Daily Word

Crushed with grief | Matthew 26:36-38

36 Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” 37 He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. 38 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

Matthew 26:36-38 (NLT)中文

Stage is set

Judas, the betrayer, has been identified, he’s made a deal with the devil (Luke 22:3) and one with the religious leaders. He is now off to concoct his plan. Jesus has shared His last meal with His disciples, initiated “The Lord’s Supper”, and reminded them of His coming death. He has revealed that all of them will desert Him in – and in just a few hours!

Companions in suffering

Jesus takes them to the olive pressing area. He is here to pray. Have you ever wondered if Jesus prayed? He surely did! If you were about to suffer so intensely, wouldn’t you want people by your side to comfort and encourage you, even to just experience a taste of what you are going through? The fact that He brings them with Him as His companions in suffering – even though they will soon abandon Him – is quite telling. 

Chosen of the chosen

Jesus selects Peter, James and John, the chosen of the chosen who were identified first in Matthew 17:1. And Peter is the one who will not only abandon Jesus, but will deny Him three times! Any other man would have never selected him, nor any of the 11 remaining disciples. But Jesus sees beyond the cross, beyond the grave, to ACTs where the disciples will be filled with the Spirit and power (Acts 2:1-4).

Crushed with grief

The NLT version’s choice of words really helps portray the depth of emotion: “crushed with grief”. It is such a powerful depiction. And so appropriate to the physical environment – the olive oil press. This is the place where the olives are crushed to produce the oil. 

Jesus is being crushed emotionally and spiritually. He will soon be crushed physically. I think nothing more needs to be said.


  • Sermons on this passage have been preached to encourage those followers of Christ who suffer greatly in this world. Maybe you can relate? Are you suffering as a follower of Christ? Maybe not to the same extent as Christ did. Nonetheless, you suffer. You feel like you’re in that olive press. Take courage. Your Lord knows. He really knows. And consider the pure, aromatic, useful oil that is being produced and offered to God as a sacrifice.
  • When we deal with difficult people (remembering that we ourselves are such), we should pray to have the vision of Jesus to see into the future and trust God to work His will. Of course we need to do our part to be faithful. 
Wine press. Image from pxfuel.com

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