No More of This!

Lou Lotz

Read: Luke 22:47-53

Lord, shall we strike with the sword? (v. 49)

Why is it that the worst things always happen at night? The worst phone calls always seem to come when it is dark. Our biggest fears and worries always seem to come calling when we are lying in bed, in the darkness. Even when bad things happen during the day, in our memory of them there is no light.

We remember the Garden of Gethsemane as the place where, in the darkness, Jesus was betrayed and arrested. We forget that the Lord also performed there a fascinating miracle. It is the only recorded instance in which Jesus healed someone who had been hurt in an act of violence. Mark says an unnamed disciple cut off the ear of an unnamed slave of the high priest. Matthew adds that Jesus rebuked the disciple. In John the disciple becomes Simon Peter, the slave Malchus, and the severed ear is the right one. But only Dr. Luke tells us that Jesus touched the ear and healed the man. Imagine Jesus looking in the grass for that missing ear and then putting it back where it belonged.

“No more of this!” Jesus says. In Matthew, Jesus adds: “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (26:52).

Some measure of defense is necessary in a fallen world. But Jesus died for the sins of the world, which includes the sins of our enemies, and we betray him when we try to defend him with violence. “No more of this!”

—Lou Lotz

Lord, fill me with your peace.