Luke 22:51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. (NIV)
It was His last miracle. When Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, one of His disciples tried to defend Christ with a sword and ended up cutting off the ear of one of the High Priest’s guards. It was a valiant effort, but a wasteful one. It was also something that Jesus did not condone.
Instead of calling upon His disciples to attack the mob, Jesus sternly called for an end to the violence. He was not going to be party to any defense of His person; He was not going to start a protest, a rout, or a rebellion. In order to show how committed He was to being a peacemaker, Jesus healed the guard immediately. He didn’t want anyone else to suffer, not even His enemies.
As Christians, we are called to be peacemakers in our communities, as well as across the world. This is very difficult to do because, like most human beings, we get angry and feel justified about diminishing our opponents or destroying our enemies. It’s very easy for us, and even for me as a pastor, to get caught up in foolish quarrels and trivial arguments which do nothing to promote Christ’s teaching, God’s love, or the Spirit’s way. We want to feel strong by humiliating our foes; we want to be crusaders for religious causes, both of which, Jesus would not condone.
Christ’s last healing miracle was how He personally practiced His radical teaching of loving our enemies and forgiving those who hurt us. He not only showed His disciples how to practice their faith, but He also beautifully exemplified His teaching to His foes, especially the guard who was the injured victim of the disciples’ religious zeal. This is an important lesson about peacemaking for all of us who call ourselves ‘Christian’.
Questions for personal reflection
How has the practicing of my faith hurt other people? What would Christ have me do to remedy this?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, Your Life constantly challenges us. Every moment and every incident in the Gospels has been recorded to teach us about how our Christian faith should be lived. Forgive us, Lord, when we neglect Your lessons; help us to become better witnesses of Your peace and love. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment or ask questions about today’s message, please send him an email to Traqair@aol.com. John is always interested in your thoughts. And, if you ever find yourself in Knoxville on a Sunday morning, the people at Erin will make you feel welcome and will be delighted to worship with you.