John 16: Running Away
I think it is easy for us to be confident like the disciples in John 16. Because Jesus was explaining parts of the future to them, they were convinced that He was the Messiah. However, Jesus challenges them.
Joh 16:31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?
Joh 16:32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
Joh 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Jesus knew what would happen when He was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane. He knew that His disciples were going to run away in fear. It was easy for them to be confident while Jesus was sitting right there with them, and none of them were really under persecution. Sure, people did not necessarily agree with everything Jesus was teaching, but there were no Christian martyrs yet. Christians were a strange minority religion in Israel following a Rabbi who was different than any other.
I bring this up because Jesus asked them if they really believed. He seemed to imply that perhaps they do not believe as strongly as they thought they did because they were going to run away in the future. I guess that is the ultimate test of belief. Is it something you are willing to die for?
The disciples did run away in the garden, but it is worth mentioning that history teaches that all of them died as martyrs. They discovered the cost of discipleship.
This is definitely one of those stories that make you think as a Christian in America. It is a lot different to be a Christian around the world where your life could very well be in danger for the following Jesus Christ.