friends asleep.He goes off by Himself a third time to repeat the same prayer only to find them again still asleep upon His return.James told us, that such trials and tribulations can serve a real purpose for our greater good in the end, helping to perfect us. It gives us a greater power to endure our suffering and to see the inviolable worth of every other human person’s life, also enmeshed in intimate relationship with God.Still, if it was easy to “count it all joy” (James 1:2) when faced with the trials and tribulations that arise from loneliness, there would be little need for books like this one! It has far-reaching implications for our lives and the lives of our neighbors.