Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Sword

We need to use the correct weapon and use it correctly.

John 18:10-11 Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest's slave. 11 But Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword back into its sheath. Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given Me?"

The quiet of the night in the garden of Gethsemane was usually a good place for praying and sleeping. The disciples have probably spent plenty of nights in this garden asleep while Jesus is busy praying. Again tonight the disciples are busy sleeping as Jesus is praying and they are clueless about the anxiety and extreme sorrow that Jesus is experiencing as he prays. (Mark 14:32-36)

The eleven guys taking a nap are suddenly woke up as Jesus rebukes them for failing to pray and then before they can finish waking up the silence is broken by a mob. The quiet gives way to confusion as they try to wake up and comprehend what is going on. The disciples have been through a lot this evening and they must be asking themselves "what now?"

They watch as Judas steps up, that's no reason for concern since they thought that he is still one of them, but why are so many people with him. Judas came closer to Jesus and kissed him just as any disciple would greet his rabbi and then the chaos really begins to escalate. The kiss was the beginning of the violence that Jesus had been telling them about.

The Rebellious Sword

Peter was always one to take action, even if it was the wrong action, he realizes that Jesus prediction was about to come true if he didn't do something to stop it. It doesn't make sense to us that Peter would retaliate against such a large crowd but Jesus is the best thing that has ever happened in his life and he was in a desperate situation to hold on to what he loved.

The sword that Peter used represents rebellion against the will of God. Peter should have known that Jesus would be arrested and that He would willingly surrender to His enemies even if the enemy was laying on the ground. (John 18:5-6) Jesus has already tried to teach Peter this lesson just a few days before the Transfiguration. Peter was  in a dangerous situation going against God's plan and purpose. (Matthew 16:21-23)
Peter made every mistake possible! He fought the wrong enemy, used the wrong weapon, had the wrong motive, and accomplished the wrong result! He was openly resisting the will of God and hindering the work that Jesus came to accomplish.
When we think of rebellion the Apostle Paul usually comes to mind but Peter was ahead of Paul. Peter argued with Jesus on more than one occasion about Jesus death and he sought to fight against God's plan by taking up the sword. Peter could have been executed for his actions against Malchus but Jesus fixed the damage so that Peter would live on to do battle another day with a different sword. (John 17:12)

The Spiritual Sword

The proper sword for God’s servants to use in fighting their spiritual battles is the sword of the spirit. (Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 6:17) The truth of God's Word is our weapon of choice, if we choose to use the wrong sword then we will fail miserably.

If Eve had stuck to God's Word back in the garden instead of reasoning about what it really meant then she would have been victorious just as Jesus was when he used God's Word against Satan. (Matthew 4:4-10)
2 Corinthians 10:3-4 We are human, but we don't wage war as humans do. We use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.
Jesus doesn't want us to use worldly weapons to fight spiritual battles, it doesn't make sense to use inferior weapons and tools to fight against such a strong adversary. Don't let Satan trick you into believing that he has better weapons or that his plans are better than God's plan and purpose for us.

I need to be vigilant in Bible study so that I will be aligned with God's plans and purpose for the events in my life. If I rebel and take up the wrong sword then I will suffer great harm. My Bible study time should make me a better soldier by purifying me and by training me to use the sword of God's word against Satan.