“My soul is overwhelmed to the point of death” (Mark 14:34)

I don’t understand the mystery of Jesus being overwhelmed. Jesus was both man and God! How could he get overwhelmed? It doesn’t make sense to me. I get overwhelmed because my power and knowledge are (severely) limited. God is can’t be overwhelmed because his power and knowledge are limitless.

We could say that Jesus was overwhelmed because he was “limited” in some ways for the 30+ years he was on earth. What’s the evidence for this thinking? For starters, he didn’t know when the end would come (Mark 12:32). Additionally, when he was young, it seemed as if Jesus learned from others (Luke 2:46). Finally, Jesus couldn’t be more than one place at a time. Where did these “limitations” begin and end? One mystery is not solved by falling back on another.

Mysteries ought to be explored because this moves us to greater enthusiasm toward God.

We are told that Jesus was overwhelmed — no explanation was given. While can’t put all the pieces together, the overall picture is clear enough:

  • Jesus was overwhelmed— this is a great comfort for us to consider.
  • Jesus was overwhelmed, and he reached out to others for support—we need to cultivate the right community for support.
  • Jesus was overwhelmed, and he still fulfilled his mission—this is an example we need to follow.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. (Hebrew 4:15)

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