Then one of those standing near drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
We like to think that there was a day when people would talk together. We like to think that there was a time when they would be able to calmly express themselves.
And on the other side of that coin were people willing to listen. They would respectfully and thoughtfully take in what you said. And before saying a word, they’d think about what you had said. Asking clarifying questions.
As I said, we like to think that there were days like this in the past. But I wonder if they ever really existed.
With things the way they are, it certainly seems like that no one is talking. They may be yelling. They may be screaming. They may be Tweeting. They may be posting outraged text and videos on social media.
They are lashing out. They are slashing anyone and everything in their way. It could be against the President. The Pope. Or just plain people. They feel entitled to yell their thoughts and positions on people. They get to proclaim and defend their views against all commers.
And that’s exactly what Peter does to Malchus. To defend Jesus, the one that Peter recognized and proclaimed as the Messiah. The one who had renamed him from Simon (small stone) to Peter (great rock.) The one who reached out his hand and saved Peter from drowning after failing to walk on water.
You have to wonder what Peters’ intentions were. Was it to just have the servant step back, or to deliver a fatal blow? No matter what Peter was thinking, if he was thinking at all, he only cut off the right ear.
It’s easy to make fun of the disciples. After all, they’re not hear to defend themselves. They were nothing but simple, uneducated men. From an unsophisticated time. From small villages and towns.
And we’re so much smarter, sophisticated, and superior. We’re educated. We have technology to harness the sun and make electricity. We can talk to anyone from anywhere on the planet. Our phones. Our cars. Our way of life. We’re so special. We’re also superior to them morally. Because we know so much more, we can make better judgements about right and wrong.
We are so advanced to them. Or are we?
Peter lashed out with a sword. We lash out with our swords minus the first s. We lash out with our words. Not waiting to listen, we attack and go for the most tender and defenseless. That’s who we are. That’s who we’ve become.
This servant lost an ear. What have we lost in the battles we’ve fought and lost? Our common sense? Our dignity? Our ability to tell right from wrong?
It seems like we’re on a roller coaster and we’ve been going downhill for a very long time. We wonder if it will ever go up again? Have we flown off the tracks? Have we gone off the rails and are now flying out of control to who knows where?
There’s a plague attacking all we know. Everything we’ve come to trust in. Everything we’ve come to depend on. There seems to be no answers. No hope. It’s like we’re on the sinking Titanic and it’s only a matter of time before everything is swallowed up by the deep, dark, cold waters.
But there is hope.
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14
The answer is right in front of us. God’s people need to humble themselves before God and the watching world. They need to start down a different path. Changing their words, thoughts, actions, and attitudes to ones of repentance. Instead of focusing on changing others, our circumstances, or the world by force, we’re to submit ourselves to God.
Does this sound just like the opposite of what’s going on now in the world? Well, the answer is yes. That’s exactly what we have to stop doing. It starts with humbly seeking God’s face. We need to start turning from our wicked ways.
We have to stop screaming at the world. Replacing our lashing with humble cries for forgiveness. Restoration. Healing. Then and only then will God hear. Will God forgive. Will God heal our land.
It’s right there in front of us. What will we choose?
 John 18:10