Fbcsreadthruthebible's Blog

Part of the FBCS 2010 Read Through the Bible Project: Enter the Story. Join the Song.

Stepping Up.

John 18:1-11   2 Chronicles 26   Psalm 83

“Let them know that you alone . . . are the Most High . . .” (Psalm 83:18). What does it look like to be “Most High over all the earth?” And what, exactly, is strength in the eyes of God? These are a couple of the questions that surface as I read today’s scripture texts. First there is Uzziah, whose “fame spread” as he built strong towers and equipped an army with many weapons of war (2 Chronicles 26:9-15). Next, we hear the psalmist praying that God will shame and destroy the enemy to “let them know” with whom they are dealing (Psalm 83:13-18). And then there is Peter, cutting off a man’s ear in his attempt to defend Jesus with a sword (John 18:10). “Step up and show them what you’re made of!” This is strength as most understand it. And then Jesus comes forward: 

“I am he” (John 18:5). Or, better translated: “I am.” And with that he chooses his path: “To drink the cup that the Father has given” (v.11). Do you see what is happening here? The Lord, in the person of Jesus, is doing as the psalmist asks. He comes forward and makes it known to those who conspire against him that he alone is the “Most High,” the great “I Am.” And he proves it by choosing to give himself over to them. An act of obedient love. And this is what God calls stepping up. Well.

“Put your sword back into its sheath” (John 18:11). And Luke would add that Jesus touched the ear and healed the man (Luke 22:51). This is God incarnate; God revealed. And this is the Lord we profess to follow . . . So how might he have us follow him? In what manner is he calling you and me to step up — and out — in obedient love? And what sword might he be asking us to put back into its sheath? Uzziah’s strength or the strength of Jesus? The choice is ours. Every day. May we walk in the steps of the Master. Amen?

“As you have sent me into the world,
so I have sent them into the world.”
     — John 17:18

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