After Peter cut off Malchus’s ear in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus told Peter to stop fighting:
Put away your sword. Those who use the sword will die by the sword. Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now? (Matthew 26:52-54, NLT)
Jesus had just decided in prayer (3 times) that he would go through with the cup of suffering (Matthew 26: 39-42). He is now emboldened to face his captors and accuser, saying to them:
Am I some dangerous revolutionary that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there teaching every day. But this is all happening to fulfill the words of the prophets as recorded in the Scriptures. (Matthew 26: 55-56)
Jesus received his courage from the Father in prayer. After that, things simply had to play out all around him as he faced the powerful enemies that were no match for his inner strength from God. Jesus stood toe-to-toe with the Roman authorities and Jewish accusers, giving them words they could not forget and showing them Passion they could not surpass.
What an example for us today! Once we gain the certainty and courage in prayer, we can rise above any opposition and self-doubt to follow through boldly with what God has set for us to do. He will give us timely words and actions to complete it, as we follow through with something bigger than ourselves, accompanied by Someone bigger than what we face.
I know some of you reading this are in global environments that can be as hostile as the one Jesus faced in the garden of Gethsemane. The rest of us are in safer environments. All of us can gain courage and direction from the Holy Spirit for today’s challenges, once we spend time with God in prayer.
This is a call to pray.
Til next week,