They came to arrest Jesus. We are told of a Disciple who heard his teachings, saw his miracles, helped him to transform people, and even ate the last Supper, who then pulls out a sword and attacks a guard. “Blessed are the peacemakers” is forgotten when life and death are at an end.
Does it scare you that someone who was so close to Jesus and all that he did and said did not seem to understand that violence is not the answer? Does the story of this sword make you realize that you too might use force for some good end?
Maybe it is easier to see that we could not force other nations and peoples to follow our God or our understanding government. But do we over look our own actions near at hand? Does it scare you that you find there are times when you want to force your opinion, your motion, your plan on the rest of the church? Does it hurt you that there are times that you do more than WANT to control an outcome in the church? There times when you just keep arguing - or argue in such a way that no one wants to stand before you because of your sword like tongue. Have you mobilized an effort to cut through opposition and bring the resolution that you want at the time that you want without checking with Jesus and his values, teachings, or love?
True, that can just be about ideas and directions. What about your family? Children, parents, spouse, siblings sometimes just need to be pushed to do the right thing. It is only a shove in the right direction we tell ourselves. There are times when you have assumed that you know all you need to in order to decide what should happen. And so you force the issue. For their good.
The sword is the force we use to get what we want or to protect what we think of as important. Our tongue, our words, our energy, our anger, and sometimes our money are all put to use as a forceful sword to make the guards go away, and to win.
This is not the sword of justice. And Jesus turns to you and tells you to put the sword down.