Jesus has been praying in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before He was killed.
The few disciples He took with Him keep falling asleep, even though Jesus wakes them up more than once.
The last time Jesus wakes them, He basically tells them to get up, because His betrayer is at hand.
And that's where we pick up the narrative...
43 And immediately, even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs.
They had been sent by the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders.
44 The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal:
"You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss.
Then you can take him away under guard."
45 As soon as they arrived, Judas walked up to Jesus. "Rabbi!" he exclaimed, and gave him the kiss.
46 Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him.
47 But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest's slave, slashing off his ear.
48 Jesus asked them, "Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me?
49 Why didn't you arrest me in the Temple?
I was there among you teaching every day.
But these things are happening to fulfill what the Scriptures say about me."
50 Then all his disciples deserted him and ran away.
That last sentence is terribly poignant.
The men who had spent the last 3 years of their lives just ran away.
These are men who had spent some prettying intimate time with Him.
They'd been with Him every day.
Walked countless miles with Him.
Heard Him say countless things about countless topics.
Watched Him talk with people & connect with them.
Seen incredible, unheard of miracles, constantly.
Eaten hundreds of meals together.
Slept outside overnight with Him hundreds of times.
Sat around campfires late at night, when the crowds had gone, listening to Him talk.
Peed & pooped in the woods with Him.
Took baths in the streams with Him.
And had been the recipients of His special love & attention in far more intimate settings & ways than anyone else.
And when He needed them the most, they simply ran away into the darkness of night.
I don't know how they did it.
But before the completely vilify & castigate the disciples for their faithlessness, thing about this...
We do the same thing.
We have seen Jesus come through for us time & time again.
We have benefited from our connection with Him countless times.
He's pulled us out of many a troubled time.
We've connected with Him at our more intimate levels.
But if we're faced with resistance or attacks from people, we pull back.
If our connection make us look stupid or crazy to people we hold as important, we become silent.
Or if we don't get from Jesus what we want when we want it, we get all crabby & pouty & accuse Him of not coming through for us.
iow, we act just like the disciples did that night in Gethsemane.
The same forgiveness that was available to them for their cowardice & faithlessness is available to us.
We just don't need to think about how terrible the disciples were when they abandoned Jesus when He needed them most when we do the same thing.
Think about that today...