That was Peter's personal training by Jesus.

But sometimes in weakness, forgetting about Christ's Presence, Peter would go back to what he was like before. Those moments are also in the Gospel record. When Peter was given awesome spiritual responsibility, all that strong personality added to his big influence over others as a leader—produced a very dangerous combination.

After three years of personal one-on-one training in Christ's presence, after all the absolute confirmations of Christ's power—Peter, the leader of the Twelve denies that he ever even knew Jesus. He becomes a complete failure. As we read earlier, after Gethsemane an unprepared Peter faces temptation and fails. That night becomes...

Peter's Darkest Hour

It is so wonderful to see what Jesus taught Peter in the darkest hour of his life. And if there are ever dark clouds in the days of our lives—we can remember like Peter remembered and like Peter have HOPE for a new beginning!

Peter's denials came after one of the most precious evenings anyone could have spent with Jesus. That is often when all of us face temptations, after great events in our lives. Often we are not even aware that we are so dangerously close to disaster. That is what was going on with Peter. Here was what happened on that incredible night.

First, to have had Jesus Himself wash your feet must have been beyond words. Peter felt so unworthy as he looked down at Christ, girded in the towel of a slave washing his feet. As Peter sat there not knowing what to do and blurting out, "You shall never wash my feet" and then immediately after with a smitten heart saying, "Wash all of me!" Peter looked into the eyes of Jesus filled with love, forgiveness and sorrow (John 13:1-30).

After this riveting experience, and the quick departure of Judas, Peter was able to witness the Last Supper. Jesus added a whole new dimension to the Passover meal; Jesus holding the bread and cup and pointing to His coming sacrifice must have been a profoundly life impacting memory.

After all that heart warning and soul stirring worship, Jesus teaches them about Heaven (14:1-11), then teaches them about prayer (14:12-14), then promises the coming Holy Spirit (14:15-30); and then we find in John 14:31 that they left the Upper Room.

John 14:31 "But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.

Mark records that as they started on the walk after Passover, they were singing Psalms (Mark 14:26). That night was beyond description. Think of leaving a communion service with Jesus the Lord of Glory, leading the disciples in song!

Now the Eleven walk with Jesus in the late night darkness illumined by the full moon of Passover, to the Garden of Gethsemane. Along the way Jesus gives His final training sessions known to us as John 15-17, these words were Christ's legacy, His final earthly gift of teaching them before the crucifixion. It is Luke that picks up the fullest account of what happens next. Let's start in Luke 22:39.

Luke 22:39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him.

Jesus and His disciples walk to a familiar place, Gethsemane, Christ's quiet place of prayer. They arrive at the place Jesus had found to be His place—the place of refuge and the place of strength as He ministered under such pressure.

It should challenge us to pray when we see that at the most trying of times—Jesus increased His prayer times.

Instead of pressures driving Jesus away from prayer pressures only drove Him even closer to His Father through prayer.

And that need for prayer is what drew Jesus to a place called...

Gethsemane

Gethsemane was probably part of a small, walled garden that may have belonged to a wealthy follower of Christ's. To this spot Jesus often resorted. It was most likely near a place where olives were pressed, much like the Cave of Gethsemane that many scholars believe to be an olive pressing operation from the time of Christ.