The Bible reads, “Put your sword back. People who live by the sword die by the sword. Surely, you realize that if I called on My Father, He would send legions of messengers to rescue Me. But if I were to do that, I would be thwarting the scriptural story, wouldn’t I? And we must allow the story of God’s kingdom to unfold. Why did you bring these weapons, these clubs and bats? Did you think I would fight you? That I would try to dodge and escape like a common criminal? You could have arrested Me any day when I was teaching in the temple, but you didn’t?” (Matthe 26:52-55, The Voice).
Jesus was being accused and arrested for crimes that he did not commit. He was being betrayed by one of his nearest and dearest friends. He was innocent. If ever there was reason to fight for one’s right – it was now. But the Kingdom of God has little to do with rights and everything to do with righteousness. The Kingdom is clear – revenge (and even retribution) is not ours to demand. Otherwise, how else is what we do and what we are ever going to be new? If we play by the rules of this world – we play into the ruler of this world’s hands.
Even though there is nothing more uncertain and unsettling, maybe the Way of Christ is to submit to our authorities – even when they are corrupt. Even when they are being unfair? Then, and only then, we are whispering loud and clear, “My Lord is even greater than your lordship.” No matter what they do – they cannot stop the Movement. Maybe one reason that the gospel has not caught on in our culture the way that it used to is because we are not allowing for the Kingdom to unfold the way it ought to? Put the sword down. Ask for your enemy’s ear to be healed. Then, and only then, might he hear the voice of Jesus.