Drink This Cup
16 August 2010
Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 24; Psalm 112; Jeremiah 22; John 18
Jesus ordered Peter, “Put back your sword. Do you think for a minute I’m not going to drink this cup the Father gave me?” (John 18:11 MSG)
As the Roman soldiers and the Jewish Temple police confronted Jesus and his followers in the garden named Gethsemane, Jesus stood up to the soldiers and identified himself, telling them to let his followers go. Peter, in a burst of bravado, drew a sword and took a swing at Malchus, one of the men who had come to arrest Jesus. Then Jesus told Peter to put the sword away and let it happen. Jesus is quoted in Matthew’s account of his arrest (Matthew 26:52) saying, “Don’t you realize I could call thousands of angels to come and rescue me from this moment?”
Jesus had a lot of resources he could call upon to avoid what was about to happen to him, but he didn’t call for an angel army to come and rescue him. He didn’t disappear through the mob as he had done on other occasions. He didn’t confuse their arguments with his brilliant mental abilities. He didn’t use a strategy that pitted the Pharisees against the Sadducees or the Jews against the Romans. Jesus simply said, “It’s me you’re looking for. Let these others go and let’s get on with it.”
If Jesus hadn’t known who he was, why he was here, and where he was going (John 13:3) it would have been pretty much impossible to submit to the indignities and suffering he was about to experience. If Jesus hadn’t won the battle of submission to the Father in prayer, he wouldn’t have been able to win the battle of submission to the Jews who hated him and the Romans who couldn’t care less.
It’s not about getting what I want. It’s not about being right. It’s not about winning the argument. It’s not about getting out alive. It’s not about “powering-up” on people. It’s not about looking good. Doing the right thing in a challenging situation is not about coming out on top. It’s about “drinking the cup the Father gives me.”
Father, Please give me the wisdom and grace to recognize the cup you want me to drink when it’s placed in my hands. Give me grace to not merely sip it but to down it in one gulp. May I win life’s battles and conquer life’s challenges in earnest prayer and wholehearted surrender to you. I want to do your will.