Wednesday, January 22, 2014
No More of This!
Luke 22:51 But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him.
Jesus had been in the garden praying while his disciples had been falling asleep. It was that final night in that place where Jesus went so often to pray that the old was breaking down and the new was being ushered in. The disciples had wanted him to be a political leader and to overthrow the rulers of the day. As they came to take Jesus away one of the disciples struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear. This was their natural response — to fight! But this was no longer to be the natural response for in the new kingdom we don’t respond in this way. Jesus says, “No more of this!” — and he actually heals the man. This moment is a turning point in all of history.
As we enter into life in the kingdom, our behavior should change as well. Literally — there should be “no more of this!” We are now kingdom citizens and as such, we are to respond in this world in the way in which Jesus would respond!
What happened that night in the garden was a clash of the old and the new. The old kingdom came to take Jesus by force. The new kingdom went with them peaceably. We often have to live in that moment where the two kingdoms clash. The world throws everything at us that it can and there is the natural temptation to fight back! But then we must take a deep breath and consider the kingdom response.
What do we do when people are unkind to us? Is it our natural response to defend ourselves? That was the disciples’ natural response. However, when we are confronted with those who may not like us and who are unkind to us, we must get to that point where we also say, “no more of this!” When we respond in the same manner that they respond, the situation simply escalates out of control. This is not God’s intention for us. Instead, his intention is that we are counter-cultural and our response comes from the Prince of Peace — who did not come with a sword!
There will always be those who come at us harshly. That is not our concern! Our concern should only be our response and if we want to break the vicious cycle, we must say, along with Jesus, “no more of this!” And in that moment we reflect the love of Jesus onto the one who has come to do us harm — and just like the slave whose ear was healed — maybe there will be healing for the one trying to hurt us.
Lord, please help to respond as a citizen of your kingdom. Amen.