Jesus Betrayed • Devotion #3: Put the Sword Away

We all have that person in our life that is fiercely loyal to us. It is so encouraging knowing that there is someone who will always go to bat for you. For me, that person is my wife. I know that if I need someone in my corner she will be there. Having that person is such a blessing, but I know we have all had times where we have had to pull them back too. That is the situation we find Jesus in with His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane. Judas shows up with soldiers and the Pharisees to arrest Jesus, and fiercely loyal Peter decides that it is up to him to fight on behalf of Jesus. He strikes the high priest’s servant and cuts his ear off. Quickly Jesus diffuses the situation, heals the servant’s ear, and then rebukes Peter.

John 18:10-11records, “Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) So Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?’”

Peter was ready to fight to protect Jesus, but the Lord had different plans. As we have been studying the countdown to the cross, we see moment after moment where Jesus willfully pushes forward towards what He knows is going to be His crucifixion. Jesus did not need Peter to fight His battle for Him. He knew what He was doing, what was going to happen, and He had it under control. How often do we also find ourselves in this situation where we are trying to fight a battle that the Lord has clearly told us to let Him handle? We can start simply with salvation, so many of us are trying to achieve our salvation through our own efforts when Jesus is looking down on us saying, “I already fought that battle for you, just accept this free gift!” 

I think of David declaring to the Israelites about the victory the Lord was going to have in His fight against Goliath. In 1 Samuel 17:47, it says, “And that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.”

This concept not only applies to our salvation but also the battles that we are fighting in our life. The battle is the Lord’s! When we are struggling, fighting through the battles of our life, our natural inclination is to stand up and try and fight back in our own strength. Instead, we should lean into the Lord knowing that it is only by His power and His strength that we can have any victory in the battles of life. The story of the cross shows the power and the strength of the Lord, He has already won! Next time you feel the urge to draw your sword like Peter remember that it is the Lord, not us, that delivers the victory.

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