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.