October 1

Text: Matthew 26:52-54

Then Jesus *said to him, "Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.  Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?  How then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen this way?"  (NASB)

Object lessons are powerful.  It is common for object lessons to be unforgettable.  They usually occur when the person is quite passionate, but wrong.  The person thought he/she (1) had the situation figured out and (2) was reacting in the proper way.  To discover you were mistaken on both counts produced an impression that went beyond mere words!

He who teaches by object lessons generates lifelong impressions!  Two swords (Luke 22:38) could not produce a rebellion nor defend Jesus against a cohort of Roman soldiers (John 18:3—a full cohort was 600 solders) plus the temple guard (Luke 22:52).  Obviously, Jesus’ lesson was not about the “effectiveness of armed resistance.”  Obviously, Jesus and the 12 did not usually travel as an armed group.   This was the first of many occasions that these men learned God achieved His will in Jesus and his followers through sacrifice.

Jesus had something available to him far more effective than a couple of swords.  Thousands of angels would defend him if he wanted deliverance.  Those who arrested him were no match for that heavenly force!  We recall Jesus’ emphasis on “giving” and “laying down” his life. Deliverance was not the issue!

A major objection that the Jewish leadership had against Jesus was this: he could not be the Messiah (the Christ)—he was not what they expected!  A primary proof that Jesus was the Messiah was that he precisely was what Jewish scripture (we often call the Old Testament) declared He would be (see Acts 2:25-36; 3:17, 18; 7:51-53; 9:19-22; 13:27; 17:3; 19:8; 26:22, 23; etc.).  Jesus’ fulfillment of scripture was extremely important in verifying Jesus’ identity to a Jewish audience.

Suggestion for reflection: What convinces you that Jesus is the Christ?  (Read Hebrews 8:1, 2.)

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