|W||Luke 22:49-51 New International Version (NIV)
49 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
|O||Jesus knew His time had come. He had been praying and praying all night in a place called Gethsemane. He was very sad and troubled. Scripture (Luke 22:41-44) tells us Jesus begged the Father to remove the suffering he was about to endure. He was in such distress that an angel from heaven had to come help Him. Jesus was in great pain and prayed so sincerely that His sweat fell to the ground like drops of blood. Yet, when His time had come, He yielded to the Father’s will for His life.
When the crowd arrived to arrest Jesus, His disciples wanted to resist and fight. However, in this pivotal moment Jesus refused to retaliate. Instead, Jesus in His unconditional love for mankind, made time for another miracle. He touched and healed the ear of an enemy, one of the very men who came to escort Him to His death (Wow…that’s DEEP).
|R||Growing up, I always wanted to be surrounded by Ride or Die friends. It was the norm for the folk in my community. No one wanted to be associated with punks or people who didn’t have a spine. You wanted to be surrounded by people who would have your back no matter what. People who were strong and not afraid of anything. Like Peter.
Peter was actually the disciple who pulled out the sword and cut off the man’s right ear (John 18: 10-11). He was down for whatever or as we might say “Peter was about that life” LOL! We see in several scriptures that Peter was loyal to Jesus, even though we later find out Peter fell short of his promises (Matthew 26:69-74). Look at some of the things he said to Jesus:
1. Peter spoke up, “Even if all the others reject you, I never will!” Matthew 26:33 (CEV)
2. …Peter was so sure of himself that he said, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never say that I don’t know you!” All the others said the same thing. Mark 14:31 (CEV)
3. Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to jail and even to die with you.” Luke 22:33 (CEV)
Peter kind of reminds me of myself. When opposition knocks, I like to answer the door! LOL! But how fruitful was Peter’s reaction to the arrest? He almost inhibited Jesus from going to the cross!
Rereading the passage made me reconsider my views of Peter. Was he a true Ride or Die friend?
After thinking things through, I had a new perspective: I would say that he was BUT NOT compared to Jesus. Peter was a Ride or Die friend, but when the time came to “be about that life” Peter fell short of his word. He talked a good game, but he didn’t back it up.
Jesus was the true RIDE OR DIE friend! Jesus was the One who was willing to lay down his life! Now that takes guts! And heart! There is NO WAY in the world I could have done it—or better yet, healed the ear of an enemy who came to escort me to my death! Naw sir! I would’ve been with Peter on that one! Let the slicing begin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL!
BUT THANK GOD FOR JESUS!
The message in this passage of scripture is clear and I don’t need to belabor the point: Jesus is Love. Everything about this moment in time points to unconditional love:
1. Jesus was at His weakest. He could have aborted His mission to die, BUT He didn’t.
2. In the heat of the moment when He should have allowed His homeboys, oops I mean disciples, to ride for Him, Jesus stopped them and instead showed love to an enemy.
Jesus, my sweet Jesus, stayed true to His purpose and message:
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48 (NIV)
I will be honest. It was tough for me to write this post. Especially with all that is going in our society. Chaos and trouble everywhere you look. It’s enough drama and nonsense going on that would make anyone pop off like Peter did. I can see a lot of us responding like Peter. Ready to draw the sword. But, what good can come of that?
I desire to love like Jesus. A love that supersedes hate.
It takes more courage to be like Christ than Peter. While Peter was ready to ride for his friends, Christ was ready to die for His. That’s deep. Real deep. I pray that God will give us His grace to carry us through…to help us to have a heart to love even when everything in us wants to hate or fight back.
I come to right now thanking You for your love. Thank You for your Heart. Thank you for staying true to your purpose and mission. Thank you for enduring the cross. They lied on You, spit on You, Hit You, cursed You, and killed You. Yet, You endured. All because You loved me. Loved Us. That’s deep.
Teach me Your ways, Lord. I want to love like You. I must be honest, loving unlovable people is a challenge. Help me to respond less like Peter, but MORE like You. It is hard, but nothing is impossible with You.
In Jesus’ name,
NOTE: I cross referenced four chapters from the Gospels (Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, & John 18). I recommend that you explore them in context for yourself. Also, I used the Contemporary English Version of the Bible to articulate some of my points in this post.