John 18:10,11 (web)
Simon Peter therefore, having a sword, drew it, and struck the high priest’s servant,
and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.
Jesus therefore said to Peter, "Put the sword into its sheath.
The cup which the Father has given me, shall I not surely drink it?"
Luke 22:36-38 (web)
Then he said to them, "But now, whoever has a purse, let him take it,
and likewise a wallet. Whoever has none, let him sell his cloak, and buy a sword.
For I tell you that this which is written must still be fulfilled in me:
‘He was counted with the lawless.’ For that which concerns me has an end."
They said, "Lord, behold, here are two swords."
He said to them, "That is enough."
What does this reveal about Jesus?
Jesus will even heal his enemies.
Notes & Applications:
This was rather bold of Peter, as they only had two swords among them and Peter was holding one of them. I don't think he was actually trying to win, but rather to die with Jesus. Why did he go after a servant and not a soldier? And why cut off his ear? I think his intention was not to do serious harm, but rather was simply suicidal.
Peter was also known to be impetuous, acting before thinking. He was an action oriented type of guy. He had previously sworn undying devotion to the Lord even to death, as well as demonstrating a misunderstanding of Jesus' ultimate mission on the cross.
Matt 16:21,22Thus his actions were not inconsistent with this mentality. And I'm sure he wanted to prove his devotion. But his devotion would not endure the cross, for he would later publicly deny Christ. Violence is often Cowardice hidden behind a sword.
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples
that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things
at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law,
and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
"Never, Lord!" he said. "This shall never happen to you!"
Peter asked, "Lord, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you."
Then Jesus answered, "Will you really lay down your life for me?
I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!"
But he replied, "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death."
Peter acted before receiving word from Jesus. Sometimes prayer is like that. Some will ask God what they should do, but already have their minds made up as to what they will do. They ask so as to justify their intended actions. Of course we have to excuse Peter here to an extent because of the pressure of the circumstances. But I would imagine that he wouldn't have been so quick to act violently if he didn't have a sword.
I can imagine him carrying around the sword day dreaming of all kinds of imagined scenarios of how he would die heroically in a sword fight. Perhaps when he fell asleep in the garden while Jesus was praying, he dreamed of such scenarios, only to woken by a crowd wielding swords and so in Jedi fashion comes running to the rescue with sword in hand.
But such actions may only cause our enemies to stop hearing. We cut off their ears. Muslims are like that, as are many Jews. They point out the violent atrocities committed against them in the name of Jesus and we cut off their ears from hearing. "No more of this!" Let's put away our swords and let the Master restore their ears that they may serve THE High Priest. (Hebrews 3:1)