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Lenten Devotions: I Must Do It!

by | Mar 27, 2023 | Ask Jesus, Lenten Devotions, Obedience

“Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him. And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “’Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once send Me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?’” (Matthew 26:50b-54 ESV) There are a lot of excuses for what Peter did. He woke up suddenly—he panicked—an innocent man was in danger. He was defending the Son of God! So why did Jesus blame him?

Well, Peter is outnumbered and likely to die. Plus it’s ridiculous for a fisherman with a sword to defend someone with a zillion angels at His command!

But the deepest problem is one we share, too. Peter didn’t ask Jesus—he just pulled out his sword and started swinging. In his mind, everything depended on him. “I need to deal with this problem. I alone can fix it. I’m going to use force to make this come out the way God wants it to happen.” Sound familiar?

The truth is, we are not the Messiah. God can run the universe without us. He has all the power and wisdom—not us. And so when bad things happen, we look to Him in trust and obedience, asking what He wants us to do. Because Jesus is the Messiah—and He lay down His life for all of us, friends and enemies alike.

We Pray: Lord, keep my eyes on You instead of my own plans. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
* What you think of Peter’s aim?
* Do you tend to act first or think first?
* When something bad happens, how do you go about dealing with it?

Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on March 22, 2023
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved