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14. Jesus Heals His Attacker’s Ear
(Matthew 26:51-56)
51And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.52But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.53Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?54How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?” (Genesis9:6, Matthew4:11)

Peter was willing to defend the heavenly King with his sword and strength. But Christ prevented him from using violence, because His kingdom comes only through kindness, gentleness, and love. In doing this, Christ rejected every kind of crusade that contradicts His divine purpose and His call for love and respect. The Lord did not use the twelve armies of angels that were at His disposal, nor did He tempt the Holy Spirit who foretold the necessity of His death and resurrection to save the world. He loved His enemies and confessed before them that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Therefore, do not try to implement your ideas by force. Instead, be patient, commit yourself to the Lord, and love your enemy to the end.
For Christ’s servants, the weapons of warfare are not carnal but spiritual. Therefore, we should not fight according to the flesh (2 Corinthians 10:3-4). Some believers, however, think they have to stand up in defense of their civil rights and liberties. They insist that fighting is necessary for the preservation of public peace and order. At the same time, though, they agree that we should not resist evil (Matthew 5:39). Christ does not want His servants to spread His gospel by force of arms. A Latin proverb says, “Religion cannot be forced; and it should be defended, not by killing, but by dying.”
Christ healed the ear of the servant whom Peter attacked so that he could hear the Lord’s word once again. Imagine the astonishment of the servant who saw his ear thrown to the ground by a sword and then returned to its place by his “enemy” who might have killed him. This healing confirms to us that, by grace, Jesus forgives His enemies and opens to them the kingdom of God freely.