READING: Leviticus 13, Matthew 26:26-50
“And all the disciples said the same thing.”
I can only guess how many times I've verbalized a commitment to God that I didn’t keep in my decades as a Christian. I don’t think I ever intended to break my commitment; as far as I can recall, my words were always genuine—but genuine words didn’t always result in obedient actions. Zeal didn’t always last long, especially when life became chaotic or troublesome.
The disciples of Jesus experienced the same thing at times. Following the Lord’s Supper, and having heard Jesus’s warning that they would all fall away, all of the disciples followed Peter’s lead: “’Even if I have to die with You,’ Peter told Him, ‘I will never deny You!’ And all the disciples said the same thing” (Matt. 26:35). All were certain they would stay faithful to Him, and all were willing to make their case publicly to Him. Maybe they simply wanted to match Peter’s boast, but we have little reason to think they doubted their own boasts. As best they could, they probably meant what they said.
Within hours, though, they all fled (Matt. 26:56). Judas betrayed Jesus, the arresting mob arrived, Jesus willingly gave Himself to them – and the disciples ran. The danger felt too heavy, and their fear ran too deep. They had overestimated their own faithfulness while underestimating the attack of the enemy, and they broke their commitment to Jesus. What they said they would never do, they did within just a few hours. God’s grace halted them from running too far, but they nevertheless ran.
Their failure is a reminder to us that our faithfulness to Christ is not a one-time decision. It’s a day-to-day, hour-by-hour, moment-by-moment, second-by-second commitment. Regardless of the depth of our faith in God this minute, the next minute can bring such trouble, strife, or danger that we fall if we dare lean on ourselves rather than on God. None of us is immune to this kind of attack, and all of us are susceptible to a fall. We are all, as the hymn writer said, “prone to wander . . . prone to leave the Lord I love.”*
Were it not for the protective grace and mercy of God, we would all flee.
- Think about some times when you would have run from your faith had it not been for God’s holding on to your hand.
- Pray often throughout this day, confessing to God your deep need for His grace.
PRAYER: “God, keep me from wandering at all today.”
TOMORROW'S READING: Leviticus 14, Matthew 26:51-75
* “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” http://www.hymnsite.com/lyrics/umh400.sht