Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #311 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading John 18 today and our focus is on How Should We should we respond to bad treatment and when we are Abused and Falsely Accused? We are a daily 10ish minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
So – are you more like Peter, or more like Jesus? I suspect that most of us are more like Peter – I know I can relate to his many ups and downs. In John 18, we are going to see a pretty stark contrast between two different ways of dealing with injustice. #1, the Jesus way, and #2 the Peter, or everybody else but Jesus way. Jesus is arrested and betrayed in John 18 after a very dramatic scene in the Garden of Gethsemane. Judas leads the Roman soldiers to Jesus, and there is a confrontation. Initially, the disciples of Jesus stand with their master, and possibly even try to protect Him from this unrighteous, injust and unjustified arrest. I say try to protect Him, because of vs. 10:
10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) John 18:10
Now, I note here that Peter whacked a servant’s ear off – not a soldier’s ear. Was this because Peter was lashing out at the nearest person to himself, or was he just looking for an easy target – one that wasn’t a Roman soldier? We have no idea, but immediately Jesus rebukes Peter for this act of defense:
11 At that, Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword away! Am I not to drink the cup the Father has given me?” John 18:11
Luke records that Jesus also said, “no more of this!” and Matthew records even more, noting that Jesus also said, “52 Then Jesus told him, “Put your sword back in its place because all who take up the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot call on my Father, and he will provide me here and now with more than twelve legions of angels? 54 How, then, would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen this way?””
I note here that Peter drew his sword and attacked in the name of the worthiest cause anybody has ever had – the protection of the most innocent man who ever walked the Earth – and yet Jesus rebuked him for doing such a thing, noting that all who take up the sword will perish by the sword. This is worthy of our consideration, but I want to focus for now not on the thing that Peter did, but on how Jesus responded to His arrest and the other terrible things that happened to Him. Matthew tells us that Jesus simply asked a question, and then allowed Himself to be arrested and tied up:
55 At that time Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs, as if I were a criminal, to capture me? Every day I used to sit, teaching in the temple, and you didn’t arrest me. 56 But all this has happened so that the writings of the prophets would be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and ran away. (Matthew 26:55-56)
I say He “allowed” Himself to be arrested by the simple fact that He noted that He could call forth 12 legions of angels to come and defend Him – and knowing that one angel can take out more than 100,000 soldiers, as we see in the Old Testament, this would be more than enough to completely destroy all of the Roman Legions, much less this puny group that came to arrest Jesus. So – Jesus had all power at His disposal to strike back and obliterare His enemies, and yet He did not do so.
Next, Jesus is interrogated by the high priest Annas, and gives a very rational answer to a question, which causes one of the officials to slap the King of Kings in the face:
22 When he had said these things, one of the officials standing by slapped Jesus, saying, “Is this the way you answer the high priest?”23 “If I have spoken wrongly,” Jesus answered him, “give evidence about the wrong; but if rightly, why do you hit me?”24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
I don’t have much of a temper, at all – but there is something about getting hit in the face that causes me to go pretty instantly from calm blue oceans to red hot fire, and I am sure most people are somewhat like this…how does Jesus respond to being unjustly slapped in the face? He simply and calmly asks a question.
One more indignity happens in this chapter (remembering that the whipping, beating and crucifixion of Jesus happens in later chapters) and this indignity probably hurt more than any of the others in this chapter, because Peter – one of Jesus’ closest friends on earth utterly denies knowing Him three times, despite Jesus warning Peter about this ahead of time. Not only does Peter deny knowing Jesus in His greatest hour of need, Peter does so by swearing and calling down curses on His head – so he denies knowing Jesus in the most obvious and vulgar and complete a way as possible…and he does this in full view of Jesus. How would you respond if you were in your greatest hour of need, and one of your best friends is so ashamed of you that they just utterly deny that they even know you? I would be heartbroken, angry and disgusted. What does Jesus do? Let’s read:
60 But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. 61 Then the Lord turned and looked at Peter. So Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.”62 And he went outside and wept bitterly. Luke 22:60-62
He looks at Peter. That’s it. He LOOKED at Him. What a marvel of gentleness, love, patience and self control. Just tonight, my family and I watched a great movie called “End of the Spear,” which is about the five missionaries that were killed in Ecuador in 1956, Jim Elliot, Ed McCulley, Roger Youderian, Nate Saint and Pete Fleming. These men were killed by Huaorani tribesmen who had wooden spears, despite the fact that the missionaries themselves had guns and ammunition. Very easily these five missionaries – all married, and all fathers (I think)- could have saved their lives and caused the Huaorani tribesmen to run away, if they had only shot one or two of them. WHY DIDN’T THEY DO THIS? They didn’t deserve to die – they were trying to befriend the Huaorani. Ultimately, they did not defend themselves with deadly force because they were followers of their Lord and Master and Model Jesus, who also laid down His life for those who killed Him, even though He had the power to stop it with a Word. Thus it is that Peter says:
21 For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 22 He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth; 23 when he was insulted, he did not insult in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten but entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree; so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but you have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. 1 Peter 1:21-25
So – how should we act when we are mistreated, abused and falsely accused? Just like Jesus did – our example…we are to “follow in His steps.”
Bible Memory passage for the month of November: John 14:6 “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
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