THIS WEEK’S FOCUSED SCRIPTURE
When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. (Luke 22:49-51 NIV)
THOUGHTS FROM PHILIP
We have a tendency to attempt to control everything. I know this is true in my life, especially when I drive. I get so frustrated when there is a red light, or when someone is driving too slow in the passing lane. I want to control the other cars around me so that I can get to my destination faster than everyone else. I get in the mindset that my own destination is the only thing that matters when I’m driving. I think that mindset doesn’t just speak to our driving habits, it speaks to our spiritual lives.
When we look at this scripture in Luke 22, we see that Jesus is about to be arrested and taken to be tried and eventually crucified. The disciples had been told a few times that Jesus would be put to death, but they didn’t quite understand what all that meant (Luke 18:31-33). We understand that all of this is part of God’s plan; but imagine how the disciples felt. We pick up the story right when the guards are about to seize Jesus. They ask him, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” That is a great question! But before Jesus even has a chance to answer, we see that Peter has already taken his sword out and attacked one of the arresting officers!
Peter did what so many of us try to do in our own lives; he took control of the situation. We can see that Jesus was in control the whole time, but from Peter’s point of view, Jesus was the one being controlled. Peter let his perspective determine his actions. I think we can all be in danger of the same thing. We tend to let our current circumstances dictate our actions, when in reality our actions should be determined by our faith. When we decide to take things into our own hands and rush the process, we are attempting to control something we were never meant to.
We need to learn to release control of our own lives. Rationally, Peter’s decision made sense. He knew Jesus was innocent and underserving of death. But spiritually, it was a mistake. We see Jesus correcting Peter, then restoring the damage Peter caused. Had Peter understood the truth of Jesus’ teachings, he would have known that this is exactly what Jesus said was going to happen. Sometimes we need to take more time to understand how God is working things out before we try to control our situations. So often we ask God to take away all of the things we are struggling with, when in reality we need to ask God for the strength to push through all of our struggles. We need to rest assured that no matter how bad our current situation looks, God is still in control. When we learn to release control of our lives to Jesus, when we learn to truly surrender, is when we experience breakthrough and freedom in our lives.