Theme of the Week: Roads to Easter
Bible Verse: Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) John 18:10
Scripture Reading: John 18:1-14
It had been a difficult few hours to say the least. First, Peter had misunderstood what Jesus meant when he was washing the disciples’ feet and had to be corrected in front of everyone. Of course, they had all misunderstood a number of things over the course of the years. This little faux pas could be overlooked. But then Jesus had said that Peter would deny even knowing Him.
Peter had given up family and business to follow Jesus. He had been by Jesus’s side for three years. Surely, he would not deny knowing Him! He would die with Jesus. But Jesus calmly assured Peter that before the rooster crowed three times, Peter would deny Jesus three times.
Then came the garden. Perhaps they were exhausted from the news that Jesus would be leaving them. The emotions of the night had sapped their strength. They had fallen asleep, despite Jesus’s request that they stay awake and pray with Him. Peter must have felt foolish. Sure you will die with Him, Peter. You cannot even stay awake when He asks. And then he fell asleep again!
Now here he stood. A mob of Priests and soldiers in front of him. They were coming for Jesus. And what was Judas doing with them? It was suddenly too much. The confusion, embarrassment, and anxiety all spilled over. Now was the time to prove his loyalty. Out came the sword.
Blade met flesh and sliced.
“Put your sword away!” Jesus’s voice clear and sharper than Peter’s weapon. Wrong again, Peter.
“Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”
The sword rattled to the ground. Jesus, hands bound, went with them.
I understand Peter’s response. We still draw our swords when people “come for our Jesus.” Now we use keyboards, megaphones, podcasts, and news stories, but we still swing wildly at those we think are taking Jesus away. Creating wounds that Jesus must heal. Maiming the very people Jesus is reaching out to.
Maybe we too miss what Jesus is doing.
Prayer: Jesus, thank you that you did drink the cup the Father gave you. Thank you that you drank it instead of me. I’m sorry for the times I have missed what you were doing, and in my misunderstanding stood in the way of what you were trying to accomplish. Help me to see what you are doing and to join you in your work your way.
Reflection: Have you ever “attacked” anyone who seemed like they were trying to take Jesus away? Do you need to be a part of Jesus healing that wound?
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