27 “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.
Having announced the nearness of His death, Jesus now made a statement about His emotional reaction to it. He was truly human. As theologians say, He was “genuine humanity yet undiminished deity united in one person forever.” He experienced authentic emotions, but those feelings were under control of a perfect human being.
The gospel of John does not give an account of Jesus’ Gethsemane prayer, as do the synoptics (Mt 26:38-44), but this account is similar to His experience there.
27 “Now My soul is [has been] troubled [stirred, agitated],
“Now” was a reference to Jesus’ upcoming death in a week’s time. His soul being anguished and troubled had to do with facing both spiritual and physical death.
Although Jesus courageously faced the terrible fact of being crucified, He made a statement here about His personal distress in going through with it. His anguish had been going on for some time (perfect, passive, indicative). His momentary emotion was not dread but of the thought that He must personally bear the sins of the world. His concern was more over His spiritual than His physical death. Spiritual death meant that He would be separated from fellowship with the Father at the cross.
and what shall I say?
Jesus offered a hypothetical alternative to His going to the cross. He suggested a question some might have in the midst of their trauma. It was a question He would not personally accept.
‘Father, save Me from this hour’?
The Greek word “but” of the next phrase expects a negative answer to Jesus’ own question. He threw out a hypothetical question to show the internal struggle He had with going to death on the cross, but He definitely would not choose this option.
But [emphatic] for this purpose I came to this hour.
By the emphatic “but,” Jesus jettisoned the hypothesis of not going to the cross. He became incarnate with the purpose to die on the cross for the sins of the world. He answered His own dilemma. Jesus must face the “hour” and go through it. He was determined to do the will of God (Mr 14:36). That hour was inevitable in Jesus’ mind. Jesus was determined to carry out the Father’s will at any cost.
The personal horror of Jesus going to the cross and His determination to do the Father’s will meet together at once.
Jesus’ statement in the above verses came from His humanity. His suffering was not only physical, but He went through the pain of personally paying for the sins of mankind. Regardless of this, He was determined to fulfill the plan of God for redemption. His pain here foreshadowed Gethsemane. The prospect of His coming death was a stark horror to Him (Isaiah 53:3-4, 10).
The gospel of John argues for the deity of Christ more than any other book in the New Testament, yet it also makes a strong case for His genuine humanity (Jn 1:14).
In addition to being undiminished deity, Jesus was true humanity. We can see His humanity in His condemnation of people using the temple for monetary ends (Jn 2:17), His thirst at a well (Jn 4:7), His weeping at Lazarus’ tomb (Jn 11:35), and the trauma of His soul in our passage here.
Everyone questions why deep pain comes into their lives. These queries are valid. The problem is not in the quest of answers but the attempt to become sovereign over all circumstances of life. Many questions have no answers during our lifetimes. Job and First Peter give certain reasons why we suffer but they do not give exhaustive answers only God can answer that depend on His sovereignty and omniscience.