“But all this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures of the prophets. Then all the disciples left Him and fled.” (Matt. 26:56)
This is a most un-imaginary scene. Judas we are used to by now even though we still wonder how he could do it. Later, we find he couldn’t live with what he had done. This verse tells about the other eleven. The one with the sword who swore he would die before he fled. There were also the two who had been so close to Jesus they wanted the choice spots in the coming kingdom.
We might forgive the rest of them, you know, the tax collector and fishermen who stayed in the background. Men who said little and did little. We might expect the flight rather than the fight. But the three? The mount of transfiguration trio? The selected ones in the garden who couldn’t stay awake? Surely they would not forsake their king, not after all they had seen and heard?
Jesus had predicted that they would and John recorded it in 16:31-33. “Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? “Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.”
Peter was the spokesman for the group and when Jesus told them they would all fall away he was quick to deny it. Matt 26:35 “Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.” All the disciples said the same thing too.”
Earlier there had been a point when many followers of Jesus decided to walk away from him and his teaching. Jesus had turned to the twelve and asked if they were going to leave too. Here is Peter’s reply. John 6:68-69 “Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. “We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”
By Peter’s confession, the disciples had come to believe that Jesus was God’s Holy One. In another place, he said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matt. 16:16) Now, in the darkness, they run. They ran for home as Jesus had predicted. What was important to remember is not where they ran to but from whom they ran. They ran from God.
Task for Today: When the day is dark and dangerous remember these words, “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Cling to God knowing He will never leave you or forsake you. Evil can destroy your body but God will save your soul.