Strayers and Stayers – Part One

Luke 22: 25 – 30

Jesus is looking for people who care.  Do you?

He is looking for people to represent Him.  Will you?

There have always been people who followed Christ. Those who have can be divided into two groups:  STRAYERS AND STAYERS.

John 6:66 describes the first group. Jesus depicted the challenges and demands of following Him, and “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.”  Then Jesus turned with a broken heart and addressed a question to those remaining: “Do you also want to go away?”  (6:68)

They became His decals.  They stuck.  Near the end of His ministry in the upper room on the eve of His death He paid them one of the highest compliments He ever paid anyone.  He said, “You are those who have continued with me in My trials.” In effect, “You,” He said in effect, “stuck with me.”

They were not much to brag on and they probably knew it, but one quality they had and He stressed it.  “You stayed when others strayed.”  They stayed because they cared.

Loved ones often keep long vigils in hospitals because they cared. Families go without food and get little sleep in order to keep a love vigil in an hour of crisis because they cared.

The philosopher, Friedreich Nietzsche, not a conservative writer; in his book, “Beyond Good and Evil” made a worthy observation. He wrote: “The essential thing ‘in heaven and earth’ is…that there be a long obedience in the same direction; there thereby results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living.”

That is what results when one really cares about Christ and His cause.  There is a long obedience in the same direction. There is no turning back.

If you care, you share. There is an old proverb which came from ancient Europe which states: “Shared joy is double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.”

Clearly, the way of doubling a joy is by sharing it. When something good happens and you share it with a friend, the joy is doubled.

Likewise, when something sorrowful happens and you share it, the burden is lightened and the sorrow diminished.

That is the environment in which we are to live and serve. Jesus complimented them saying they had been with Him in His “trials.” The Greek word is “peirasmos” meaning dangers, afflictions, troubles, or tests intended to prove.

We need one another because inevitably we also are going to have “trials.”  

If you really care about Jesus, you will stay, not stray.