|W||John 18:10-11 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
10 Simon Peter had brought along a sword. He now pulled it out and struck at the servant of the high priest. The servant’s name was Malchus, and Peter cut off his right ear. 11 Jesus told Peter, “Put your sword away. I must drink from the cup that the Father has given me.”
|O||At the time of Jesus’ arrest, Peter pulled out a sword and cut off the right ear of the high priest’s servant. Throughout His journey, Jesus had been telling His disciples about this very hour, time and time again. Yet, when the hour had come, Peter was unprepared or caught up in his emotions, forgetting that the Savior had repeatedly told the disciples the Son of Man had come to die.
It was the Father’s will for Jesus to die so that through His death and resurrection the world would be saved (John 3:16-17). Was it something easy for Jesus to do? No, scripture tells us Jesus was very sad and troubled. In anguish Jesus said, “Father, if you will, please don’t make me suffer by having me drink from this cup. But do what you want, and not what I want (Luke 22:42 CEV).”
Look closely at the previous sentence. Jesus knew what He came to do. He knew what His mission was. Jesus was committed to His purpose. He was not going to let anything or anyone hinder Him from doing what God called Him to do.
It was difficult for Christ to accept the fact that He had to die a gruesome death. So, I can only imagine what Peter was feeling in that moment. He wanted to defend his Savior. Emotions were running high. Peter’s intervention almost delayed Jesus from going to the cross. However, Christ did not let Peter’s actions get in the way of what He needed to accomplish. Jesus devoted Himself to His purpose—Calvary. It was a painful and rough journey, but Christ endured everything that came His way in order to fulfill His destiny.
|R||In a previous post entitled Ride or Die, I wrote about Jesus’ arrest. Today, I want to explore what happened in the Garden of Gethsemane from another angle.
How many times do we find ourselves distracted by people and things that get in the way of us achieving our goals? Let’s take it a step further, how often do we allow ourselves to get caught up with people and things that keep us from fulfilling the calling on our lives? Pulling us away from our destiny. Preventing us from reaching our maximum potential. Causing us to stray away from the very thing that we were born to do.
Each and every one of us was born with a mission from God to complete. No one else can do it. So, if we don’t accomplish God’s will for our lives, who will? People are depending on our contributions to the world. Yet, we get entangled in people and things that waste our time—causing us to delay or even abort the mission before us.
I would like to share three lessons I learned from Peter and Jesus in Gethsemane:
1.) Peter got in the way—Jesus did not need Peter to defend Him (Matthew 26:53). I make this point because people mean well, but just like Peter, they can get in the way of what we need to accomplish. We must focus on what God is calling us to do and commit to His will. Never letting people stand in the way of our destiny. Even Jesus had to overcome this dilemma. Jesus kept telling his disciples over and over what he came to do and why, but it still took them awhile to grasp His calling. Here is one of many examples throughout the Gospels—John 16:28-31 (CEV):
“I came from the Father into the world, but I am leaving the world and returning to the Father.” The disciples said, “Now you are speaking plainly to us! You are not using examples. At last we know that you understand everything, and we don’t have any more questions. Now we believe that you truly have come from God.” Jesus replied: “Do you really believe me?”
2.) In life, there will be times when we will have to walk alone. We must stay focused though! If Jesus can do it, we can do it! In His time of need, Jesus asked his disciples to wake up and pray with Him, but they fell asleep (Luke 22:39-46). Jesus warned them, “The time will come and is already here when all of you will be scattered. Each of you will go back home and leave me by myself. But the Father will be with me, and I won’t be alone (John 16:32).” Read that last sentence again. That applies to us, too! Recognize that we WILL NEVER BE ALONE! God is and will always be with us! Take heart, my friend!
3.) Realize who our real enemy is!!!!!! Fellow believers, we know that our struggles are not with people, but against Satan. Just like Satan deceived Adam and Eve with his wicked scheme, he desires to trap us as well. His mission is to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). He is our greatest adversary. Satan uses our circumstances and people to distract us from our real fight against him. Notice what Jesus said to Peter in Matthew 26:23, “Satan, get away from me! You’re in my way because you think like everyone else and not like God.” So, we must be careful how we think. Being conscious of who is behind the scenes tempting and distracting us from God’s will for our lives. NEVERTHELESS, greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).
In closing, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power (You should read all of this: Ephesians 6:10-18)! Stay focused! Go after EVERYTHING God has for you and your beautiful life! Finish strong! Get rid of any and every distraction! As I am telling you, I am ministering to myself! To God be the Glory!
Thank you for being the PERFECT example of how to run this race called life. Help us to walk in our purpose. Help us to reach our destiny. Show us how to get rid of everything that slows us down. Teach us how to run the race that is ahead of us. May we pray, stay in Your holy Word and seek you to find a clear understanding of what you would have us to do.
In Jesus’ name,
NOTE: While I usually use the New International Version, I used the Contemporary English Version of the Bible to articulate some of my points in this post.