“Let these go their way.” (v.8)
Jesus asked for protection for His disciples. Jesus had promised that He would not lose one of them.
Several years ago when I served as pastor to a congregation in California, a woman in a nursing home lay dying. She was a friend of one of our members, Carmen Sauder, for a number of years. I went up to see her before she died. My first visit she was able to respond the most. She had much to say about her friend, Carmen. At one point I asked: “Carmen was a good friend wasn’t she.”
She responded: “Til’ the very end.”
It reminded me of the commentary John offered at the start of Chapter 14, just before the Passover Jesus had with His disciples.
John 14:1 – Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
Christ will always be faithful to us.
Paul knew this. Romans 8:38-39 shares his conviction that “…neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The question isn’t whether Jesus will be loyal to us until the end… the question is about our loyalty to Him.
Jesus’ disciples display a lack of courage during Jesus’ arrest. “Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter,” Jesus quoted from the Old Testament prophet Zechariah during their Passover dinner. He knew they would desert Him in His hour of need. Matthew 26:31 records: Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me,
And fall away they did. When those Roman Soldiers and temple guards appear in the garden… they head for the hills. Mark records that the soldiers grabbed one of them and he shook off his robe and streaked away naked. What kind of followers are these? The same devotees who had just recently proclaimed loudly their loyalty to Jesus.
How about us? Some of us are scared silly… scared about what revealing what we believe about God might do to our reputations… and our lives. When my wife, Janine, went back to her first high school reunion, she was so excited to share about her new faith in Christ. To her surprise a number of her classmates were already Christians. They were Christians while they were together in High School.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” She asked them. “I was hurting so bad, I would have given anything to have heard about a God who loved me and died for me.”
What keeps us from sharing? Fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of misunderstanding. Fear we might say the wrong thing. The torches and spears scare the courage right out of us. What we fail to realize is that the Christ we follow has all the power we will ever need in even our darkest hour. His presence can knock over His enemies like bowling pins. But we don’t catch a glimpse of any of that. It is hard to see it when we are running the other way toward the illuminated exit sign.
Christ expresses his loyalty to us by moving forward toward Calvary to die for every one of his deserters. “No greater love has any man than this…”
Such loyal love calls us for devotion from us… loyaly for life!