Saturday, April 09, 2011

April 9, 2011 … Taking Up the Sword In Vain

Passage of the Day: Matthew 26: 51 - 52 - 53 … 51 With that, one of Jesus' companions [Peter] reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52 "Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on My Father, and He will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?”

My Journal for Today: Admit it. ... If someone struck out or attacked your best Christian friend or maybe your Pastor or mentor, most of us would be right there with Peter, picking up the “sword” to strike back in anger/revenge. We’re really no different than Peter, are we? His reaction was very human, … a knee-jerk response, … his Rabbi and friend was being arrested unjustly. And I’m sure by then Peter also realized that one of the close band of disciples, Judas, had betrayed their Master with that horrible kiss. The frustration had to have been overwhelming; but even in the heat of that moment, Jesus used it as a teachable moment; and in today’s verse of emphasis (Matt. 26: 52), we read of Jesus constraining His followers, especially Peter, and giving them a Kingdom lesson in attitude management.

Earlier in the Garden, Jesus had taught the disciples a lesson of selling their purses to buy swords (see Luke 22: 35 – 38); and apparently Peter took Jesus too literally. If you read and study that instruction, you will note that Jesus was referring to the “sword” of the Spirit, … not physical weapons … about preparing for spiritual warfare, not physical conflict. In fact the Apostle Paul later gives all believers the truth about weapons of spiritual warfare, which are not of the flesh (see 2nd Cor. 10: 3 - 4). We must remember that we don’t need to take up fleshly arms to defend God, as was done in the “Crusades.” Jesus, in today’s passage, is telling Peter, and all of us, that He could call upon legions of angels if He so desired (see also Matt. 26: 53). Paul said it aptly in Romans 8: 31, … “If God be for us, who can be against us!”

Yes, the kind of warfare that we need to wage daily as Christians is that spoken of by Paul in Ephesians 6: 10 – 13; and we must, as God instructs us, be wearing God’s full armor (Eph. 6: 13 - 18), including being able to use God’s Spirit Sword (i.e., His word) to do battle with those who will attack us as the mob came for Jesus.

My Prayer Today: Help me, Lord, to be ready this day and hereafter to wage war in Your Name … and … in Your way. Amen

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