Heavy on my heart this morning was the scripture story of Peter following Christ after He was arrested. I’ve always had somewhat of a fascination with Peter’s life because I can identify with so many of his weaknesses. But when it comes to history, could I even come close to identifying with the strength of his death? Hmmm? But as I read that scripture, sandwiched in betwixt and between were these two crazy verses about someone else who followed Jesus.
And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him: And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.
An unnamed man, who according to commentary, likely jumped out of his bed when he heard the commotion in the streets as they lead Jesus through Jerusalem found himself in story central, and not in a good way. He’d heard of this man called Jesus, he really wanted to know more about Him, but here he was about to get a far too close and personal look at the Man who had created such a stir in the community. He hadn’t even bothered putting on any britches (or robe as the case would have been). He just showed up.
Even typing those words made my stomach roll over. How many people are going to show up before Jesus without a robe? Only this time it will not be He on trial but them. Jesus still causes quite a stir in communities; everyone has their opinion, their doctrine, and their denomination. And then there are those who just want to get a closer look. So they get into the conversations with the religious who want to spend more time arguing over Christ than the getting the lost saved which is the whole purpose of why He came. Say what you want about Peter… when’s the last time anyone in your congregation lead 3,000 souls to Christ in one service? (Acts 2)
But now back to the story… the unnamed man is standing at Jesus’ trial in nothing but a sheet and some other young men go to lay hands on him and in fear he drops the sheet and runs away naked. That’s an excellent picture of these last days when we see more and more people who want to know Who Jesus is, but when it comes to finding out the truth they run away, having no robe to cover their sins. If he had stayed he very well might have been drug into Jesus’ story, he too would have been caught up in the persecution.
Just knowing about Jesus won’t win the robe. The Bible says that even Satan ‘knows’ Jesus. (James 2:19) Receiving that robe of white in Glory is about your relationship with Jesus and your willingness to suffer with Him. When the time came for the young man to suffer with Jesus, he fled away naked. Faker’s aren’t willing to take any heat for Jesus. Peter may have cowered down when Jesus stood before the High Priest (so did 10 others by the way) but he ended on a good note. He did preach the gospel again, he was persecuted and hung on a cross upside for his Lord. He didn’t run away when it mattered.
My question to you this morning is this, “Do you have a robe, or a sheet?” If your judgment day was today would you stand or flee? There’s more to it than just saying you’re a Christian, you have to be willing to take part in His suffering. I know, I’ve been the sheet wearer, but hallelujah I have a robe waiting for me in Glory. I was the faker, but now I am the follower. You need to know that you know… are you named in Glory?