When Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, his disciples were right there with him. A large crowd from the chief priests and elders came with swords and clubs to take Jesus away. Peter, a disciple of Jesus was zealous and impulsive. He wanted to defend the Messiah. So, he drew a sword and cut off the ear of one of the people coming for his friend. Malchus was his name. Peter cut off Malchus' ear. John 18:10
Jesus emphatically said no to this response and what did he do?
Jesus healed his ear. The man coming to arrest
him, he healed. Peter loved Jesus, I truly believe that. His heart was in the right place, but he was responding in the flesh, not in the Spirit.
Me. I am like Peter sometimes.
In my zealous appeal, I want to defend Jesus. Jesus has rescued me so many times, so I naturally want to. But what can happen is this...In my earnest desire to defend my God, I cut off the ear of the listener and they no longer hear anything I am saying. Presenting the Truth must be done under the direction of the Holy Spirit. Sharing about Jesus must be done in love, with gentleness and respect. My very "rightness" can be wrong. I can have all the facts but if I cut off the ear in my approach by being defensive, I can be very offensive. Make sense?
So, I did this recently. I cut off the ear of a friend while I was defending God. I was adamant about my thoughts. However, I knew immediately I had messed up. My delivery was less than loving and my friend shut down. I cut off the ear of the hearer with my words. It made me sad that I had messed up, I blew it. So I very quickly went to my
knees, and to my friend, and then to the Word. Where to?
I Peter. One of my favorite books in the Bible. Peter, the same impulsive, sword bearing Peter wrote letters to the church to encourage them... and us today,
and now they are a part of the Bible. The good news is when we blow it, we have a Heavenly Father we can run to.
I Peter 3:15
"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience..."
The Truth often does offend. It offends our sin and our selfishness and even our pious positions. We must share because we care.
And loving someone must be our upmost motive. This is the Spirit of Christ. If we are truly caring for one another we will be tuned in to their needs and the Holy Spirit will direct our words and actions. He is our helper. We must ask for His help when sharing with others.
Oh, to be like Jesus. God is changing us into His likeness, just like He changed Peter.
The good news is that God uses regular people like Peter, like me, like you.
I wonder what happened to Malchus? His name means "My King". I wonder if that one caring touch from Jesus changed him forever? I pray that Jesus became his King.
My purpose for writing this and every blog is for you to know My King, the one who knows when we blow it and loves us still, the one who heals the ones who mean him harm. That's my king. Is he yours?
I will end with these words from Peter.
"The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins." I Peter 4:7