Christ’s Example for Christian Submission to the Will of God

Luke 22:42; John 18:11
         Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.
         The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): The reason of Christ’s submission to His sufferings, was, His Father’s will; He grounds His own willingness upon the Father’s will, and resolves the matter wholly into that; therefore He did what He did, and did it with delight, because it was the will of God, Psalm 40:8. This He had often referred to, as that which put Him upon, and carried Him through, His whole undertaking—My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, John 4:34.

HENRY SCOUGAL (1650-1678): He endured the sharpest of all afflictions and extremest miseries that ever were inflicted on any mortal, without a repining thought or discontented word; for though He was far from a stupid insensibility, or a fantastic or stoical obstinacy, and had as quick a sense of pain as other men, and the deepest apprehension of what He as to suffer in His soul, as His “bloody sweat, and the sore amazement and sorrow” which He professed, do abundantly declare, yet did He entirely submit to that severe dispensation of Providence, and willingly acquiesced in it. And He prayed to God, that “if it were possible,” Mark 14:36, or, as another one of the Evangelists hath it, “if he were willing, that cup might be removed;” yet He gently added, “nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done.”

MATTHEW POOLE (1624-1679): And herein He sets us a perfect pattern for our prayers for deliverance from temporal evils, with a submission to the will of God.

A. W. PINK (1886-1952): There is no higher aspect of faith than that which brings the heart to patiently submit unto whatever God sends us, to meekly acquiesce unto His sovereign will, to say, “the cup which My Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?” Oftentimes the faith which suffers is greater than the faith that can boast an open triumph. Love “beareth all things,” I Corinthians 13:7, and faith when it reaches the pinnacle of attainment declares, “though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him,” Job 13:15.

JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): It is a genuine evidence of true godliness when, although plunged into the deepest afflictions, we yet cease not to submit ourselves to God.

A. W. PINK: Faith is ever occupied with God. That is the character of it; that is what differentiates it from intellectual theology. Faith endures “as seeing Him who is invisible,” Hebrews 11:27—endures the disappointments, the hardships, and the heart-aches of life, by recognizing that all comes from the hand of Him who is too wise to err and too loving to be unkind. But so long as we are occupied with any other object than God Himself, there will be neither rest for the heart nor peace for the mind. But when we receive all that enters our lives as from His hand, then, no matter what may be our circumstances or surroundings—whether in a hovel, a prison-dungeon, or a martyr’s stake—we shall be enabled to say, “The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant place,” Psalm 16:6. But that is the language of faith, not of sight or sense.

THOMAS WATSON (1620-1686): Job eyed God in his affliction, and that meekened his spirit. “The Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord,” Job 1:21. He does not say, “The Chaldeans have taken away,” but “the Lord hath taken away.” What made Christ so meek in His sufferings? He did not look at Judas or Pilate, but at His Father: “The cup which my Father hath given me.”

MATTHEW HENRY: It is not enough to bear the cross, but we must take it up, we must accommodate ourselves to it, and acquiesce in the will of God in it. Not, “this is an evil, and I must bear it, because I cannot help it,” but “this is an evil, and I will bear it, because it is the will of God.”

MATTHEW POOLE: I delight to do thy will, Oh my God, Psalm 40:8. This, though in a general sense it may be true of David and of all God’s people, yet it must be appropriated to Christ, of whom it is eminently true, and it is here observed as an act of heroical obedience, that He not only resolved to do, but delighted in doing, the will of God, or what God had commanded Him and He had promised to do, which was to die, and that a most shameful, and painful, and cursed death.

MATTHEW HENRY: We then are disposed as Christ was, when our wills are in every thing melted into the will of God, though ever so displeasing to flesh and blood.

JOHN CALVIN: It is the height of piety to be submissive to the sovereignty of God.

JOHN NEWTON (1725-1807): An acquiescence in the Lord’s will is founded in a persuasion of His wisdom, holiness, sovereignty, and goodness. This is one of the greatest privileges and brightest ornaments of our profession. So far as we attain to this, we are secure from disappointment. Our own limited views, short-sighted purposes and desires, may be, and will be, often over-ruled; but then our main and leading desire, that the will of the Lord may be done, must be accomplished. How highly does it become us both as creatures, and as sinners, to submit to the appointments of our Maker! And how necessary is it to our peace! This great attainment is too often unthought of, and overlooked; we are prone to fix our attention upon the second causes and immediate instruments of events; forgetting that whatever befalls us is according to His purpose, and therefore must be right and seasonable in itself, and shall in the issue be productive of good. From hence arise impatience, resentment, and secret repinings, which are not only sinful, but tormenting.

SAMUEL RUTHERFORD (1600-1661): It is impossible to be submissive and religiously patient, if ye stay your thoughts down among the confused rollings and wheels of second causes, as O, the place! O, the time! O, if this had been, this had not followed! O, the linking of this accident with this time and place! Look up to the master-motion and the first wheel; see and read the decree of heaven and the Creator of men.

JOHN NEWTON: If all things are in His hand, if the very hairs of our head are numbered; if every event, great and small, is under the direction of His providence and purpose―and if He has a wise, holy, and gracious end in view, to which everything that happens is subordinate and subservient―then we have nothing to do, but with patience and humility to follow as He leads, and cheerfully to expect a happy issue. The path of present duty is marked out; and the concerns of the next every succeeding hour are in His hands. How happy are they who can resign all to Him, see His hand in every dispensation, believe that He choses better for them than they possibly could for themselves.

JEREMY BURROUGHS (1599-1647): Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.


This entry was posted in Attributes of God, Jesus Christ and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.