My Thoughts. . . .
Jesus told the apostles to buy a sword. Then he asked them how many they had. The reply was “two” (Luke 22:38). We know from John 18:10 that Peter was in possession of one. We are not told who carried the other one. Perhaps it was Simon the Zealot? He was “at war” with the Romans. When the crowd came out to arrest Jesus, Peter drew his sword to defend his Rabbi. I’m not sure why the other sword owner did not join in.
Peter was a fisherman. Ask him anything connected with that trade and he had the answer. Allow the conversation to be beyond that trade and you probably would have lost Peter’s attention. Yet, he possessed one of the two swords. Peter was argumentative. He was also one who spoke up, even when he should have been listening. He possessed a sword, but he apparently was in need of a few more lessons on how to correctly use it!
Peter seemed ready to be first in giving an answer. Jesus asked, “Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15). Peter wasn’t hesitate, but replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:16). Peter was not perfect, but he wanted to be prepared. Men came to arrest His Rabbi. Peter did not give ground, but drew his sword. You have to admire his courage and commitment to protect his teacher. Apparently he was good with a fishing net, but somewhat “rusty” in swinging a sword. He missed splitting Malchus’ head, but succeeded in getting an ear (John 18:10). Imagine his surprise when Jesus ordered him to put up his sword. We never hear about that sword again. Perhaps putting it up saved Peter from being cut down by the Temple guards.
Can you imagine Peter’s confusion? Jesus: “Who has a sword?” Peter: “I do.” Jesus: “Put it up!” Peter was attempting to protect. Jesus wanted to fulfill prophecy. Peter wanted to rule beside Jesus. Jesus want him to feed sheep. A slave girl asked Peter if he was one of Jesus’ disciples. Peter’s allegiance to Jesus crumbled into swearing. Peter, like so many of us was fighting an inside war. Jesus saw something in Peter that the apostle could not see in himself until tears gave him sight.
You and I are sinners. Deny it and you’ve just made yourself one. No matter how intelligent, strong-willed, resourceful, or athletic you may be, sin will grab you by the throat and knock you off your feet. You will question why you caved in so quickly when you knew you should not. Peter denied his soon to be denials. Tears reminded him how foolish his brags were. John and James thought they deserved to sit on Jesus’ right and left whereas Jesus spoke of servitude being better than position. Paul thought he was always in control until he and Barnabas clashed over Mark’s faults. Thankfully, he opened his eyes to Mark’s worth and his own misjudgment.
Our imperfection are the faults that embarrassed us. If observed correctly, we will see the lesson given. If not, we will continue until we hopefully stumble and fall upon the truth.