First, we talk about the dispute that happened during the last supper. Actually, similar events happened before, and Jesus showed them the difference between the way of leadership in the aspect of human and that in the aspect of God through a child, and we’ll state what it means. Secondly, we discuss the new command of loving each other after Judas left, and why it is different from that stated in the Old Testament. Thirdly, we talk about Jesus’ foreknowledge about how Peter will deny Him three times and his repent. Meanwhile, Jesus also gave promises. Finally, we discuss the event of Peter using his sword, which is recorded in all four Gospels.
We first examine the dispute about who is the greatest. About this dispute, it says clearly in Luke 22:24-30, “And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest. And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant. For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves. “You are those who have stood by Me in My trials; and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
There are other places where they recorded such a dispute. For example, in Mark 9:33-37, it says, “They came to Capernaum; and when He was in the house, He began to question them, “What were you discussing on the way?” But they kept silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another which of them was the greatest. Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” Taking a child, He set him before them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me.””
We should particularly notice that Jesus talked about a child, since He specifically mentioned about the children in Matthew 19:14, “But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”” It is also mentioned in Matthew 18:4, “Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” We should rely on God the Holy Trinity just like a child who relies on parents. This is what humility really means.
Similarly in Matthew 20:20-28, it says, “Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, bowing down and making a request of Him. And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit one on Your right and one on Your left.” But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They said to Him, “We are able.” He said to them, “My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.” And hearing this, the ten became indignant with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.””
At that time, they really don’t know the difference between the way of leadership in the aspect of human and that in the aspect of God. But it says clearly here. Finally let us notice the time of this event as said in Matthew 20:17-19, “As Jesus was about to go up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and on the way He said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up.”” The event happened right after He said that how He would die and be resurrected, and they only at that time cared about worldly things instead of heavenly ones. These were all changed after Pentecost and the church was born. We absolutely require Holy Spirit working on us, and “Do not quench the Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19)
Talking about churches, from several churches I have attended, it seems that there are more women than men. It seems to conclude that women are softer than men in front of God. I know that there are people who disagree with this. Someone may say that men most likely have their own opinions. If the opinion is correct, then it is “choosing the good and insisting on it.” If it is wrong due to there is no ear which can hear, then we can only say that he has a hard heart in front of God. At least, “…standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.”(John 19:25) There is only one man, disciple John, who was there. Nevertheless, the final say is from God, who has absolute authority.
(2) New command after Judas left
A new command was issued after Judas left as said in John 13:31-35, “Therefore when he (Judas) had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him; if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately. Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ A new commandment I give to you, that you love (G25, verb) one another, even as I have loved (G25) you, that you also love (G25) one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love (G26, noun) for one another.””
A natural question will arise about why it is a new commandment. Is it required in Old Testament already? It is said in Leviticus 19:18, “…you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.” Yes, the love mentioned in the Old Testament is different from that in the New Testament. In New Testament, a Christian has Holy Spirit abiding in him. We talk about having love for one other with Agape love, which comes from the abiding Holy Spirit. Those people in Old Testament didn’t have that.
(3) Foreknowledge about Peter and Jesus’ promises
In John 13:36, it says, “Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered, “Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later.”” It was really a promise that Peter would go to Heaven later. Not only that, He foretells what Peter would deny Him three times as said in John 13:37-38, “Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times.” It is said more in Matthew 26:30-35, “after singing a hymn, they went out to the mount of olives. Then Jesus said to them, “you will all fall away because of me this night, for it is written, ‘I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered.’ but after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to galilee.” but Peter said to him, “even though all may fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” Jesus said to him, “truly I say to you that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter said to him, “even if I have to die with you, I will not deny you.” all the disciples said the same thing too.”
We can see that it indeed happened to Peter as described in Matthew 26:75, “And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.” As a matter of fact, Jesus foreknew Peter’s repentance and promised, “”Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” …”(Luke 22:31-34)
(4) The event of Peter using his sword
Finally, we would like to mention the event of buying the sword said in Luke 22:35-38 followed the above, “And He said to them, “When I sent you out without money belt and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?” They said, “No, nothing.” And He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one. For I tell you that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me, ‘And He was numbered with transgressors’; for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment.” They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.””
Peter indeed used his sword as described in John 18:26, “One of the slaves of the high priest, being a relative of the one whose ear Peter cut off, said, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?”” The fact that Peter used his sword is recorded in four Gospels. In Matthew 26:51-54, it is said, “And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached and drew out his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?”” Apparently, He was not talking about the worldly swords.
(Verses refer to those in NASB unless otherwise specified.)
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