Note: To follow along in reading the New Testament with me, read Mark 14.
I call these daily posts “devos.” Of course, that’s just short for devotions. The idea of a “devotion” is simply that we spend some time each day devoting ourselves to Jesus. I wonder though, are you like me? I find in myself a tendency to fail in my devotion to Christ. In one moment I feel totally committed, but as the day goes on I let the habits of my flesh take over.
I would never stand and admit this. I would never pray, “Jesus, I plan on half hearted devotion today.” Yet day be day I find myself less devoted than I wish I was. Do you ever feel this way? And maybe, after being less devoted than you know you should be, you feel guilty? You wonder, is Jesus tired of my failed efforts?
The good news of Mark 14 is that even for the most devoted followers of Jesus, our devotion to him is nothing compared to his devotion to us. In Mark 14:22-25 Jesus shares with his disciples the first passover. This meal was a symbol not only of what Jesus was about to do, but also of their unity together in sharing the blessings of the sacrifice of Jesus. As they have this unifying meal, Jesus warns the disciples of their lack of devotion. “You will all fall away,” Jesus says. Yet in the same sentence, Jesus says, “After I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” In other words, “You are not devoted to me, but don’t worry, I am devoted to you.”
As the story unfolds, the disciples fall asleep after Jesus asks them to watch and pray. Then they all abandon him. Judas betrays him. As Jesus is being arrested, everyone with him runs. One man is so desperate to get away he ends up running away naked! As Jesus stands trial, Peter himself denies Jesus three times. Earlier that same day Peter has sworn his devotion, but in this moment, he runs.
Of course all these people are abandoning Jesus as he goes towards to cross to save them! He never stops and says, “If they’re not devoted to me, I’m not devoted to them.” He stays his path. Laying down his life for the people who abandoned him.
It is a good thing to commit your devotion to Jesus. But we must always remember, it is Jesus who first commits his devotion to us. After seeing Jesus go the cross and receiving the Holy Spirit, these disciples become bold again. They see Christ’s devotion, they receive the Holy Spirit, and they go out boldly declaring his name. But it all started with Jesus’ commitment to them by going to the cross.
This is true for us. Our devotion to Christ is a response to his devotion to us. He knows our weekness. He knows our failures. But he still pursues us and sets us apart for his mission. Let’s walk in that truth today. Devoted to Jesus, and dependent on the grace of Jesus. He is the Savior who is fully devoted to his people.