Not all ran away…….
In a sermon listeners were called to reflect on Jesus’ sorrow as he approached Jerusalem in Luke 19:41-44 at the beginning of the final week of his life. Just before that in Luke 9:51-55 James and John had asked Jesus if they should bring down heavenly fire to destroy those with Inhospitable, unreceptive or unrepentant hearts in a Samaritan village on the way to their destination in Jerusalem. Jesus promptly rebuked them and made It clear that even now, after three years they still didn’t understand his mission in the world.
In that sermon, at one point a reference was made to how Jesus’ disciples fell away at the time of his crucifixion. And while that was generally the case, there were some who didn’t. The women didn’t fall away. We read that his mother and other women were there. But it is also noteworthy that John, the one whom Jesus loved, was also there. John 19:26-27 reveals Jesus speaking to both his mother and John from the cross.
Even in the darkest and most confusing of times when some get tired of waiting for what they think Jesus should or ought to do….when it looks like the end of all they’d hoped for…….when some feared for the consequences to themselves…..there were some who stayed. Those are the followers of Christ among whom the future kingdom is being built. The church as we know it in this era may change, as it has throughout history. But those who follow Christ out of love for Christ and love for those whom Christ himself loved will continue to follow him. Whom did Jesus love? The faithful…..for sure……but also the faithless, the fickle, the fallen-away, and the forgotten. We must love them, too.