Time with God is taking a short pause from studying Corinthians to prepare our hearts for Easter. Join us as we reflect on the events leading to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
Remember the reality TV show, Fear Factor, which tested the limits of physical endurance and mental resolve as its contestants faced their greatest fears? Sometimes our lives seem to resemble that show. When we are facing difficulty and worry about our finances, health, or relationships, it can seem more than we are able to endure. Often, when confronted with an intense situation, we either run away or try to over-control our circumstances. In today’s dark passage, Jesus and his disciples responded very differently as they encountered difficulty and fear.
- what are some of your current fears?
READ THE WORD: MARK 14:43-52 (ESV)
43 And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard.” 45 And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” And he kissed him. 46 And they laid hands on him and seized him. 47 But one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. 48 And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.” 50 And they all left him and fled.
51 And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized him, 52 but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- What difficult situation were Jesus and the disciples facing (vss. 43-46, 48)?
- Describe the scene. What words and phrases indicate that this was a dark, dangerous, or volatile situation?
- How did Jesus’ followers respond (vss. 47, 50, 52)?
- What did Jesus do, and how did he express trust in his father’s will (vs. 49)?
- When faced with desperate times, what is your tendency—to control or to run? What would it look like in your life to trust Jesus instead?
RESPOND TO GOD
Jesus was betrayed by a friend, seized by religious leaders, and abandoned by his chosen disciples. His arrest would lead him down a path of injustice to death. Yet, Jesus remained resolute to the Father’s will while others faltered and fled. Jesus’ trust in God’s plan allowed him to surrender peacefully and deflate the volatility. In times of fear, our desire to control or run reveals our need for a Savior determined to go to the Cross. Will you trust Jesus and follow him wherever he may lead?
- Thank God that he is strong when we are weak.
- Ask for the courage to follow him and face your fears in his strength.