Monday, April 16, 2012

Afar Off – Part 3

Light from beyond the horizon.  Again, the picture is “Sunrise in My Backyard”, by John Vincent.  When I originally saw it, I thought of how our relationship with God can seem so far from us.  Sometimes in reality, sometimes because we don’t fully recognize the nature of the relationship.  And, when we take a look at the events of Easter week, there’s so much more.  We stopped, last time, with Jesus praying in the garden.  Let’s move on from there.

As we look at Luke 22, there’s an interesting sequence of events.  With the crowd still not there, Judas joins Jesus and the disciples.  At the appropriate time he kisses Jesus as a sign the He was the one the crowd was looking for.  Then the crowd comes.  The emotional Peter takes up his sword and cuts off the right ear of one of the crowd.  Before Jesus is gone, Peter is already reacting in his flesh.  And this situation is another contrast between spiritual light and darkness.

It strikes me that Peter is a fisherman, not a soldier, not a musketeer, not a swordsman.  The sword he had wasn’t a dainty dueling foil, it was a pretty hefty sword.  With that in mind, it would surprise me if Peter only got the ear.  Peter’s lack of skill and experience make it more likely that he took off  some degree of flesh around the ear.  A lack of skill and a boatload of emotions led to an irreversible act that had nothing to do with God.  Or did it?

In contrast to Peter, Jesus was very calm and merely walked up to the gentleman, took the ear, placed it where it belonged and healed the man.  And Jesus remained calm and committed to the Father’s plan.  To the cross.  There’s where the light shone.  This was a man who was there to falsely arrest Christ.  Yet, Jesus healed him.  As much as I’d like to think I’m spiritually mature, I suspect I’d be closer to a Peter than a Jesus, in similar circumstances.  I’m also certain that God fully allowed this all to happen, just so we’d have this example.  It was important enough to be included in all the Gospels, but we never hear of the servant again.

There are some important things to take away from this.  First there’s the servant:
  1. He was most likely religious, since he was the high priest’s servant. 
  2. His religion may have been real or it could have been all show.
  3. He had to have been in shock, both from the injury and the healing.
  4. It’s not mentioned, but I would expect, as He realized what happened and who Jesus was, that he accepted salvation.
And, from the overall situation, some insights:
  1. God doesn’t want to cut off our spiritual “ear” for our sins, He wants to draw us to Him.
  2. God would rather that the circumstances be pleasant, but He will use whatever will get our attention.
  3. It doesn’t matter how much we think we’re aligned with the program of evil, if there’s a chance we’ll repent, God will give us that opportunity.
  4. God sees us more as His children, instead of as His enemies.  Until there’s no hope we’ll choose Him.
  5. God never gives up on us until there’s no more chance we’ll change – death.

There’s so much in that one incident that I’d say let’s park there and meditate on all there is.  We’ll move on, next time.  But let’s consider how much spiritual light was displayed in that event of darkness.  And all the aspects of light versus darkness.

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