The Holy Self-Interest of Jesus in the Garden

A Closer Look at the Motive of Obedience

Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross. -Hebrews 12:1b-2a

Do you want to know how to trust God through hardship? Try looking to Jesus as your example. What did Jesus do? Why did He do it?

Jesus endured suffering. He obeyed the Father. And He did it for the sake of the joy it would bring Him.

“For the joy that was set before Him.”

Jesus’ motive was joy.

What does that suggest about the role of joy in our own lives? Joy can and should be a fundamental motive as we obey God. It was right that Jesus looked to the joy set before Him, and it is right for us to do the same.

Do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward, says Hebrews 10:35. You need to have endurance, “so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised,” says verse 36.

When Jesus suffered in the garden, it was not for the sake of suffering.

There is no value in suffering unless it leads to a reward. But we can rejoice in times of suffering if we know there is a great reward in heaven (Matthew 5:10-12).

In fact, that is the very essence of Christian faith—belief in the promised reward.

“Whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Why should you rejoice? For the same reason Jesus did: Great is the reward in heaven.