By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
Have you ever been sitting in a church service, a small group, or a Bible study and thought, this doesn’t really apply to me?
We’ve probably all done it at one point or another. The simple fact that we feel the message or lesson isn’t applicable to our particular situation somehow gives us permission to tune out.
However, I would argue that there are times that we can tune out the message and miss what God is saying to us. Sometimes, the message that doesn’t seem to apply to us is the message we need to hear the most.
Case in point:
The night He was betrayed, Jesus and His disciples went to a place called the Mount of Olives. It was there, Jesus turned to His disciples and said:
“This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered’” (Matthew 26:31).
The disciples were astonished by what He was saying, especially Peter. His eyes grew wide as he quickly said, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” His voice cracked as he said it but his face was confident.
Jesus looked at him, gave what looked like a half-smile, and sighed. “Truly I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”
Peter’s eyes grew wide with surprise. He had believed everything that Christ had ever said. What reason did he have to distrust Him now?
Nevertheless, he spoke up, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” His voice was loud and clear, as if to make up for what he truly felt. The other disciples called out their agreement:
“Here, here.” “Yes!” “Agreed.”
Jesus appeared dismayed. His face was downcast and His heart was heavy.
Fast forward to later that night. A crowd of people came in the middle of the night with torches and shackles. Judas, the man who they thought was their friend, came forward and kissed Jesus on the cheek. This is the one you are looking for.
Guards stepped forward and clasped Jesus by the arms. One of Jesus’ followers, in an act of fear and spontaneity, slashed wildly at one of the guards, slicing off one of his ears. Jesus rebuked his disciple.
It was time for him to be taken away. The guards clasp his wrists in chains and drag him away. Fearful of what might happen next, “all the disciples deserted him and fled” (Matthew 26:56)
It was exactly what the disciples felt “didn’t apply to them”. The fact that they would fall away was exactly what they had needed to hear most. Could it be that those messages or sermons in which we feel are “not for us,” may be what we need to hear most?