43 Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders. 44 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” 45 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. 46 The men seized Jesus and arrested him. 47 Then one of those standing near drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 48 “Am I leading a rebellion,” said Jesus, “that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” 50 Then everyone deserted him and fled. 51 A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, 52 he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.
How do you account for the reaction of the disciples?
Lord, I don’t like discomfort. I have been accustomed to the conveniences of my home, the ability to purchase food at will, and the liberty to move and travel as desired, and the freedom to worship You. Forgive me when I take these things for granted and don’t acknowledge those gifts and blessings. There are many countries where those basic rights are not available to them. Even in this country, there are people who are determined to limit those rights and to take away freedoms that I currently enjoy. There is social persecution for those who do not succumb to the pressures of following the way of these people. There are churches that have turned their back on Your Word and accept the ways of society to avoid negative attention and persecution. Instead of standing with You and Your principles, they have deserted Your teachings out of fear to protect their comfort. Forgive us, Lord. Let Your truth be more important than our comfort. Let our motivation be to share the truth of Your Gospel message to those who have not heard. That may be uncomfortable, but if Your message is watered down and contaminated by society, it is no longer Your Word and it doesn’t help anyone. Lord, I too avoid confrontation from the world in my silence. Help me not run away from my faith in order to fit in. Let me not conform to the ways of the world to avoid uncomfortable conflicts. Fill me with Your Spirit and give me the courage to stand with You as others desert You. The disciples ran in fear from the physical threat of the Romans. We run in fear from the threat of social condemnation. You didn’t avoid being uncomfortable. You left the comforts of Heaven to be born in a stable. You moved toward the condemnation, beatings, and crucifixion out of Your great love for me. Because of Your pain and death, I have eternal life. Strengthen my faith so that my love to spend eternity with You is greater than my fear. You promised that You will always be with me, and will not forsake me, even when I am uncomfortable. I trust You at Your Word. Amen