ByÂ Gabriel Osu
Let us read Matthew 26:35-74. Jesus was close to the end of His earthly ministry. His life was about to come to an agonizing end at the hands of bitter opponents. Shortly thereafter those He had trained would be assuming the reins of His new movement.
That transition period would prove to be rather awkward. It didnâ€™t help that it was forced on the group by hostile outsiders.But the most troubling aspect was what happened to Jesusâ€™associates, the ones who would have to carry His banner into thefuture. During those final days and hours, they began to fall apart.
Bravado caused them to overstate their commitment (v. 35).
When the moment of truth came, they deserted the Lord
Even though the Lord asked them to keep watch with Him
during His final hours of freedom, they fell asleep twice (vv.
At the very moment when Jesus was standing trial and
enduring mockery and beatings, Peter, whoÂ hadÂ led the
othersÂ Â inÂ Â declaringÂ Â theirÂ Â loyaltyÂ Â (v.Â Â 35),Â Â deniedÂ Â any
association with Him (vv. 69-75).
In short, the disciples hardly seem to have had the â€œright stuffâ€ for continuing the important work that Jesus began. Yet, even after all that He went through, Jesus returned to that very group of followers after His resurrection and declared that they were still His chosen representatives, the ones appointed to continue His work. He even affirmed His commitment to stick with them to the end (Matthew 28:19-20). Jesusâ€™ treatment of the disciples shows that failure is not the unforgivable act. In fact, it seems to be the crucible out of which character is formed. It is certainly not a sifting-out process to eliminate weak or useless people. Christ does not look for perfect people, but rather faithful people who can experience His forgiveness and grow.
Do you stick with people even though they stumble? Do you allow the shortcomings of your spouse, children, boss, coworkers, and neighbours to open up bright future? Do you give yourself freedom to fail? God has always valued faithfulness over perfection when it comes to handing out acclaim.