"Then all the disciples deserted Him and fled." (Matthew 26:56b)
I looked at this verse with different eyes a few days ago. Let's go back to the night of Jesus's betrayal.
The disciples were so sure they would never leave Jesus. Peter even said, "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will." (Matthew 26:33) Yet, he denied Christ three times out of fear. When they captured Jesus, all of his disciples left.
We look at this story, many times judging the disciples. However, how many times have we felt ashamed of our faith? We think persecution is being teased or laughed at for our faith. Anything that is different is usually viewed with judgmental and teasing eyes. We assume, however, that if we were in the disciples place that we would have stayed by his side.
We can apply this to our own lives. When times get tough and persecution (real persecution) comes, are we going to flee like the disciples did? Or are we going to prove our faith and words that we speak when we say, "Even if all fall away, I never will"?
When we are poked at, teased, etc. we can view this as preparation. We need to prepare our hearts for true persecution. The time will come when you will be tested. Will you deny Him for popularity? Will you deny Him to spare your own life? Matthew 10:39 tells us, "Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." What kind of life are we living if we're only living for the temporary? We can't reject Him for the sole purpose of surviving here on this physical earth or finding pleasure in the eyes of others. He gave His life for us. He deserves sacrifice from us. Nothing can ever measure up to the amazing gift He gave us. The least we can do is offer back our lives.
Ask yourself today, "If all fall away, will I remain strong? Will I keep standing on this truth?"