Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Luke Twenty-Two, part four

Reading: Luke 22:47-65

Scripture: When Jesus' followers saw what was going to happen, they said, "Lord, should we strike with our swords?" And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus answered, "No more of this!" And he touched the man's ear and healed him.

Observations: The disciples see what's going down and their "fight or flight" instinct kicks in. Before Jesus can stop them, swords come out and Peter (John's Gospel says it was him) starts swinging and someone's ear got in the way. Jesus steps in to stop them, then he reaches out and heals the man's ear.

Though he told them to take the two swords they had (verse 38) he never intended for them to use them. Or, perhaps he knew this kind of thing would happen and he intended to make the point that he was going to return evil with good. Either way, the point was made, and Jesus let darkness have its way.

Jesus refrained from using the power available to him to defend himself and crush his enemies and instead offered his life up in love for his enemies.

Apply: From the perspective of our instinctive thinking Jesus' surrender and sacrifice looks impractical, irresponsible and insane. We think revolutions happen through the power of the sword. But Jesus had surrendered just moments earlier to the Father's will, and his willingness to suffer paid off three days later. His resurrection launched a Kingdom revolution of sacrificial love that we are a part of today.

Prayer: Forgive me, Lord, for instinctively reaching for a "sword" when I should be reacting with grace. Help me to be so in tune with You and the Father's will that I can react in difficult circumstances in a way that reflects your sacrificial love for others.

1 comment:

traci said...

TOO many verses - too much "stuff" too little TIME!!

It just doesn't make sense, a revolution, the kingdom, the throne - SURELY WE MUST FIGHT! and again, upsidedown and backwards we go - to see straight...will there come a day when the "ways" of Jesus don't confound me??

They came with swords clubs when every day He was in the temple courts and they didn't lay a hand on Jesus - I have always imagined "they" to be some thugs who worked for the army - or the prison - or the...but no, not the temple...not the priests - how can that be possible? Can a priest - a religious man actually get so low and so twisted could THEY do this?

I guess any of us could - we get our eyes on status in the church and on SELFrightousness and next thing you know, we're pickin up clubs and going against the very GOD who annointed us for office...OUCH.

I wonder, when Jesus turned and looked straight at Peter...what was in His eyes? Was it judgement, or was it love and compassion? Which do you think broke Peter's heart that night?

Thank you Jesus for loving even those who had come with clubs to take you - and for showing that you love them with your "touch" of healing and grace. And thank you that in amazing ways, when we are kicking and scratching against everything you are trying to do to hold us turn to us with a look of love and compassion.