In The Night Of Offense
“Then Jesus said to them, You will all be offended and stumble and fall away because of Me this night [distrusting and deserting Me], for it is written, I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.” Matthew 26:31 Amplified Bible
We are all so familiar with the account of the disciples scattering as Jesus is arrested, but we often miss an important point that is made in this verse. Jesus made this statement to His disciples just after the Passover meal and His last supper with them. This statement had to be shocking the ears of the disciples who just spent this intimate moment with Jesus.
Jesus told them that that very night all them who had walked with Him for more than three years and witness and participated in all those miracles would soon disperse in that night of darkness. These faithful few men that Jesus had called and trained and who had left all to follow Him would soon leave Him. But what is worse, at that moment they would no longer believe in Him!
It was not just that these 11 were fearful when Jesus was arrested, it was much worse for them. This was the night they would distrust Jesus! They would no longer believe what they had witnessed and experienced themselves while serving with Jesus. They would desert Him, just as the prophet Zechariah had written. These men whom Jesus had chosen would stumble this night and actually fall away from Jesus. That is astonishing.
It is a reminder that there will be night seasons in everyone’s life when it will appear that what we have believed and stood upon is not real. It will appear that the promises are not true. It will appear that Jesus is not who He says that He is, not whom we believed Him to be. Every believer will face this night season when circumstances will cause them to stumble and fall down in their faith asking Jesus “why” and “how can this be”. But night will always give way to the third day and the reality of His final and ultimate truth and faithfulness to His promises.
Just as the disciples stumbled and were lifted up again, so this should always be our reminder when we find ourselves in that night of offense. Even though the disciples deserted Jesus, Jesus was faithful to never desert them and He will not desert you either. We have all been in that night season so let us with a heart of empathy pray for those we know and see that are going through that night season in their life. Pray that they, like the disciples might once again see the beyond belief power of Jesus in their deliverance.
J Todd Hostetler