Bible Study: Falling Asleep

Bible Study Passage:  Mark 14:32-42.  This is when Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane, and the disciples fell asleep.  Possibly Jesus’ most lowest point, we can learn a lot about him through the passage:

32 They came to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took Peter, James, and John with him. Distress and anguish came over him, 34 and he said to them, “The sorrow in my heart is so great that it almost crushes me. Stay here and keep watch.”

35 He went a little farther on, threw himself on the ground, and prayed that, if possible, he might not have to go through that time of suffering. 36 “Father,” he prayed, “my Father! All things are possible for you. Take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet not what I want, but what you want.”

37 Then he returned and found the three disciples asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Weren’t you able to stay awake for even one hour?” 38 And he said to them, “Keep watch, and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

39 He went away once more and prayed, saying the same words.40 Then he came back to the disciples and found them asleep; they could not keep their eyes open. And they did not know what to say to him.

41 When he came back the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come! Look, the Son of Man is now being handed over to the power of sinners.42 Get up, let us go. Look, here is the man who is betraying me!”


  1. Verse 34.  What did Jesus ask the disciples to do?  Comment on the nature of the task e.g. its simplicity or difficulty.
  2. Verse 37 and 38. In this passage, Jesus categorised ‘falling asleep’ as a temptation – how so?  In what way can modern Christians fall asleep?
  3. Comment on Jesus’ reaction to the disciples. What key thing does Jesus teach us to help us from falling asleep?
  4. Bonus Round: Read Verse 37 again:  Suggest why Jesus called Peter by his old name?