Key Texts: Matthew 26:31-35, Mark 14:27-31, Luke 22:31-38, John 13:36-38
The Prediction: Jesus wanted to show Peter how He knew him better than Peter knew himself, no matter how painful it was. Jesus knew the quality of Peter’s love, and knew that without evidence of His intimate foreknowledge, Peter’s love would not grow. (Jn. 21:10-18). When the prediction comes true, Jesus looks at Peter to write his law upon Peter’s heart, the law of faith and love is real, Lk. 22:61.
The Prayer: Satan has asked to have you that he might sift you as wheat. The devil is our enemy as well. He would like nothing better than to destroy us all! I have made supplication for you, prayed for you, Simon. (Romans 15:30) We can be assured that Jesus petitions the Father, prays to the Father for us as well (Romans 8:26-28) “I have prayed that your faith may not fail,” Jesus said to Simon. “When you have turned back, repented,” Jesus instructed Peter. To be a help to others, we must be right with the Lord. “Strengthen your brothers.” Lk. 22:32.
The Swords: Jesus evidently here allowed self-defence against lawless elements of society set on robbing, stealing and killing. It is written, “He was numbered with the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:12, Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Matthew 26:1-5, Jesus did not allow himself to be killed in a resisting arrest situation. The Jews would much have preferred this method of ridding themselves of Jesus. Jesus did not call for swords to resist arrest. Jesus said that prophecy must be fulfilled in him. Jesus further said, “Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfilment.” The apostles responded by saying, “Lord, here are two swords.” It appears that the gravity and eternal implications of what Jesus said escaped the disciples. They thought, “Jesus said we needed some swords and here are two we have found.” How much of what Jesus said completely escapes us today? No doubt, regrettably, most of it! Jesus replied, “Two swords are enough. That is enough” Wonder what Jesus thought of that response to all he had said. Wonder what Jesus thinks of our responses or lack of response to what he has said. Even after Peter cut off Malchus’ ear, Jesus did not tell him to throw the sword away. He told him to put it up in its place. Matthew 26:52. The swords would have prevented Jesus’ untimely assassination had it been attempted. They were “machaira” swords, not rhomphaia, seen in Rev. 6:8, which were always long and specifically for warfare. The machaira is a generic word for sword, which can refer to a knife or dagger, Heb. 4:12. It’s possible that Jesus wanted his disciples to have access to self-defence, but to grow in wisdom, as to when and when not to use it. The only apostle known to die a natural death was John, so most of them refrained from using any kind of self-defence when they were under persecution.
The Best of Intentions: The words of Peter and the other disciples, which stated they would not forsake Jesus, were holy & honourable intentions with faith based on their own physical strength, but if we are to follow Jesus, we must try with the help of the Holy Spirit and prayer, to speak the truth in love. Then we can encourage people to be honest, even when we have evidence that people are lying about us. Even Peter lied against Jesus, Matthew 26:69-75, but that doesn’t make it OK. Thankfully, Peter reacted the right way when the Holy Spirit convicted him to quit lying and be honest. Sometimes it is hard to be honest with ourselves and God, but with God’s wisdom, word and Spirit, we can do it.