Be Good, even to Your Haters! (Luke 22:47-52)
There are so many people who are not happy when they see us succeed in life. We call them haters! In our passage today, we have an account of Jesus’ betrayal and arrest by a detachment of Roman soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees (John 18:3) – His chief haters. Jesus’ disciples requested for His permission to fight back. However, one of His most devoted disciples (John 18:10) who judged His response too late a-coming, pulled his sword, (probably) aimed at the head of one of the attackers but missed his blow (most of His disciples were skilled in the use of nets for fishing, but not in the use of swords for fighting). He, instead, cut off the right ear of the servant of the high priest who was with the retinue. Jesus ordered that disciple of His to sheath his sword, then went the extra mile to heal the victim who had come to arrest and kill Him. Remember, Jesus does not perform any miracle to show off His powers. There is always a reason and a lesson for us in His miracles. So, what lesson is there for us to learn from this particular miracle?
Luke here tells us how He [Jesus] cured the wound which was more than amends sufficient for the injury: He touched his ear, and healed him; fastened his ear on again, that he might not so much as go away stigmatized, though he well deserved it. Christ hereby gave them a proof of his power. He that could heal could destroy if He pleased, which should have obliged them in interest to submit to Him. Had they returned the blow upon Peter, he would immediately have healed him; and what could not a small regiment do that had such a surgeon to it, immediately to help the sick and wounded?Matthew Henry’s commentary on Luke 22:47-52
By this miracle, Jesus demonstrated His own doctrine which He had handed down to His followers about the way they should respond to haters. I love the way The Message puts that teaching of Jesus:
You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives His best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.Matthew 5:43-47, MESSAGE
The Apostle Paul sums it up in Romans 12:21, NIV: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” When someone hurts you, one rule is that you shouldn’t react by hurting them back. But from this miracle, we see Jesus inviting us to go a step further and do good to those who hate us. I believe this is one of the lessons, if not the major lesson Jesus intends for us to learn from that miracle of His from our passage today.
If you have any further lessons you gleaned from there, please feel free to share them with me and others in the comments section below this post. You can also connect with me through our contact page.
God bless you.
For the other miracle lessons, please go to the miracle lessons page.
I was around 5 when, I am strongly convinced, I first heard the distinct voice of God. But, not until I was 11 (2002) did I have a personal encounter with Him. I was in my room that night, about to pray before bed, when I saw a revelation of how filthy my heart was. I didn't argue with God that I was too young to have such amount of filth ('cause I believed I was a 'good boy,' by human standards, at least). I simply cried uncontrollably in brokenness of heart - "The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God" (Psalm 51:17) - and He didn't.
Still crying uncontrollably, I left my room and went to the living room, where my parents were watching the nightly news on TV. After I managed to tell them about the revelation I saw, my sweet mum took me to her room and led me to Christ. I got saved that night. And 6 years later, I discovered my purpose and assignment on earth, which is raising up men and women to be godly, and teaching them the simplicity of Christianity. More than a decade later, I am still fulfilling that purpose to His glory. Hallelujah!