All of humanity has a supernatural enemy. Ephesians 2:2 refers to him as the prince of the power of the air. Jesus calls him the prince of this world in John 12:31. A sidenote here, notice he is referred to as a prince, not the King. Jesus is the king. But, as long as we’re here on this earth, we have an enemy that we will do spiritual warfare with.
It’s always good to know the ending. Somehow it provides an inner strength when one knows that, in the end, the devil loses and has his part in the lake of fire. Unfortunately, this may not have been available for the disciples of Jesus. We have been covering Mark 14 for the past several Sundays and again this current Sunday. What we know is the following.
Jesus and all twelve of the disciples shared in the last supper. With the exception of Judas, eleven of them went with Jesus to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. He took Peter, James and John to keep watch for him as he prayed but they kept falling asleep (verses 33-41). At the end of verse 41 he says that he is going to be betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Shortly after that Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss. The sinners are obviously the chief priests and scribes, the temple guards and roman soldiers. Under dark of night, in a garden of prayer, they rush in and arrest Jesus like a common thief. Only a devil would conspire to do such mischief.
The devil had already taken up residence in Judas. Now, with all the hubbub and commotion Peter, who had boasted that he was willing to die with Jesus, takes a swipe at a chief priest’s servant and cuts off his ear. Jesus then touched his ear and healed him (Luke 22:51). Peter’s willingness to fight to save Jesus is not part of the plan, God’s plan. The devil spotted his weakness and used it to add to the chaos.
Now we have the rest of the disciples. Seeing all that was taking place was enough to break and run which they did. The devil was able to capitalize on the weakness of their faith to use it to his own advantage. Now, he was in a position to get rid of Jesus once and for all. That isn’t God’s plan either. That’s why First Corinthians 15:58 is so important. Faith, stedfast and immovable, is what it will take to stand with Jesus in the last days.