October 2

Text: Matthew 26:55, 56

At that time Jesus said to the multitudes, "Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as against a robber? Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me.  But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled." Then all the disciples left Him and fled.  (NASB)

Night with little or no light is a frightening time.  Imaginary dangers produced by heightened senses commonly terrify us in such circumstances.  Imagine how much more terrifying it would be to encounter in that darkness many armed soldiers looking for you!  That is not an experience the typical person would want!

Yet, Jesus faced that group!  Do you wonder how wide-eyed Jesus’ 11 followers were then?  All who were sleepy were suddenly fully awake!

May I paraphrase?  Suddenly the 11 who felt they had nothing to fear had every reason to fear.  Jesus, with no fear, said to the armed group, “Do I really strike you as a violent man?  Do I look like a dangerous criminal?  I am a teacher, not a criminal to be feared.  I am that man who openly taught among you every day.  Who received physical injury because of something I did?  If I was doing something illegal or hurtful, why did you not arrest me then?”

If ever one man made a large armed group look foolish, Jesus did at that moment.  Their weapons might indicate they were more afraid of Jesus than he was of them!  They came for him as a powerful man.  He faced them as men with no power.  The most they could do was kill him; death ended their power.

While he obviously did not fear death, the 11 did.   They fled into the darkness.  Now Jesus was truly alone physically.

Have you found evasion to be an effective way to deal with problems?

Suggestion for reflection: Which shows courage—coercive or controlled power?  (Read John 8:25-30.)

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 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell