Thursday, July 14, 2011

Runaway Christians



Matthew 26:50b-56

Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him away.

And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.

But Jesus said to him, "Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?"

In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, "Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me. But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled."

Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.

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The chief priests and elders engineered the plot to arrest the Lord Jesus Christ.

They enlisted the help of the Romans, who came and laid hands on the Lord Jesus Christ and took Him.

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It was apostle Peter who drew his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant (John 18:10).

His impetuous nature reacted violently to the Lord Jesus Christ’s arrest.

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The Lord Jesus Christ gives us some very important reasons for avoiding violence.

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"For all who take the sword will perish by the sword."

Violence is fatal.

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When someone takes a life, the government has the right to take his life.

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Under no circumstances does a Christian have the right to decide on his own to take a life, even if his intent is to defend the Lord Jesus Christ’s honor.

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"Do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?"

Violence is foolish.

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The apostle Peter didn’t have to fight.

If the Lord Jesus Christ wanted help, He could have asked God to send Him more than twelve legions of angels, or more than 72,000 angels.

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"How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?"

"But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled."

Violence violates the plan of God.

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According to Scripture, the Lord Jesus Christ had to be taken captive and led away like a sheep to slaughter.

Sheep do not battle the shepherd.

They are led to slaughter quietly and peacefully.

The Lord Jesus Christ had to be betrayed.

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Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.

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The disciples fled out of fear.

Once the Lord Jesus Christ was tied up, they became afraid.

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Although the Lord Jesus Christ forced the Roman soldiers and Jewish leaders to admit that they were interested in arresting Him only, the disciples were sure they would come after them eventually.

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The disciples couldn’t handle the pressure of their trial.

They claimed they would follow the Lord Jesus Christ to death if need be.

They claimed they would never be offended by Him or deny Him.

But that didn’t happen.

When the trial arrived and their lives were on the line, they ran.

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Sometimes we wonder how they could have done that to the Son of God.

But if we look at our own faithfulness, we realize that we too have run from trials and abandoned the Lord Jesus Christ.

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There were few reasons why the disciples fled.

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They were unprepared.

They slept instead of praying.

People will defect when they are weak in the Word of God and prayer.

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They were impulsive.

They acted on impulse rather than reason.

They acted on emotion rather than revelation.

They didn’t think through what was right or reason what was best.

They reacted to the moment.

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They were impatient.

They couldn’t wait for God’s deliverance.

Had they waited on God, they might have seen a great miracle delivering them from harm.

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They were carnal.

They relied on their fleshly power and weapons.

But when they lost those fleshly resources, they didn’t know what to do or whom to trust.

They were inconsistent.

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In spite of all that happened, the Lord Jesus Christ was triumphant.

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The Lord Jesus Christ questioned their wasted opportunities to arrest Him when He was with them in the Temple.

Why didn’t they seize Him there and then?

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These people were robbers.

They had no justification to take the Lord Jesus Christ away publicly.

And they feared the people, who believed Him to be the Messiah.

So they took Him away secretly.

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Are we Christians who would stay faithful to the end?

Or would we be the runaway Christians during our trials?


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