“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39)
The words spoken by Jesus here are some of the most important ever uttered in human language.
Had Jesus not spoken them, none of us would ever have been saved from our sins. Jesus did not “feel” like going to bear our sins in His body on the cross. He had just asked that if it were possible, the “cup” of this event might pass from Him. But then He added those crucial last words: “Yet not as I will, but as You will.” And with that climactic commitment to obey the Father despite the battle raging in His body and soul, our salvation was secured. He would go to the cross, despite the agony that lay ahead of Him. He would pay for our sins. We would have an opportunity to repent and be saved.
But these words — or some similar to them — are also crucial for our own discipleship as well. The Lord commands us to do many things as His followers which we may not “feel” like doing at the moment. They may be humbling, costly, or even painful. But it is crucial that we come to a point like Jesus did in His prayer, in which we ourselves say to Him: “Yet not as I will, but as You will.”
This is why Jesus taught us to pray the third request of the Model Prayer each morning: “Thy will be done.” A Christian should not get up in the morning and ask himself, “What do I want to do today?” or “What do I feel like doing today?” As disciples, we have surrendered our will to our Master. At the outset of each day we need a daily reminder of this. We are to surrender our wills to His in a kind of “Daily Gethsemane”, in which we give up our plans and indicate that we are willing to deny our own feelings, and say like Jesus did, of the events and activities of our own day: “Yet not as I will, but as You will.”