A Night In The Garden

Events at Gethsemane probably didn’t happen this way but …

Gethsemane, by Carl H Bloch 1834 – 1890

They walked mostly without talking, the only noises being the soft footfall of the band on the packed earth, with the occasional slap of a loose sandal on a heel. Hearing a murmured comment about getting to the place they were going before dark, it was already dusk, he glanced back to the following group. As he wasn’t sure who has spoken and no one appeared to have noticed him look back, he ignored it though he did quicken the pace slightly. After a few minutes more, he slowed again before turning off the road they had been following around the Mount of Olives and into the garden of Gethsemane.

‘Right then you lot’ their leader, Jesus, said. ‘Sit down for a while and make yourselves comfy. This might take a little while. I’m going to have a chat with Dad, about a bad business that’s stressing me out a bit’. He started to walk on but after just a couple of steps paused, seemingly in thought for a moment, then turning back said ‘You three, Pete, John and Jim. Don’t get comfortable, you’re coming with me.’ Waiting just long enough to be sure they had heard and were following, He went on along the narrowing, uneven path.

Out of earshot of the main group, he turned back to them. “Ok I want you three to stay here and keep watch for me. No listening though, this chat’s between me and Dad. Promise?’ They nodded in unison, then he moved of further down the path, loitering as if trying to put off the chat as long as possible. As they watched the lean figure fade into the darkness, Pete, John and Jim sat down, leaning against the trunks of trees each side of the path, the brothers Jim and john together on one side and Pete facing them in the gloom from the other.

Pete woke with a start when Jesus kicked the sole of his sandal, and his cry of surprise woke the brothers. ‘Come on now boys, it’s a simple task.’ Jesus chided them. ‘Just stay awake and keep watch, now is that really too much to ask?’ ‘No Boss they mumbled shamefaced, though he could not see that in the dark. He turned on his heel and shambled back along the path to finish his chat.

Next time Jesus came back, only a few minutes later, the three disciples were again asleep. This time he left them sleeping, going back out of earshot to finish his chat with his Father. When he came pack to them the third time, he was getting irritated and impatient with them.

‘Oi you dozy bunch’, he raised his voice, ‘this time kicking the sandals of both Jim and John’. ‘Seems I can’t trust you with the simplest of jobs. All you had to do was keep watch for a while.’ He sighed before going on ‘Oh well I suppose it doesn’t matter now anyway. What’s coming has already begun he turncoat will be on his way now with his employer’s henchmen.’


This story is found in Matthew 26: 36-45, Mark 14: 32-41 and Luke 22: 39-46


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