When he rose up from his prayer, he came to the disciples, and found them sleeping because of grief, and said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
While he was still speaking, behold, a multitude, and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He came near to Jesus to kiss him. But Jesus said to him, “Judas, do you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”
When those who were around him saw what was about to happen, they said to him, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” A certain one of them struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.
But Jesus answered, “Let me at least do this” —and he touched his ear, and healed him. Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and elders, who had come against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you in the temple daily, you didn’t stretch out your hands against me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”
One thing that I observe about mankind is how often we choose to do the “right thing” at the wrong time. In this passage, everyone is missing the mark and only Jesus is there to make sure that things happen according to God’s plan. This is an example of how stressful and harmful it is when we fail to believe in what God says.
First we read that, rather than praying, the disciples slept before the most traumatic event that would ever take place to them. Jesus tried to warn them but just like we do sometimes, they didn’t pay attention. Then, Judas actually betrays Jesus with a kiss, performing an act of love as an act of hate. Then, one of the disciples comes out swinging a sword. He misses all of the soldiers and cuts off a servant’s ear!
Jesus had to die for the world, just as He had already told them. What was happening was God’s plan for this time. Later, there would be a need for the disciples to defend themselves, but now was not that time. I can easily see how it may have looked like the right time for fighting, though, but we shouldn’t live by sight but by faith in what Jesus says. We read here that, Jesus not only kept the disciples from getting arrested, but also made sure that our redemption plan kept going by healing the servant’s ear.
Jesus even uses this moment to start teaching. His lesson was about God’s timing! We should be seeking God and His timing according to His word. It is so easy it is for us to misinterpret the correct way and think we know what to do on our own. I thank God that Jesus helps us in our weakness as He did the disciples here because we always have an imperfect understanding based on how things seem to us. May God help us to know, understand and believe His word.