43 Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders.
44 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” 45 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. 46 The men seized Jesus and arrested him. 47 Then one of those standing near drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
48 “Am I leading a rebellion,” said Jesus, “that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” 50 Then everyone deserted him and fled. Mark 13:43-50
It must have completely shocked the remaining 11 disciples that Judas was the betrayer. Confused and befuddled, they fled. They were outnumbered and overpowered, or so they thought. You can’t blame them for fleeing because, well, what could they do against such a powerful opponent? That’s the argument I could hear 2000 years removed, even as they were fleeing.
Where were they going? What was their end game? When Jesus needed them the most, the ran. Later, we’ll see an infinitely greater turning away, when the Father turns His face from Jesus, but His students, his best friends in the entire world fled like scared chickens. A part of me wants to think that even as they were fleeing, they knew they needed to stay but they couldn’t help themselves. The thing is, they all fled. Not one of them had a “check” in their spirit that running was the absolute worst thing they could do.
We’d flee too if we saw in the physical realm what they were up against. would we be the hero to remain with the master in His time of need? I don’t think so. I’ve said this many times, we are just like the disciples, except that they walked and talked with Jesus every day for three years. They hold a unique place in history. He chose them because they were normal, just like you and me. There was nothing special about them…or us.
So, where does that leave us? It leaves us one day closer to His return and another day we get to know Him better before that return.