You Will Leave Me
August 3, 2022
Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe? Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me (John 16:31-32).
I have heard some people criticize God for being a ‘cosmic kill-joy.” They believe He stifles all our fun by giving us the 10 Commandments, the Bible, the Holy Spirit, and the Christian church to keep us in check. They don’t understand that if God didn’t keep us in check and allowed us to do whatever we wanted, we would run off the rails and into self-destruction. We believe ourselves to be the master of our own destiny. We forget we are fallen creatures, flawed by a sinful nature, and prone to live to excesses (good and bad), and as such, our destiny is, as God said, a life of pain, suffering, and death.
To the woman He said: "I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you." Then to Adam He said, "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it': "cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread 'till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return" (Genesis 3:16-19).
On the heels of the disciples’ ‘Eureka!’ moment (John 16:29-30), Jesus responded, Do you now believe? Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. It was as if the disciples said, “Hey, now we get it!” and Jesus said, “No, you don’t get it.” His words were an unbearable prediction. It was as though He said, “You may understand this, and your belief in Me may have increased beyond your expectation, but it won’t last. Very soon you will turn on Me and abandon Me.” Talk about dumping a bucket of cold water on their fire of renewed fervor! But it was true. In just a few hours the Temple guards would find them in Gethsemane, Judas would betray Jesus, and the disciples would run for their lives. Peter and John would follow Jesus in the shadows, Peter would deny Jesus 3 times, then leave the scene spiritually crushed and emotionally broken. Only John (with the women) would stand at the cross and watch Jesus die.
Christians need to appreciate the mountain-top experiences we have with Jesus. We need to cherish them, hold them close to our heart, and remember them always. But we need to be aware that we cannot stay on the mountain top. We must return to the valley and minister to a lost and dying world. Jesus and the disciples didn’t stay on the Mount of Transfiguration. They had to return to a people struggling with sin. Eventually, in His hour of need, they left Him. We draw very near to the Lord on the spiritual mountain-top experiences, but how close to Him do we stay when we walk the broken paths of the valley? Amen.