Note: This is one of my pet peeves about Christianity. It might seem a little nit-picky. But I think it does reveal a lot about the human heart, especially my own, so I must write about it.
Some of the most disparaged characters in the New Testament are the disciples of Jesus. They are constantly mocked by pastors from the pulpit. They are seen as people who have everything they need right in front of them – Jesus – yet they miss the point! They don’t fully understand what they’re supposed to get.
So we say bad things about them that we would never say to their faces. We say we would do so much better. We say they should have known better.
But would we really?
Would we really stick with Jesus when He went to the cross? Would we really not slash a guard’s ear off? Would we really believe Jesus saying that He was going to die and then come back from the dead three days later? Would we really follow Him to the grave? Would we really? On what basis do we claim to have everything together and say the disciples don’t?
I think it’s evidence of our self-righteousness that we reprimand those in the past for not doing the things we would obviously have done in that situation. It’s perhaps the simplest and most obvious application of the adage “hindsight is 20/20.” Of course we would do the right thing.
I doubt it. I am a disciple of Jesus. I am just like them.
Sometimes I, like the disciples, question Jesus’ insistence on speaking with those with childlike faith and encouraging that kind of faith.
Sometimes I, like the disciples, flee when my Savior is questioned and doubted and harassed.
Sometimes I, like the disciples, deny that I know Jesus and that I have a relationship with Him.
Sometimes I, like the disciples, doubt the very words that Jesus speaks to me, that He loves me and that He died for me.
Sometimes I, like the disciples, say that I am the best Christian there is, the most faithful follower.
So let me make this plea: on behalf of the disciples, please cut them some slack and truly put yourself in their shoes. I must do the same.