Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?” John 18:10-11 NRSV
It is frightening to realize that, if Peter had his way, the chosen course of Jesus would have been altered. Without consulting with Jesus, or anyone else, Peter drew his sword and sought to initiate a battle. He must have believed that the other disciples would join in. Otherwise, he would have to know that the Roman soldiers could have killed him without bringing him to trial.
The most disturbing aspect of this scene is that Peter sought to lead, even with Jesus present. The soldiers came in search of Jesus. Jesus was talking with them about letting the disciples alone, since it was Jesus who they came for. The actions of Peter are in disregard of the preferred plan of Jesus. The next words attributed to Peter are the denial that he was one of Jesus’ disciples, or that he even knew him.
I would be afraid to view the record of the number of times that I sought to substitute my plan in place of Jesus’ plan. When we consider how soon, how big, at what cost, and under whose leadership we are all guilty of taking charge when God has things in hand. How can we be called disciples if we fail to follow?
Guiding Lord, Forgive us for our attempts to lead you. Call us to true discipleship, that trusts you to guide us even when we do not understand or agree. Your record justifies such faith in you, In Compliance, Amen
Taken from the 2020 Disciples Home Missions Lenten Devotional Resource, written by Rev. Dr. Betty M. Green and Rev. Dr. Irvin W. Green.
The full Lenten Devotional Booklet can be downloaded by clicking HERE.