First the Blade
© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven
Building a Foundation of Faith (b)
Jesus prayed and worshipped with eleven of His disciples on that Passover night in the Garden of Gethsemane. The scene then quickly changed when 300 Roman soldiers, and thirty or forty temple officers and slaves, showed up with swords, clubs, lanterns, and torches.
But even in that moment, Jesus was in charge. At His words, “I am He,” the cohort of soldiers and the temple group stepped back and fell to the ground. This demonstration of power and authority by Jesus most certainly inspired his eleven disciples, who were not only outnumbered thirty to one, but they were armed with only two swords.
Judas stepped forward and kissed Jesus. The temple officers seized Jesus when they saw the kiss.
“Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” said one of the disciples.
In that same instant, Peter drew his sword and sliced off the ear of the high priest’s slave, a man named Malchus.
Let’s pause and consider the scene in the garden that night, okay?
Peter stood there, holding his sword, ready to protect his Son of David from the Romans and the Temple group. Adrenalin pumped through his veins. Maybe he envisioned himself as one of the two men who stood with David in the middle of a barley field, slaying an entire Philistine army. But no matter what, Peter stood there, boldly willing to die for what he believed.
The wounded man, Malchus, writhed in pain. Blood gushed out of the wound and his ear lay on the ground. No one paid much attention to the wounded man because all eyes focused on Peter and his sword.
Three hundred battle-hardened Roman soldiers, who were armed with lances, shields, swords, and armor, readied themselves to attack the insurrectionists. They had no fear of a fisherman with a sword and were ready to kill Peter and the other disciples, thus ending the rebellion at its outset.
The new Son of David – Jesus – then revealed His kingdom to everyone in the garden. He reached out and healed Malchus. He turned to Peter and said, “Put the sword into the sheath.”
In that moment, I think Peter realized what he had believed about his King David and His kingdom were incorrect. He had been deceived. His faith for the deception instantly dried up. He and the other disciples fled the garden without uttering another word.
So crushed was Peter’s faith that when he stood in the courtyard outside the Sanhedrin, where Jesus was on trial, he no longer had the heart to die for his King or the kingdom. A servant-girl and a few bystanders even heard him deny Christ three times.
When the women told about the angel and the empty tomb, Peter along with the other disciples believed it was nonsense. Jesus, upon His appearance, rebuked the eleven for their unbelief and hardness of heart in the matter.
We all know about Jesus telling Peter at the Passover supper he was about to be sifted by Satan and also, that Jesus had prayed for Peter’s faith not to fail. But have you ever noticed these two scriptures:
Saying, “The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon.” (Luke 24:34)
And that He appeared to Cephas [Peter], then to the twelve. (1 Corinthians 15:5)
These are the only two scriptures, which mention Jesus had a special meeting with Peter alone before meeting with the rest of the apostles. We have no scriptural record of what Jesus said to Peter.
What do you think Jesus said to Peter at that special meeting?
(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)