2 Chronicles 30-31 John 18:1-18
“Simon Peter, who had a sword, pulled it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put your sword back. Shouldn’t I drink the cup the Father gave me?’” (John 18:10-11 NCV)
It’s easy to understand Peter sometimes. He was probably smarting from the rebuke Jesus gave him when He said that Peter would deny Him three times. All the disciples felt the tension in the air. Peter brought a sword with him, and as they walked into the garden, he realized why. The Jewish leaders came with guards and soldiers to arrest Jesus and Peter wasn’t going to have that! He pulled out his weapon and swung at the first person he saw. Malchus, the servant of the high priest, was the unlucky recipient of Peter’s wild swing, as Peter got an earful. Then, in a second stinging rebuke, instead of praise from Jesus for his bravery, Jesus told him to put the sword away. Peter didn’t understand that this was all part of the plan God had to bring redemption, and so he fought against it. Jesus let him know that God had this all under control.
I wonder how often we pray for and ask prayer for situations and our prayer contradicts God’s plan for us? I remember praying for people with what seemed like perfectly reasonable requests only to see that prayer not answered the way I expected it to be. Then, a few months down the road, the reasons that the prayer got a different answer became obvious. God had a different plan and if He had said “yes” to my prayer, that would have gone against His plan. Jesus reminded Peter that God’s plan was the important thing and that He was allowing these men to arrest Him as part of that plan. In an interesting side note, Luke records Jesus as restoring the servant’s ear. (Talk about loving your enemies.) Too often, we focus our prayers on our desires, maybe even our needs, without determining what God wants. If we are his disciples, then our first need in life is to be like Him and do His will. Jesus, knowing His death on the cross was coming prayed for that cup to be taken away, but ended with “nevertheless, not my will, but Yours be done.” If we want to grow deeper in our prayer life, the key to that will come when we start seeking God’s will before we think about making our prayer list. Once we understand God’s plan, then we can pray more intelligently and not end up praying against His will.
Lord, reveal Yourself and Your will to me today. Let me know what Your desire is and help me to fulfill that desire.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.