John 18:10 (NIV)
Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)
Some time earlier, during their last meal together, Peter boasted that even though the other disciples might all abandon Jesus, he was willing to die for Him. Evidently he was sincere. Here we see Peter was certainly willing to kill for Him. (Remember, Peter was a fisherman, not a swordsman. Certainly he was attempting to kill the man but was only able to clip an ear.) But the disciples were outnumbered and out armed so Peter’s attack could have led to his death, too. Apparently Peter WAS willing to die for Jesus.
But Jesus put a stop to Peter’s attack. The Lord was more interested in Peter living for Him than Peter dying for Him. Peter failed the ‘living’ test though and denied the Lord three times.
I can relate to Peter. I too find it easier to “go down swinging” than to commit myself to “him who judges justly”. It is easier to go on the attack than to trust God with my life, family, circumstances, career, future and reputation.
While I don’t openly deny knowing the Lord (but I also don’t live in a place that confessing Him really costs very much) I do find it “convenient” to sometimes look the other way, to not speak up when I should, to ignore sin and injustice, to not “rock the boat” and thereby deny Him through my silence and inaction. It appears I too am more ready to die for Him (to make the glorious stand, be the macho man and fight to the death) than to simply live for Him.
Lord, teach me to live for you.
1 Peter 2:23 (NIV)
When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.