DEVOTION FOR TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2017
Read John 18
Fugitive George Wright spent 41 years, as he describes it, “living with a shadow.” Convicted of murder in 1962, Wright was sentenced to thirty years in prison. After escaping in 1970, he hijacked a plane and ran from authorities, hiding on three continents. Even after he was arrested, the FBI was unable to extradite him from Portugal, where the 74-year-old still resides today.
The group who came to arrest Jesus was armed and prepared to arrest Him like a dangerous fugitive. Certainly their “torches, lanterns, and weapons” were unnecessary (v. 3). Jesus knew “all that was going to happen to him” (v. 4). In fact, He willingly went out to meet His captors and identified Himself.
Jesus surrendered without any struggle, asking them only to release the disciples (v. 8). Peter, however, did not surrender easily. The volatile disciple pulled out his sword and cut off the right ear of the servant of the high priest (v. 10). Peter’s reaction provides a contrast between the normal human reaction to resist and the willing submission of Jesus. The Lord was ready to receive the cup of suffering God had appointed for Him. Despite Jesus’ submission, He was taken like a common criminal, and “they bound Him” (v. 12).
Perhaps it is shocking then, that Peter—the one most willing to fight on Jesus’ behalf—would deny Him three times. Even when confronted by a relative who had seen him cut off the servant’s ear, Peter denied knowing his Lord. Fear and disappointment changed this bold, impassioned disciple into a cowardly liar. Jesus was not the king he had expected. Rather than fighting to the end, He went like a “lamb to the slaughter” (Isa. 53:7). What type of king had Peter chosen to serve?
APPLY THE WORD
Fear, anger, and disappointment can derail any of us. When confronted by challenges, do you lash out in anger? When God doesn’t seem to be working the way you expected, do you react in frustration? When you feel threatened because someone knows you’re a Christian, do you deny your Savior? Ask for the strength to follow faithfully, no matter the cost.
Today in the Word is a production of Moody Global Ministries