Jesus praying in Gethsemane is another story within the Holy Week stories that occurs in all 4 gospel accounts. We chose to use the Matthew version as the basis of the story, but we strongly encourage you to read all four versions to get a complete picture.
This story happens right after the Last Supper and Jesus washing the disciples feet. Matthew 26:30 provides the transition point to this story: "Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives." The Mount of Olives is a place that has a rich Bible history. Going all the way back to the time of David in the Old Testament, when it was known as Mount Olivet (see 2 Samuel 15:30-32), to the New Testament - a lot happened at the Mount of Olives.
The Garden of Gethsemane is an olive garden at the base of the hill. For more information about the Mount of Olives, see BibleWalks.com. The olive trees in Garden of Gethsemane are among some of the oldest on earth (nearly 1,000 years old!)
Several important things happened at the Garden of Gethsemane that night.
After this happened, the men drug Jesus away to stand trial and the events that led to his death were beginning to unfold.
To put this story in context, see this visualization of the chronology of Holy Week.
For younger kids: What is the latest you have ever stayed awake? Did you find it hard to stay awake and not go to sleep? Or have you ever tried really hard to stay up late for something, but you just couldn't stay awake? Today, we're going to learn about a time when Jesus was praying in a garden, but disciples couldn't stay awake!
For older kids: Has someone ever accused you of doing something you didn't do? How did it make you feel? How did you respond? Today, we're going to learn about a time when Jesus was arrested even though he had done nothing wrong, and we will see how he responded.
Read story from a Children's storybook Bible for younger children.
For older children, read the story from an age-appropriate Children's storybook Bible or read directly from the Bible.
Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud Matthew 26:36-40, 47-54
First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?