“Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled” (Matthew 26:56 NKJV).

Before we judge the disciples too harshly, we must answer the question, “When have you forsaken Christ?” For even those of us with the most sturdy faith have certainly faltered at times. Simon Peter, still stinging from Christ’s prediction that he would deny him three times at sunset, pulled out his sword and cut off an ear of the high priest’s servant who had laid hands on Jesus. What did Peter get from Jesus for this protective action? Praise? No. He received a rebuke. Jesus didn’t need Peter’s protection. He could’ve called more than 12 legions (72,000+) of angels to His side, but instead He went willingly and obediently to the cross. Peter dropped his sword and fled along with the other disciples. Peter must’ve been overwrought with fear and confusion. Jesus wouldn’t listen when he tried to talk him out of going to the cross, calling him “Satan” in rebuke. And now, Jesus wouldn’t let him protect him, rebuking him for using his sword. Peter was at the end of his own wisdom and strength. “What does Jesus want from me?” He must’ve wondered. So he “forsook” Jesus and “fled,” instead of forsaking himself and following. Jesus does not need our protection, he wants us to deny ourselves, take up our own cross, and follow him (Luke 9:23). Even the best of us have forsaken and fled at times, but Jesus prays for us as he did for Peter, that our faith should not fail; and that we return to him” (Luke 22:31).