“With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear,” (Matthew 26:51, NIV).
Not too long ago, my son got a sword and shield he’s been wanting at a local store in our area. He wanted to get one for one of his friends for his birthday and ever since he has wanted one for himself too. When we went to the store to get it, he was so excited! It was a Nerf sword and shield that we found down the Nerf aisle. We’ve purchased a lot of Nerf guns in the past, but not a sword and shield.
On one particular day, when my son came home from school, he picked up his new sword and shield and began playing with them. As he ran upstairs, he carried an additional sword because he wanted to play swords with me. I took the opportunity to have fun with my son and the sword fighting began. We ran around the house chasing each other, hitting each other with our swords, and faking each other out. Sometimes I would chase him and sometimes he would chase me. Everything was great until the sword fighting got a little rough and someone got hurt – me.
On the eve of the crucifixion, Jesus had just been betrayed by Judas and was about to be arrested. He knew what was coming and had been praying fervently beforehand. But He knew that the crucifixion had to happen and it wasn’t going to be easy. Even though Jesus had warned the disciples what would happen, they had a hard time comprehending what was happening as Jesus was being arrested. One of the disciples immediately reacted and drew a sword to cut off the high priest’s ear. You would think he would have lashed out at Judas, but he injured whoever was closest to him.
When we find ourselves having a bad day, maybe something didn’t go as planned or something came up we don’t have time to deal with, it is very easy to react and draw our sword. When we lash out at someone, say something unkind, or spout off about a particular person; we are using our tongues as swords, cutting everyone down in our path. We might cut them off at the knees, stab them around the corner, or manipulate the circumstances to be in our favor through gossip or other forms of trickery. When we do something like that, Scripture describes us as reckless, wicked, evildoers, and like lions (Ps. 5:4, 64:2-3, Pr. 12:18). I don’t know about you, but I don’t want God to look at me that way. The good thing about the disciple, who cut off the priest’s ear, was that Jesus was right there. He immediately healed the priest and put his ear back, just like he does with us when someone lashes out and hurts us. He does the same thing when we lash out at others. But the best way to deal with the situation is to not lash out at all.