Have you ever lost something very valuable? Something that no amount of money could replace because it was invaluable? When I was younger I almost lost something that couldn’t be replaced–my faith. I made choices I am not proud of and those choices lead me to places I didn’t want to be. In those moments I turned away from God, He never left my side and His merciful love brought me back home. In the end, I questioned what was so important for me to abandon my faith?
In the Bible, the disciples were some of the closest people to Jesus. They walked, talked and followed Him, heard him speak, saw him perform miracles and yet coward to worldly persecution almost losing their most valuable possession–their faith.
At the Last Supper Jesus warned the disciples that someone would betray Him, one who was eating among them (Mark 14:18). After the Last Supper, He even warns Peter that he would deny Him (Mark 14:27) and tells the disciples, they will also scatter.
Jesus warned the disciples that their faith would be tested and they too would turn away from their faith.
“This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.” Matthew 26:31
When Jesus says this, Peter proclaims all the other followers may fall, but I will not (Mark 14:29). Jesus then tells Peter, before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times (Mark 14:30). Peter and the others emphatically claimed, even if they had to die with Jesus, they would never disown Him (Mark 14:31).
When Judas appeared in the Garden of Gethsemane with the Roman soldiers, he kissed Jesus on the cheek to signal to the soldiers which one was Jesus. “The men seized Jesus and arrested him” (Mark 14:44-46). After Jesus was arrested everyone including the disciples scattered like sheep.
It scares me to think even the people that walked, talked and followed Jesus deserted and fled Him at the time He needed them most. Everyone left Jesus because they were afraid that they too would be arrested for being associated with Him.
Peter moments before said He would never flee or deny His Lord and Savior. The disciples proclaimed they would die before ever disowning Jesus. And yet they fled.When worldly persecution infringes upon our faith how easy is it to flee in the other direction? Click To Tweet
It was even easy for the disciples who were students of Jesus. For three years they listened to His teachings, His warnings, His messages. And yet they fled in fear of getting arrested.
What happened to their faith?
In the three years with Jesus, the disciples witnessed Jesus walk on water, calm the storms, feed 5,000 people with 2 loaves of bread and 5 fish, raise the dead, heal the sick and lame, give the blind their sight, cast our demons and turn wine to water. They witnessed with their own eyes the very things Jesus was capable of. They proclaimed Jesus as their Messiah and Lord. And yet most of them weren’t even present at the cross at their own Messiah’s death, in His greatest suffering.
The disciples fear of persecution caused them to react with their flesh and not their faith. Who knows? Maybe their fear saved them from also being crucified on the cross?
It didn’t take long for the disciples’ faith to be restored. After Jesus’ resurrection, He appeared to Mary Magdelene and two men walking in the country (Mark 16:9,12). Jesus told them to go tell the disciples. When Jesus appeared to the disciples he rebuked them for their lack of faith and stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen (Mark 16:14). Again they didn’t believe!
The disciples were able to see firsthand the scars of Jesus, proof that he had indeed been crucified, buried and resurrected. The eyewitnesses weren’t enough to convince their unbelieving hearts that Jesus had risen! They had to see with their own eyes!
Just 7 days after Jesus’ death the disciples would boldly profess their faith in Jesus again without any fear at the Pentecost . According to the book of Acts, their faith never wavered again and they stood firm even in the face of persecution.
Our rebellion, our fear, our ignorance, our disbelief, our pride are the very things that will make us abandon our faith and choose the other way. We may not be able to witness Jesus firsthand like the disciples did, but we can witness Jesus firsthand by staying in The Word and through prayer.
Can you relate to the disciples? They allowed their fears to almost lose the most valuable thing in their lives–their faith. I’m so glad after Jesus’ resurrection they never questioned their faith again.
Have you ever allowed something to come in between you and God?
Have you ever lost your faith?
I am ashamed to admit I walked away from God for a period of time in my life. It was one of the worst decisions I made in my life. I never knew how valuable my faith was until I lost it. I once was lost, but now I’m found. God’s profound abundant love, captivated me. His neverending mercy and grace, consumed me. His forgiveness and sacrifice embraced my heart to never walk away from my faith again.
Maybe you’re hurting, in a place you don’t want to be. Maybe you feel like you’re so far from God and don’t know how to get back. I promise you, God is there waiting for you. He wants you. All we have to say is “God help me.” He will be there, I promise.
Blum, E. A. (1985). John. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 343). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
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