Things start to go badly wrong and get very embarrassing when we try to do what we believe is the will of God in our own strength. Peter tries to help Jesus out by unleashing his sword in another of his cameo roles in his own Bonnie and Clyde film. But it is far from the glorious last stand he envisaged; more of an awkward scuffle. In fact it’s all rather embarrassing, as Jesus asks Peter to put his sword away explaining that he could call on a legion of heavenly soldiers to protect him if needs be. He then has to undo the damage Peter has already done by healing the ear he lopped off (Luke 22:51).
Jesus isn’t afraid to take the beating for us. He walks forward to meet those who come to arrest him with the idea that he can protect the disciples. It’s me you are looking for, let them go. However, Jesus uses the I am (YHWH – Exodus 3:14) name of God with such authority that those who come to arrest him jump back and fall to the ground. He really is in total control….. Jesus doesn’t need our help – honestly!
Isn’t it time to put our embarrassingly puny swords away and turn from our own feeble efforts to bring the kingdom of God and co-operate with Jesus as he does it his way?
- Imagine yourself in the garden with Jesus. How do you feel when Judas arrives with the soldiers?
- Peter didn’t understand the wider plan of God which was afoot. Is it possible that we often miss that too? How can we avoid making the same mistake?
May we have the courage to take our lead from Jesus even when it looks like he needs our help.