Annually I read through the Gospels of Jesus Christ and this year I noticed something in a different way. When Jesus first began in ministry, fulfilling the call of God on HIS life, He had 12 disciples, and crowds of thousands following Him. As long as the signs, wonders and miracles prevailed He was popular. In His third year of ministry, when He left Jericho on His way to Jerusalem, the believers heralded Him as King, the unbelievers walked away, and the religious leaders falsely accused Him. Shortly thereafter, following the Passover meal, one of his disciples departed to betray Him. In the garden of Gethsemane, none of the remaining disciples could stay awake to pray with Him. As in all things when it is easy, the crowds that follow are large. When it is not easy, the ones you counted on have fallen asleep. Not one disciple encouraged Yeshua to go to the cross, even though it was the complete fulfillment of HIS destiny. The redemption of humanity was the most important action of His time on earth. It was the time when HIS obedience mattered the most. Although I wish it wasn't true and that it was someone else's story, I have noticed the same in the last 24 years of ministry. In the beginning, everyone was excited, supportive, encouraging and wanted to be in my inner circle of friends. Now, most of those that were there in the beginning have taken other paths, some faithful few have moved to heaven, and in the times when I have needed prayer and/or financial support the most...it has been the least. As I have purposed to walk out the Calling of God in my life, the betrayals have increased, just as it did with Yeshua. I am grateful that HE is my faithful model, mentor, and friend. I am grateful that HE is always faithful and true as I have learned true eternal joy is found only in complete obedience to ELOHIM!
Scripture references: Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John