Have you deserted Jesus?
Thomas Bonham is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
As I get older my memories become more pronounced for some reason. Maybe it’s because I sort of feel deserted with the fading of what I thought were timeless traditions over the years. Annual holidays, secular and religious, each had their own unique meanings and celebrations, but they all seemed to have lost their dedicated shine. I remember Easter Sunday being the promise of new beginnings with spring popping up through the remains of a snowy winter with colorful daffodils and irises. Up and down the street, people were dressed in their finest garb, gathered in the yard, taking family photographs with their Kodak Brownie camera before getting in the car and heading for worship. Our family was no different, being careful to avoid the soft muddy soil of post-winter snows with our freshly shined “church” shoes. It was the only time of the year when one could look forward to getting sick on an overload of jelly beans. Alas, this year I have been abandoned. What has happened to my loving traditional jelly beans? Where are my purple and white and black and green and yellow, make your teeth hurt, big fat, pure sugar, jelly beans? I saw “jelly beans,” but they’re like the cartoons of today, nothing like the original. I can taste them right now.
[Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-50; Luke 24:13-35] Jesus was arrested to the chagrin of those in his presence. “... Then all the disciples deserted him and fled” (v56) and “Then everyone deserted him and fled.” (v50) After three plus years, Jesus found himself without anyone remotely wanting to testify for or defend him. Even Peter who stated, “... Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same (Mark 14:31), was in the courtyard denying he ever knew Jesus while Jesus stood alone before the Chief Priest and the Sanhedrin. What of his disciples? Some watched the crucifixion from a distance (Mark 15:41-41; Luke 23:49). His mother and “the disciple whom he loved” (John) were near and Jesus told her to go with John and for John to care for her as he would his own mother. Jesus did die and the hopes of his disciples died with him, but were revived at the resurrection.
Two disciples of Jesus, while walking home to Emmaus feeling distraught and deserted, were unknowingly met by and talked with Jesus. “...we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel” (v21) (Luke 24:13-35). Jesus had not deserted his disciples. He was lifted to a higher level, a spiritual level, to which his disciples were to follow (John 14:1-14).
Let me ask you: Are you a disciple of Jesus? Do you have a tendency to desert Jesus? Do you leave Him in the pew Sunday morning as you rush home to watch TV, eat Sunday dinner or hurry to get a good seat at the restaurant? Have you left Him outside when entering a building where you didn’t want to feel His presence in that kind of place? Do you leave Him at the time clock when you start your workday? Have you left Him in the manger never to let him grow up into manhood? Have you left Him dying on the cross hoping He won’t bother you anymore? Have you left Him in the tomb for dead? Where did you leave Jesus?
Well, wherever it was, He didn’t stay there. He’s standing right outside the door of your heart. “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:19-20). Walk and talk with Jesus daily. Break bread with Jesus, and He will open your eyes.
Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find his column on his blog at http://wilsoncountynews.com.