“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him …
Swords can cut to kill or to save. Metaphorically, words or actions can also be swords, because they can cut as well. This passage is full of swords.
There’s the sword of a friend’s betrayal. Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss, which was supposed to be a sign of greeting and respect for one’s teacher. Why did he do it? Because Judas was disappointed with Jesus. Jesus did not set up a political, earthly kingdom and give Judas a place of honor and power as he had hoped.
Are you disappointed with Jesus?
Jesus responded, “Friend, do what you came for.” Like a sword, those words must have cut deep. They uncovered the horror of betrayal. Judas discovered later that he could not live with that (Matthew 27:3-5).
The crowd armed with swords represented the power of the state. It’s a horrible thing when the state uses its power unjustly against its own citizens. Jesus was no criminal. Jesus exposed the state’s dark deed with the words of a cutting question.
Jesus also said to Peter, “Put your sword back.” Drawing swords is the way of death. The good news is that Jesus died for us, not that we must kill for him.
We must take up “the sword of the Spirit … the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). God’s Word is our weapon against sin, and its power saves and protects life.
Lord, forgive us for hurting you and others with the swords of destructive words and deeds. Make us skillful with the sword of the Spirit to praise you and bless others. Amen.
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