Peter cut off the ear of the high priests’ servant, and he wasn’t aiming for his ear! Firmly Jesus said, “Put-the-sword-away” (Matthew 26:52 and John 18:11). Important words recorded in the Bible for us. Why? Because we need them too! Hear them again, but this time as Jesus speaking your name like this, “Gary, put the sword away!”
You may be thinking, what sword? I don’t even have a sword.
For Peter it was a physical sword that he kept for, just in case. Imagine he is with Jesus Christ, God Almighty, so why does Peter need a sword? Just in case. What does that mean?
The sword was Peter’s fall back. It was his way of handling things just in case things, you know, things get out of hand. Peter was a rough fisherman by trade and probably had a few scuffles in his B.C (before Christ) days. So his sword represents a return to his fleshly way of taking care of business, you know, just in case. And on this particular night he was glad he had it, until he heard Jesus say, “Put–the-sword away!” It wasn’t a request.
Isn’t it obvious that Peter had anger issues? He was quick on the lip, as well as quick to fight. He had always been impulsive and quick tempered. Maybe he inherited from his father, or maybe it was just the way he was wired.
When Peter reached for the sword he was reaching for something familiar. It was his old way of taking care of business. Yet the Holy Spirit recorded this incident and Jesus’ words for US to read. We have something that we are going to have to put away.
For us, I think the sword represents our flesh that reacts a certain familiar way when we feel threatened. You feel the burn inside, your heart pounds, your blood pressure soars. What’s next? You go for your sword.
Your sword may be a quick temper, anger, or sharp cutting words. Whatever your sword is, it is dangerous, and it hurts people. I hear Jesus saying these words to me, “Put it away!”
“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God… Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you…”
There is no need to pray for the Lord to take away our temper or sharp sarcastic tongue – because He won’t. Notice this is a command and not a request! It requires obedience and submission to His Lordship in our life.
In the same commanding voice that Jesus told Peter to put away his sword, He is telling us to put away our sword of temper, anger, harsh words or whatever impulsive, fleshly, reaction your sword may be.
For most, this is not one-time prayer and it will never-happen-again thing. It’s an on-going, “Put it away from you” thing. You may not have expected the Holy Spirit to speak to you like this while reading a blog. God can speak to you through the Word, through nature, through people and yes, through Blogs. But know this, you will have to keep on putting it away again and again, for – as long as it takes!
As far as we know Peter never pulled a sword on anyone again. He did in fact, “put it away”. He, like us, probably had to revisit putting away anger from time to time. This kind of thing takes time. But the end of His life showed a dramatic transformation had taken place. Between the Peter we read about in the gospels, and the Peter who wrote the epistles, there is a major character change. He wrote the greatest teaching in the Bible about, how to endure suffering when people mistreat you, (I Peter 2:20-24). After all, he learned it from THE BEST.
The next time we get angry, (and it will happen), I pray that we will hear the Holy Spirit whispering the same words Jesus spoke to Peter,
“Put your sword away”.
I would like to hear from you. Please leave me some of your comments here: