And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.” While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.
1. Fear is real.
The Bible doesn’t tell us that we will never fear. It tells us when we are afraid what to do.
Fear is a natural emotion that we are directed to not allow to rule our lives.
Paul encourages Timothy in his 2nd letter with these words:
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:6-7
The disciples were afraid and allowed that fear to control them in an important moment. In the end, they all ran away. Fear caused them to scatter.
2. Fear always creates distance from faith.
Every one of the disciples ran. One even ran out of his clothes. When we allow fear to control us it creates distance between us and the trust God wants us to have. Fear breeds fear. Faith breeds faith.
What is occupying your thoughts in this season? Is fear distancing you from your help? Has fear crippled your ability to trust?
Jesus never told the disciples to run. He had them, he alone was protecting them, he was giving his life for them.
John 18:8-9 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9 This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”
3. There is grace for running.
The disciples running wasn’t the end of the story. You probably have already ran many times in your life. Maybe you’re in a running situation now. Maybe you had an opportunity to exercise your faith but you ran. Maybe you’re running from a difficult relationship or a betrayal or a difficult conversation or getting clean from addiction.
God has not written you off. He’s waiting for you to quit running.
Luke 23:32-34 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Jesus had enough grace to forgive those crucifying him. He definitely has enough grace for our running.
Jesus wants you to come back to his forgiveness. There is enough grace for you to run back to him. He is waiting to forgive.