Then all the disciples deserted him and fled. Matthew 26:56b [NIV]

He never deserted them, but they in cowardly fear of their lives, fled from Him at the very beginning of His sufferings. This is just one example of the frailty of all believers if left to themselves; at best they are sheep, and they flee when the wolf comes near. They had all been warned of the danger, and had promised to die rather than leave their Master; and yet they were seized with sudden panic, and took to their heels.

It may be, that I, at the start of this day, have geared up my mind to face a situation for the Lord's sake, and I imagine myself sure to be faithful in my approach; but let me watch ever so carefully, in case through having a heart of un-belief, I should desert my Lord as the apostles did.

 

It is one thing to promise, and quite another to perform. It would have been to their eternal honour had they stood at Jesus' side bravely - instead they fled from honour. Keep me from imitating them! Where else could they have been so safe as near their Master, who could call for twelve legions of angels in an instant? They fled from their true safety. Dear God, let me not be so foolish.

 

Divine grace can make the coward brave. The smoking embers can flare up like fire on the altar when the Lord wills it. These same apostles who were timid as mice, grew to be bold as lions after the Spirit had descended upon them, and so the Holy Spirit can make my cowardly spirit brave to confess my Lord and witness His truth.
What anguish must have filled the Saviour as He saw His friends with so little faith! This was one bitter ingredient in His cup; but that cup is drained dry; don’t let me put another drop in it. If I forsake my Lord, I crucify Him again, and openly put Him to shame. Keep me, Holy Spirit, from such a shameful end.

 

Charles Spurgeon, paraphrased by Dave MacLellan(m2o Church Rugby - St. Matthew & St. Oswald)

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