If Jesus sat down with us for some one-on-one time, what would we ask Him? More importantly, how would we respond to His questions?
Knowing He is omniscient God, the Living Word of God [John 1:1-3] who knows the “thoughts and intents of the heart” [Hebrews 4:12], compels us to answer honestly and fully. No hiding, deflecting, or excusing. Just honest answers.
John’s Gospel records several questions Jesus asked in His earthly ministry. By personally considering each of His questions, we face His same probing truth. By responding truthfully, may we be drawn into a more intimate walk with Him.
20th Question – Shall I Not Drink the Cup my Father Has Given Me?
Fishermen shouldn’t play with swords. Just ask Peter.
In the confrontation between the armed mob and Jesus with His disciples, Peter pulled out a sword. Surrounded by low-hanging branches of olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter turned swashbuckler.
Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?” [John 18:10-11, bold text added].
Peter had good intentions but bad aim. His effort also conflicted with Jesus’ purpose. Jesus knew His earthly mission and that He was going to an agonizing death. Yet, He remained committed to “drinking the cup” in fulfillment of prophecy and divine objective.
However, Jesus’ question reveals more than His resolve. It also exposes how misguided our intentions can be.
- We don’t do what we should, yet do what we shouldn’t. Jesus told Peter to “watch and pray” to avoid temptation. But Peter kept falling asleep. Then, when wide awake, he hurled himself into violent action. He forgot Jesus’ previous warning to the angry “Sons of Thunder” who wanted to call down fire from heaven against their opposition. “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them” [Luke 9:55-56]. Maybe it was this very temptation Jesus wanted Peter to avoid.
- Jesus didn’t need rescuing. He intended to completely fulfill His destiny. “For this purpose I came to this hour” [John 12:27]. Peter forgot Jesus’ previous scolding when he argued with the Lord about his impending death. “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men” [Mark 8:33].
- God’s purpose isn’t accomplished through human strength. “’Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit’ says the Lord of hosts” [Zechariah 4:6]. Jesus could have called twelve legions (seventy-two thousand) of angels in full battle gear who awaited their Master’s signal [Matthew 26:53]. For this reason, we are called to trust the Unseen Hand who sovereignly orchestrates everything according to His perfect will.
No matter the circumstances or seeming impossible situations, may our response ever be “Oh, God, Your will be done, not mine.” May we identify our purpose, resolutely fulfill it, and trust God for the outcome.