Then Jesus said to all the people, "You came to get me with swords and clubs like I am a criminal. Every day I sat in the temple area teaching. You did not arrest me there. But all these things have happened so that it will be like the prophets wrote." Then all of Jesus' followers left him and ran away.
— Matthew 26:55-56
Those who left everything to follow Jesus now leave Jesus to save themselves. It is a crucial reminder to us of how easy it is to abandon what we hold dear to preserve that which we cannot save.
Of course they come to him at night and not when the crowds are around. They are afraid of the crowds. Of course they come to him as if he were a criminal and robber, because they know of no other way to control his power. Of course they come to him in the cover of darkness and secrecy because they walk in darkness and serve the dark prince.
But as Jesus had warned, the disciples abandon him. They run. He is all alone. But he goes to face this fate knowing it will happen because his whole life has been framed by the truth: "It will come about just as the prophets wrote."
O Father, may I never forsake Jesus, who has done so much and given up so much to bring me into your family. Forgive me when I deny my commitment to him by selfish and weak actions and reactions and please mature me to be more like him. In Jesus' holy name I pray. Amen.
Today's Verses in Context
While Jesus was still speaking, Judas came there. Judas was one of the twelve followers. Judas had many people with him. These people were sent from the leading priests and the older leaders of the people. These people with Judas had swords and clubs. Judas planned to do something to show the people which man was Jesus. Judas said, "The man I kiss is Jesus. Arrest him." So Judas went to Jesus and said, "Hello, teacher!" Then Judas kissed Jesus. Jesus answered, "Friend, do the thing you came to do." Then the men came and grabbed Jesus and arrested him. When that happened, one of the followers with Jesus grabbed his sword and pulled it out. This follower hit the servant of the high priest with the sword and cut off his ear. Jesus said to the man, "Put your sword back in its place. People that use swords will be killed with swords. Surely you know I could ask my Father and he would give me more than twelve armies of angels. But this thing must happen this way so that it will be like the Scriptures said." Then Jesus said to all the people, "You came to get me with swords and clubs like I am a criminal. Every day I sat in the temple area teaching. You did not arrest me there. But all these things have happened so that it will be like the prophets wrote." Then all of Jesus' followers left him and ran away.
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.
Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.