Luke 22:47-53  [NIV] | 47While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 50And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. 51But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. 52Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs?53Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.”

After the Passover meal, Jesus asked Peter and James and John to join Him in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus went to pray. He asked them to wait for Him, to pray, at this late hour. They were weary. It was very late. Imagine how the roller-coaster of the last several days must have caught up with Peter. He was probably still trying to process the stunning exchange with Judas. The friend he had trusted, who had been side-by-side with them for three years, who had given up everything, would now sell Jesus out. He didn’t want to believe it. So Peter drifted off to sleep, only to be awakened by the sight of an ashen, weary Jesus, tears and blood rolling down His face. His words pierced Peter’s soul, Could you not have prayed and watched?

And then it happened so suddenly. Soldiers marching into the dark garden. Torches and swords. And . . . Judas, their friend, embracing Jesus in a final, sick display. The kiss of betrayal. Peter was so enraged, adrenaline flowing. His world spinning. His life coming unglued. This was so unfair. So unjust. So wrong. So he clumsily stole a sword and struck the high priest’s servant. Jesus didn’t accept Peter’s defense of Him but instead healed the ear of His enemy.

The disciples, we are told in Matthew 25 and Mark 14, scattered. But Peter and John lingered, using John’s connections to get into the courtyard where the secret and illegal trial of Jesus took place in Ananias’s house. Should Peter have gone? What else could he do? He had to find a way to be near Jesus, to protect Him, to fight for Him, to demonstrate his loyalty.

Author: Daniel Darling