Small Town Drama

  • Exodus 30:11-31:18
  • Matthew 26: 47-68
  • Psalm 32:1-11
  • Proverbs 8:27-32

“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”

Matthew 26:52

We are at the point in the gospel of Matthew that Jesus is being arrested. The betrayer, “Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people.” Mt 26:47. Judas, his friend had gathered a crowd and come after Jesus. Jesus had been betrayed by someone he spent time with, worked with, ministered with, loved and trusted. Have you been betrayed, friend? If so, I encourage you to keep reading…..

Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: 
"The one I kiss is the man; arrest him."
 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, "Greetings Rabbi!" and kissed him.
Jesus replied, "Do what you came for friend."
Mt 26:48-50

How do you like them apples?!?! This guy had just eaten the Passover meal with Jesus, even dipped his bread in the same bowl as Jesus (vs 23). Jesus had warned them all that one of them would be the betrayer, and HE knew which one it was. But my understanding of the scriptures tell me, that the other Eleven didn’t. At this point, not only did Jesus feel betrayal, hurt and anger, but the others did too.

So naturally, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. vs 51 Wouldn’t you?

I have been known to have a hot temper. I’m not always proud of that, to be honest. You see, when I was growing up, we moved around alot. It was hard to make friends. Especially because of my appearance. I am 6’0 tall. That’s tall for a woman, right? Well, I grew this tall by the time I was in junior high school. We moved twice when I was in junior high school, so forever being the new girl, I got made fun of – ALOT. I really needed someone to come to my aid during those days, but of course, I was the new girl. It was a really difficult time.

Well, those childhood memories have created a warrior, of sorts, within me. One of the ways in which my temper can flare is when one of my friends or family gets hurt. When I see someone I love being betrayed, I can become a companion like Jesus and draw my sharp tongue and lash out at the betrayer.

Have you ever felt the need to draw out a sword to protect those you love?

Yesterday, actually God brought this verse to my mind, which I’m grateful for, because I remembered it when I needed it most. I live in a small town. Very small town. And there is a “feud” between two women in this town. There was some real betrayal by one of them toward the other. In fact, I’m sure that on both sides of that argument, you can find feelings of betrayal. One of them was being seen as taking advantage of a situation, the other came to the rescue of the situation. Things were said and done….and now 8-10 years later there’s still a feud. Because its a small town, these two women live near each other, they go to the same church, they share the same facebook friends, they shop at the same places, and visit the same venues. This conflict is like salt, it just keeps on rubbing and rubbing those wounds.

Well, I’m still kind of new here in this town, I’ve only lived in this town for going on five years, and so this situation that “everyone knows”, I have just come to know about over the past couple of years, and now I find myself right in the middle of it. One of the women has become my friend, and the other woman is stirring up hurt feelings and trying to “get back” at my friend.

Recently, very clearly during a conversation about the most current pot stirring, in my head I hear the words, “Put your sword back, Theresa, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” Which I did obey. I just shut my mouth. I must admit that I really wanted to say some stuff, ya know what I mean? Because, Lord knows, I can rant and rave at some people when you hurt my friends!! But Thank you Lord, for the reminder to be quiet.

In understanding today’s readings we see that this situation HAD to happen in order that the Scriptures be fulfilled:

But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?

Matthew 26: 54

But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.”

Matthew 26: 56

I’m not saying or comparing the conflict between these two ladies as fulfillment of the Scriptures, no not at all. Jesus said “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34. What I am saying is that Jesus knows our conflicts. In fact, He knows them even before they happen, just like he knew in advance about Judas being his betrayer. He knows our heart and he knows how we tend to react. This makes me think about Psalm 139:

You have searched me, Lord and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord know it completely.

Psalm 139:1-4

As we move forward through the gospel verses for today we find that in verse 63 “Jesus remained silent.” He knew the crucifixion was going to go through, just how God intended it. He knew every person and their heart, mind and soul in this entire upcoming horrific fulfillment of prophecy . He had told his disciples that in the end he would rise again. He’d already told them!

But friend, I’m with you. Its hard to remain silent sometimes. I promise you though, Jesus is present in your difficult situation. He knows it, even on the other side of the pain you are going through. He will see you through it, if you will just lean on him, and his promises of redemption and resurrection.

Oh Lord, I pray for the two women in our town, and I ask you to mend their hearts. In no way to I minimize their pain. If there is any evil in either of them or their households, I command in the name of Jesus that it quietly leave. Lord, I pray for a miracle of reconciliation between them. They were friends one time, a long time ago. I don’t know the whole story, but you do, Lord and I pray for you to give each of them exactly what they may need to heal. I thank you that you spoke to me yesterday and reminded me that YOU are in charge of this situation, and that I can rest in you, knowing that you make all things good for those who love you. I pray for the reader that stumbles upon this journal entry. I pray that it would minister to him or her in a very special way, and bring healing and hope for the future. Amen.

Is there a situation in your life that seems impossible to fix? Pray Psalm 139, I promise that God hears your prayer.

Is there a conversation in your life that needs to happen in order to bring reconciliation? I encourage you to read Matthew 5: 21-26, well, all of Chapter 5 really.

I’m praying for you, and all who read this. Is there something specific that I can pray for you? Comment below.

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