Friday, April 29, 2011

It's Not Enough to Ask the Lord What to Do

(This is from a short devotion I led recently for a small group of men. -- Glenn)

47 While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus asked him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"
 49 When Jesus' followers saw what was going to happen, they said, "Lord, should we strike with our swords?" 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.

 51 But Jesus answered, "No more of this!" And he touched the man's ear and healed him.

 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, "Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? 53 Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour-when darkness reigns." 
Luke 22:47-53

This event is told in all four gospel accounts; Peter is named as the sword-swinger in John, but not the others.  It would have been an emotionally-charged, memorable event!  Situation difficult: Outnumbered, inferior weapons ("two swords" which were probably more like kitchen knives), at night, hampered terrain. 

Detail in the Luke account: the disciples ask what to do! (v49)  Then Peter charges ahead, going after (probably) the least threatening man in sight - a servant.  Of course, Peter wasn't aiming at the man's ear!  

Jesus' response is not only to Peter, but to the group.  This suggests the other disciples were going to attack as well.  Certainly the temple guards would be prepared for violence (clubs and swords v.52) It's a natural response to defend your rabbi and yourselves.  

Key application for leaders:  How often do we ask the Lord for instruction and guidance - and then move ahead with the assumption that our idea is correct?  Let's be leaders who listen carefully to God. 

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