8/29/15 Don't Save Me

Saturday, August 29, 2015


John 18:10-12

Morning Meditation 8/29/2015

Verses 10-12 say, “Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him..”

I wonder if Malchus ever became a disciple? Peter cut his right ear off slick with his head. I used to say that Peter wasn’t a military man and was not skilled in the art of warfare and this is the reason he cut off his ear. He was aiming for his head! But I’ve had time to think since then. Peter was a fisherman and was used to scaling fish. This is the reason. He just scaled off his ear! But laying all jokes aside, Malchus did have an experience with God that day. He lost his right ear. No one rushed him to the emergency room. Jesus just simply healed his ear. Luke tells us this: “And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him” Luke 22:51). I think Malchus may have gotten a message that day. There is no doubt in my mind that many like Malchus changed their minds about Jesus by the time He was raised from the dead and were in the number of those converted on the day of Pentecost..

But the meditation today is on a different point in this story. Peter had every intention of saving Jesus from the cross. Jesus came to die. He was and is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. Jesus said, “. . . the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?”

The word “Father” takes us back into eternity before there ever was a world when the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit worked out the plan of redemption. One God yet three persons. The eternal God is One God yet manifest in three persons. In the decree it was determined by the Father, agreed on by the Son and empowered by the Holy Spirit that the eternal Logos would become the eternal Son of man that the eternal loss in the garden could be reversed by those who would believe in Jesus as a personal Saviour. This could only be true if Jesus died to pay for the sins of the world. This is what Jesus is talking about when He says, “. . . the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?”

The words “hath given” is “didomi” and means, “to give over to one's care, to intrust, to commit.” It is a perfect tense, active voice and indicative mood. The perfect tense is completed action in the past with present results. This means the “cup” of the cross which includes all that is described in Philippians 2:7-8: “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” This is the cup the Father gave the Son. And the perfect tense means that at the time Jesus was speaking to Peter, who had just cut off Malchus’ ear, is saying, “What the Father gave me to do in the past is happening right now and this what my birth and life is about. If I fail here, it would be to fail in the whole purpose of my coming. The Father gave me this cup to drink and I will drink it submissively and joyfully (Heb. 12:2). Peter, don’t try to save Me from the will of My Father.”

Jesus said, “. . . Put up thy sword into the sheath . . . ” I can imagine the frustration of Peter. He had every intention of interfering with the death of Jesus. He would have gladly given his life for Jesus. He told Jesus, “But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all” (Mark 14:31). All these men were committed men. I mean committed unto death. Don’t be too hard on them for running: “And they all forsook him, and fled” (Mark 14:50).. Jesus took the only weapon Peter had to defend himself or Jesus and said, “. . . Put up thy sword into the sheath . . . ” Well, if Peter is ever going to use the sword, now is the time. What if cruel men, robbers and thieves and rapists, were going to break into your house, you knew it, and the Lord said, “Don’t resist. Don’t get your gun. Let happen what happens.” How would you feel? And then, He went a little further and said, “You will never be able to use this weapon for anything beside scaling fish in the future!” Now those words are still ringing in your ears and you are warming yourself by a fire while they are trying Jesus. And some little smart-aleck girl walks up and in the presence of strong men who hate Jesus, and all he stands for, and says, “Aren’t you one of His disciples?” Remember, you can’t use your weapon. Peter used the only thing the natural man knows how to use at a time like that. He lied. He wasn’t right to lie. You know that and I know that. But when your life is on the line you’ll do a lot of things to save your skin! Now when Peter grew to the place where life was not as important as obedience, he stood his ground and told the whole nation (on Pentecost): “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, AND BY WICKED HANDS HAVE CRUCIFIED AND SLAIN” (Acts 2:23).

Jesus did not want to be saved from the will of God. And the will of God for Jesus was to drink the cup which the Father had given Him. I believe all of us have “cups” given us by our Lord to drink. And many times we ask in urgent and fervent prayer to be delivered from the “cup” the Lord Jesus has given us to drink. And many times those cups are bitter cups. Nevertheless, they represent God’s will for our lives.

I believe there is a cup of loneliness. You think about the loneliness that a missionary family suffers on some foreign mission field. They can’t see their families. They are drinking a cup of loneliness. Incidentally, if you will live for the Lord here in the U.S., you will be lonely because of the rejection of your peers. The world doesn’t like Jesus and they have no use for anyone who takes living for Him seriously. It is a cup we must be willing to drink.

Then there is the cup of suffering. The missionaries have very poor health care. I just received mail recently from a missionary on the field of Bolivia where hepatitis is almost epidemic in two or three missionary families. Do you think these families would have hepatitis if they had stayed in the U.S.? They are drinking a cup the Lord Jesus gave them. It is a cup of suffering. And incidentally, you can suffer here in the U.S. I see godly Christians all the time who suffer from painful illnesses. They no doubt have prayed for healing and it has not come. It is like Paul asking the Lord three times to remove the thorn and the message comes back, “My grace is sufficient for thee . . . ” We had a testimony in one of our Wednesday evening prayer services of a young mother who had been diagnosed with a tumor. They sent her out of our city to another specialist who deals with those kinds of tumors. Our Church gathered around her and prayed for her healing. The one who prayed asked the Lord to remove it so that there would be no tumor there when the specialist examined her. Guess what? There was no tumor there. What they saw in the X-ray here had disappeared on the drive from Shreveport to Texas! Why doesn’t the Lord do that in every case? I don’t know. None of us know. Some have to drink the cup of suffering. And as they drink the cup, they do it with submission and joyfulness because no suffering for the Christian is permanent. We are headed for a place of no suffering. There comes a time when even we have to tell our friends, “Don’t try to save me from the will of God.”

May the Lord bless each of you.

In Christ

Bro. White

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