You’ve walked with Jesus. You’ve even said you loved Jesus and He was central in your life. That’s what you claimed anyway. Friends from your past have listened as you, in spiritual moments, in safe places where others talked of Jesus, you spoke up too. You talked about Him as if He was central in your life.
But now… He’s not.
How is this possible? How can you, or anyone for that matter, walk with Jesus and later “walk away from Jesus?” It CAN happen. It happened in John 18. Jesus was being questioned and judged by Pilot and His “faithful” disciples were dropping like flies. Imagine being in the place of Judas. Recently he talked of his commitment to Jesus but here he is with a band of soldiers, under the cover of darkness, with lanterns, torches, and weapons looking for Jesus to arrest Him. Jesus spoke up in the darkness and said, “Are you looking for me? Well, here I am.” And they were so shocked they fell backwards to the ground. Who looked strong and who looked weak in that moment? Seems like Jesus won again.
How could His faithful disciples turn their back on Him?
- Money. Judas sold out Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. Sometimes we think that a full commitment to Jesus and our financial goals just can’t occupy the same life path. Wrong. The truth is that Jesus is the owner of it all. He isn’t committed to your poverty, He is committed to all your needs being met. Serving Jesus and being successful in your career can and should go hand in hand. He cares for you. The truth is, Jesus can advance your career, and provide for you in an instant in ways it could take you decades to achieve without Him.
- Fear of Man. The disciples knew Jesus was about to be tortured and crucified. It scared them to death to think of being right by His side and join in the suffering. They were afraid, very afraid of suffering for Jesus. What if they didn’t receive a beating but faced other consequences for staying close to Jesus? What if they were shunned in the future, what if they were treated like outcasts, passed over when opportunities came their way. Is your fear of man so great that you would walk away from your commitment to Jesus?
- Sin. Pilate questioned Jesus and after the hearing Pilate walked outside and asked the crowd who were gathered in the streets who should be crucified and who should be released. He clearly told the crowd, “I find no fault in Jesus. But who should I release?” They cried out, “Release Barabbas!” Here’s an interesting fact. Barabbas was a robber… a thief. The people rejected Jesus because He knew them. He knew their heart and was fully aware of their sinful condition. And Jesus had invested deeply in His disciples and in this moment He experiences the abandonment of His closest followers. Did you walk away from Jesus because you chose sin in His place.
So what is in the way and keeping you from being closely connected to Jesus? Did you think loving and pursuing money would be better than walking with Jesus? Did you think gaining approval of others would be better than a relationship with Jesus? Did you think that having the freedom to sin and live the way you want would bring more joy and peace than following Jesus?
If any of this isn’t working for you, it’s time to admit it to Him and return to Jesus. Do it today.
‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. ‘ 1 John 1:6-9
Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.’ John 18:38-40