Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Fearful Fleeing

"Then all the disciples deserted him and fled."
Matthew 26:56b

I can't get past this part in the text. I'm trying hard to understand it because I want to know and understand human nature better. Why did the disciples desert Jesus? Why did they flee? Were they afraid that they'd be arrested too? Surely, they knew the men weren't coming for them because only Jesus was arrested. What was going through their minds when they were fleeing the scene? Where did they go? According to John 18 (verse 12), two of the disciples followed Jesus at a distance, but I feel safe to say they weren't following out of faithfulness, they were following out of fearful curiosity (Matthew 26:58)
How often do we flee when fear enters the scene? Do we return to follow Jesus only out of curiosity to see what He'll do? Or do we return to follow Him because we know it's the only way to defeat the fear?

The disciples knew the power Jesus had and they knew he had done nothing wrong. Fear, confusion, and panic caused the disciples to flee the scene and desert Jesus. After all they had been through together, they left the Son of God.

Jesus knows the true meaning of loneliness. He knows what it feels like to be betrayed and heartbroken. His closest confidants left him, and while one went in to the courts to watch the trial, the other denied Jesus not once but three times.

While I still cannot comprehend the decisions the disciples made in this scene, I do know that my Savior would never make those same choices. Jesus not only faced fear, but took it upon himself so that we would never have to be eternally imprisoned by it. Jesus remains faithful, stands by our sides, defends us, and never leaves us. Even though we have the tendency to flee, to be curious, and to deny, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior will remain with us forever and always.