Runaways, Come Home


Are you a runaway? Do you know someone who is a runaway? This article is for every runaway who ever ran away from their daily walk with Jesus.

When the subject of runaways rises to the surface, most Christians think of the prodigal son, who stormed out of his father’s house and then eventually came to his senses and returned. However, I want to focus on another runaway who came home: the apostle John.

John was probably the youngest of the Twelve and a case can be made that he was Jesus’ best friend, even a closer relationship than Peter and James. But he was also a runaway.

In Gethsemane, the night of His arrest, Jesus took Peter, James, and John even deeper into the garden than the other eight, so that they could be closer and support Him in His moments of agony. They all failed and fell asleep, 3 times.

When Jesus was arrested, the scriptures record,

“Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.” Mt 26:56

“And they all left him and fled.” Mk 14:50

Not long before they all ran away, Jesus had prophesied to them in the upper room,

“Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.” Jn 16:32

You see, the apostle John was a runaway, just like the other apostles.

Two of the apostles repented of being a runaway: Peter and John. Peter failed in his repentance, but after the resurrection was reunited with his LORD.

John repented either that night or the next morning. How do we know? At the crucifixion,

“Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Dear woman, here is your son,’ and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.” Jn 19:25-27

The unnamed disciple is unquestionably John. And he not only repented, but he became Jesus’ understudy, to do for Mary what He would be unable to do.

Lesson? We sing a song at our church called At The Cross. It has a line that stirs up my emotions every time I sing it: “Your love ran red”. The image is the blood of Christ running down the cross and dripping on to the ground, the blood that paid the price for your sins and mine. When I sing those words, often I cannot even speak or sing.

As I was preparing a sermon on that song, a question arose: Who can “testify” that Jesus’ blood ran red, “love ran red”? Testify means “eyewitness.” That’s when I realized that of the Twelve, only John could “testify” that Jesus’ “love ran red”; only John was there on Calvary. And only the night before he had been a runaway. On that Friday, not only did Jesus accept his repentance, but he entrusted him with Mary. So, it wasn’t a reluctant reception of his repentance, but a glorious one. Literally, with arms open wide, Jesus received John back.

Point? Jesus stands at His Father’s side, eager to do the same for every runaway who will come home, who will return to that Savior and LORD who ruled their lives when they were first saved by His blood, the blood of the Lamb.

Are you a runaway? Surrender again to LORD Jesus, He is eager to hold you once more.

Do you know a runaway? Please, go tell them that Jesus yearns for their return. If you have already told them, then go remind them of the depth of Jesus’ love, the “love that ran red”.