If there was ever a time that Jesus could have advocated for any level of violence as a means to an end, it was the night that He was betrayed. When the priests and officers carried torches, swords and clubs to arrest Jesus, Peter struck the ear of the high priest’s servant to the ground.
While we might wonder if Peter’s zealous intent was meant for the servant’s head or if his swing was merely a warning shot, in either case, Peter perceived that the King was in danger. The opposition had a crowd armed with weapons and other means of power.
If there was ever a time to bear a weapon for the sake of Christ, this was most certainly the time. For after His arrest, He was executed.
However, Jesus rebuked the close and faithful follower, exclaiming, “No more of this!”
While Jesus had legions of angels at His disposal, He never used such power for His protection or to defend His well-intentioned disciple. He instead touched the wounded.
With blood coming down the side of Malchus’ head, one of the men who came to arrest and crucify Jesus, he watched Jesus approach him. As their eyes met and while Jesus healed the bloody wound that Peter caused, everyone watched in amazement as the King again proclaimed the gospel.
He never advocated for violence.
He only taught love and humble service.
In that moment, Jesus could have only told people to stop fighting, but He went further and healed the person who was wounded.
That is our call as well.
While we never have reason to use force or violence, we must also be intentional to listen to those who have been and who are being afflicted if we want be people who seek reconciliation and demonstrate love.