just in case
The olive trees cast strange shadows among them. More than one disciple glanced around, wondering what they were doing out here. Jesus had been acting strangely the past few days, praying lengthy prayers that referred to His no longer being among them. The disciples had been to this grove of trees before - they often met here - but the darkness and Jesus' increasingly cryptic behavior made this time different.
Peter was not one to be taken by surprise. He knew the political pressures were mounting and that among the Sanhedrin, there was no shortage of those who would want harm to come to them. When he gathered his things to go to the olive grove, he hesitated for a moment...Should he, or shouldn't he? Deciding that preparation better than being caught unprepared, he strapped a sword on his side and flipped his flowing cloak over it's leather wrapped handle. If everything went as planned, he would not need it and no one would ever know he brought it.
Things did not go as planned. There were torches...A crowd...Men on horseback and others on foot. In the confusion surrounding the invasion of their prayer meeting, it was obvious that the men had come to do harm. Peter made a move towards plan B.
Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, cutting off his ear. (The servant's name was Malchus). Jesus commanded Peter, "Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?"
In a moment, Peter was exposed. He had a contingency plan. If Jesus couldn't watch out for them, then he would take matters into his own hands. The sting to his ego was not unlike the sting he'd just caused Malchus.
In moments, Jesus healed Malchus. In time, he healed Peter too...But not until Peter had wandered even further away in spirit, denying the Lord three times.
In retrospect, Peter regretted bringing the sword along. He hated that he felt he always needed a contingency plan. He ached for the ability to just trust Jesus in the face of danger.
If you're holding on to a contingency plan...an idea tucked under your cloak in case the soldiers invade your prayer meeting, put your sword away this morning. Despite all circumstantial evidence, He has a plan and is entirely in control.