Monday, April 02, 2007

"What shall I say, 'Father save me from this hour'?"

Related to my March 1 post, "Heb 5.7 -- Did God the Father Actually say 'Yes' to Jesus’ Gethsemane Prayer?" is Jesus' response Jn 12.27-28:

"Now my soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, 'Father, save me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour."

Recall that the traditional view of what Jesus prayed in Gethsemane is that he prayed to be spared the cross. But Jesus dismisses precisely this prayer in John 12. It's a reductio -- how I can I pray to be saved from this hour, since this hour is the purpose for which I came.

Importantly, rejecting the idea that Jesus lost his nerve in Gethsemane and asked the father to be spared the cross (a prayer, according to this view, that the father said "no" to), does not entail therefore that the cross was a cakewalk for him. In Jn 12, Jesus says that his soul is troubled. But he expressly rejects the idea that he would ask the father to save him from the cross.


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