Posted by: randydunning | January 18, 2008

Day 18 | John 18

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Text: John 18

Key Verse: 11
“So Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?”

Reflection:
In this passage Peter is evidently suffering from a common malady affecting many well-meaning people; misplaced heroism. The symptoms of this ailment are as follows: intervening in someone’s personal life without asking any personal questions. It is action based on assumption and usually with the intention of saving someone from their own decisions and actions which are perceived to be self-distructive or seemingly have the potential of great danger.

To this point in the ministry of Jesus, Peter has not weighed in on the discussions with the Pharisees and Jewish leaders. He probably realized that Jesus could hold his own verbally and ideologically. But since Jesus wasn’t carrying a sword, now was Peter’s big opportunity to stand up and be counted. There was only one problem with this. He didn’t ask his Lord if such help was desired.

At the risk of speaking in platitudes, God gives each of His followers a cup to drink. An unique lineage, personality, circumstances and relationships, combined with talents and spiritual gifts make each life distinct. And God has a distinct purpose for each life – a cup which the Father gives us. Are we not to drink it? We won’t if we allow the misplaced heroes in our own life to “save” us from ourselves.

I love my family and friends. I care for them deeply and I know they care for me. I also know there are times when my life decisions appear suspect to them. Such choices including having a large family, working in ministry, home educating our children, being a Cubs fan, etc. There have been times in the past when I’ve been the subject of an “intervention.” I’m sure there will be more to come.

And the proper response on my part is to simply assure them that I will listen to their cautions and counsel, but in the end I’m going to drink the cup God has given me. Hopefully they’ll put their swords away.

Prayer:
Lord, help me to know your purpose for me so clearly that I resist the temptation to be unnecessarily rescued. Strengthen me to live the life you’ve called me to and to not be afraid!

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