Abba, Father

Read: Mark 14:32-42

Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will. (v. 36)

This must have been one of the most difficult moments in Jesus’ life. Verse 33 tells us that Jesus “began to be greatly distressed and troubled.” Then he continues, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death” (v. 34). Jesus is facing death and he knows it. And just like any one of us, it troubles him deeply.

Facing it on his own would have been more than he could handle. Even Jesus needs those who love him to be there for him. So first, he calls his closest friends, Peter, James, and John. He asks them to just be there with him: “Remain here and watch” (v. 34).

But the disciples are not very perceptive regarding what is about to take place. It is getting late and they are tired. They can’t keep their eyes open and thus fall asleep—not much support there. But besides his friends, Jesus also seeks the presence of his heavenly Father, his Abba. Jesus knows that he has a good Father, a loving Father—a Father who will not fail him.

For Jesus to call his God “Abba” (“Daddy”) indicates a close, intimate relationship. Despite the enormous task before him, Jesus knows he can trust his “Abba.” So he is able to say, “Yet not what I will, but what you will” (v. 36). It’s true for us too: if we can call God our “Abba Father,” everything becomes bearable. —John Koedyker

As you pray, tell Abba Father that you trust him whatever happens.

About the Author

Rev. John Koedyker has been a pastor in the Reformed Church in America for more than forty years. His ministry began in Japan where he served as a missionary for ten years. After that he has served churches in Iowa and Michigan. He has served as the Stated Clerk of Muskegon Classis, RCA, for the past sixteen years and also presently serves as pastor of congregational care at First Reformed Church of Grand Haven, Michigan. John has written a number of times previously for Words of Hope and he has a bi-monthly religion column in the Grand Haven Tribune. He is married to Marilyn, and they have four grown children and seven grandchildren.

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