In this time of separation and isolation during the 2020 Corona Virus, I was reminded that Christ was separated and isolated also for our eternal benefit.

Zechariah prophesied conditions much like we are experiencing today but against the disciples during the most critical time of Christ's time on earth - Jesus' trial, scourging and execution. Zechariah 13:7 says, 

"'Awake, sword, against my shepherd, against the man who is close to me!' declares the Lord Almighty. 'Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn my hand against the little ones.'"

Jesus would quote to His disciples from this passage perhaps moments after He prayed for their Unity and all future believer's Unity.

"Then Jesus told them, 'This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:

‘I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’

But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.'" - Matthew 26:30-32

If Peter went as far as denying association to Christ three times who knows what kind of similar or worse scenarios the other disciples went through. 

Jesus and the disciples went into The Garden of Gethsemane to pray and by the end of their prayer meeting Judas had betrayed Jesus. Here is where the prophecy of Zechariah and Jesus' affirmation of it is fulfilled.

"In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, 'Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.' Then all the disciples deserted him and fled." - Matthew 26:55-56

I am not sure why the sheep had to be scattered, especially after Jesus spoke of being unified. However, what they went through and what we are going through - Christ has experienced and conquered.

Sometimes we have to be knocked down to make us look upward. When you are at the bottom of the barrel or at the end of your rope and all other options have been exhausted, Jesus stands patiently waiting and wondering why we did not seek Him first. 

Even if we did seek Him first there may be another reason our backside is flat on the ground and our eyes are on Christ. Perhaps a worldly attack, spiritual attack or another type of lesson needed to be learned like persistence, patience or fervent prayer.

There was a disciple that was at the Crucifixion. He was with the women who attended Jesus frequently in Scripture. However, I find the lack of his mention in Matthew, Mark and Luke quite interesting seeing that the person was John.

John gave a title for himself that he made sure the readers of Scripture knew him by - "the disciple whom Jesus loved". Certainly Jesus loved all the disciples, but if you look at where John is during the whole turbulent circumstances and peaceful times, we have a good example of what we should be doing. We should be following Jesus around wherever He is - in or out of the middle of this time of separation and isolation.

At the Last Supper, before Christ was taken away, unlawfully tried, mocked, bruised, beaten, stripped naked, whipped and nailed to a wooden, elevated beam - 

"One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him." - John 13:23 

Then later John is at Mount Calvary and Jesus entrusts John with the care of His mother. 

"When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, 'Woman, here is your son,' and to the disciple, 'Here is your mother.' From that time on, this disciple took her into his home." - John 19:25-27

To me, John comes across as a teacher's pet/bodyguard type of disciple. None-the-less, he is a steadfast and faithful disciple. John was nearest Jesus at The Last Supper. John was at The Crucifixion. John raced Peter to The Empty Tomb. John was entrusted with the prophetic visions of the unveiling or The Revelation of Jesus Christ. 

My encouragement today is - in these times of separation and isolation, much like the disciples experienced during Christ's trial and crucifixion, draw near to Jesus and He will draw near to you. Who knows you could receive new assignments like John did with the care of Jesus' mother and the writing of The Revelation of Jesus Christ. But first you must be with Him - Wherever He Goes.