Peter’s Swordfight

Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear.  The servant’s name was Malchus.  Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink of it?  Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him…

John 18:10-12

When the group of priests, Pharisees, and officers (led by Judas) came to arrest Jesus, we find this interesting exchange.  Peter, being as bold as ever, took a swipe at one of the men with his sword and cut his ear off.  In Luke 22:51, we find out that Jesus “…touched his ear, and healed him.”  This was the second miracle this band of men saw Jesus perform in a matter of minutes, yet still they did not believe.  But today we will look at Peter’s action and Jesus’ response to it.

Peter was a fisherman by trade.  He was not a soldier, nor (apparently) was he a skilled swordsman.  Yet he was willing to take on this entire band of men by himself.  He was willing to die for his Lord.  He truly loved Jesus and was ready to defend Him to the death.  His attempt was misguided and not warranted, as Jesus told him in the next verse: “Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?”

It is interesting to note that Jesus did not get angry with Peter, nor did He offer a stinging rebuke as He did when He told Peter to “Get thee behind me, Satan.”  He simply told him he didn’t need to do that.

The lesson for us is that when someone is doing their best to serve the Lord, we need to be tolerant of some of their overzealous mistakes.  The mistakes still need to be corrected, but we need to be tolerant of people who are doing the best they know to do.

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