READ: JOHN 18:10-11/LUKE 22:47-51
Peter was not happy that the military and chief officers had come to arrest Jesus. Peter did not want to lose His Lord; He did not want Jesus to be arrested since he knew that Jesus had done nothing wrong. Seeing what was going on in the natural realm, Peter found a natural, logical answer to deal with this unfortunate circumstance. He drew his sword, and attacked the high priest’s servant, named Malchus. The main target of his head wasn’t hit, but Malchus’ right ear was cut off and the damage was done. Not only was Peter thinking naturally to fix a situation, but it was against the law and deserved punishment to do this to a high priest’s servant. If only Peter remembered Jesus’ rebuke before.
Jesus was telling His disciples that He would suffer many things from the chief priests and elders, be killed, and be raised from the dead. Peter did not like the thought that Jesus would have to go through this and said, “Far be it from you, Lord; this shall not happen to you” (Matthew 16:22). Jesus responded to Peter, “Get behind me Satan! You are an offense to me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men” (Matthew 16:23).
Peter did not see the big picture; if Jesus had listened and given in to Peter’s logic and natural thinking, Jesus would not have died for the salvation and healing of the whole world. Peter was correct into thinking that Jesus didn’t deserve it and there was nothing wrong of him thinking that he would miss his Teacher, His Lord. But what Peter said to Jesus was naturally tempting to Jesus. Why wouldn’t He want to escape the cup that He would have to face? So Jesus, realizing that the words Peter said were not of God, He rebuked the spirit behind those words; He rebuked Satan.
So here in Gethsemane, Peter did it again. He did not want Jesus arrested and put to death, so he wanted to do something about it by doing only what he knew to do. Peter, with his usual boldness and tough spirit, cut off the servant’s ear, wanting to hurt and make war with the enemy. Jesus rebuked Peter again, this time saying, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which my Father has given me?” (John 18:11). Peter thought naturally; he wanted to fix the situation. The reality was that Peter was not fixing anything, but getting in the way of God’s master plan.
What Peter needed to do was to think the way Jesus thought. Peter needed to see this from God’s perspective, who knows what He is doing and has a master plan for good and for His glory. As hard as this was to see and experience, Peter needed to yield to God, and let Jesus be arrested. If Peter saw through God’s eyes and through the words of Jesus, he would see that the real enemy that needed to be defeated was the grave. Sin and death were about to get beaten up and defeated big time!
When we do not see life from God’s perspective, and instead see what may seem to be the end of the road, we can be like Peter and step in the way. We can tend to get ahead of God, make our own logical choices, and end up hurting God’s will instead of being a vessel used in the kingdom of God. Isaiah 55:9 says, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
As we follow Jesus, and when it doesn’t make sense, keep trusting in the words of Jesus. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to think the way God thinks. Be a person who seeks those things which are above, who is sensitive to the ways of the Lord, even when it does not add up in the natural. God’s ways are higher than yours; trust Him as you follow Him. You will be glad that you did.
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