Lesson 86: John 18:10-11 – Lend Me Your Ear

by Pastor Ricky Kurth

You're listening to Lesson 86 from the sermon series "The Gospel of John" by Pastor Ricky Kurth. When you're done, explore more sermons from this series.



What’s Peter doing with a sword (18:10)? Aren’t Christians supposed to be non-violent? He was obeying the Lord (Lu.22:36)! Swords are only used to take human life in self-defense, as are handguns, so you know it is okay to own either one, even just to defend your property (Lu.11:21), as the Law said (Ex.22:2). If you find a stranger in your home at night, you don’t know if he is is there to just rob you or harm the family you are sworn to protect (cf.Eph.5:25). Even if he just robs you, he robs you of your abilty to obey I Timothy 5:8.

“What about thou shalt not kill”? Well, the same Bible says murderers must be killed (Ex.21:12), so the Bible sees a difference between cold-blooded murder and the orderly execution of cold-blooded murderers. So “thou shalt not kill” must be taken in context, and the same is true for Matthew 26:52. He couldn’t have meant that it is never good to use a sword, for that would contradict when He told them to buy one. He just didn’t want a sword used to resist His arrest, as we know from what He went on to say (Mt.26:53,54). He was rather telling Peter that those who had come to arrest Him with swords (Mt.26:47) would eventually die by His sword (Rev.19:11-15). Knowing this will give Tribulation Jews the patience to endure the Antichrist’s sword (Rev.13:10).

“Malchus” (John 18:10) means king, making him a type of the kings that will rise up against the Lord (Ps.2:2-5), the kings the Lord will strike through at His coming (Ps.110:5). After that, the birds will feast on these kings (Rev. 19:17,18).

But here in John 18, it is time for the Lord to die, not conquer with the sword, so He tells Peter to sheath his sword (John 18:11). The commentaries jump on Peter here, but for the wrong reason. They say Peter should have known our weapons aren’t carnal (IICor.10:4), that we don’t battle flesh and blood (Eph.6:12), and that the only sword a Christian should use is the sword of the Spirit (Eph.6:17). But those things are only true of believers in this dispensation. Peter’s mistake was a dispensational one, but not how the commentaries think! When the beast gathers against the Lord (Rev.19:19), the saints will take up swords to protect Him (Ps.149:1-9).

Luke tells us that the Lord healed Malchus’ ear (22:50,51). This shows how the Lord felt about the government. He not only didn’t resist arrest, He healed the agent who got hurt arresting Him! Christians who plan to use violence to overthrow the government that sponsors abortion and promotes gay marriage mean well, but Peter meant well when he resisted the government violently. Both are wrong. It wasn’t time for the Lord to resist, and it isn’t time to fix the government. That time will come in the kingdom of heaven on earth.

The “cup” (John 18:11) was a figure of speech for death. Though the Romans killed Him, He called it His Father’s cup because they were doing the Father’s will. The Father was righteously punishing Him for our sins just as He righteously punished the Jews for their sins with Nebuchadnezzar, a punishment God called a cup (Jer.25: 15). Because they were being justly punished for their sins, they were told not to resist the cup, and because He was being justly punished for our sins, He didn’t resist the cup either.

John says the Lord agreed to drink the cup (v.11) but Hebrews 5:5-7 says He asked to be saved from death and was heard. God answered—just not the way He prayed for. The Father promised to save the Lord from death the way He saved the Jews in Hos.13:14, by raising them from death. The Lord said that was “enough” for Him (Mark 14:35-41). Is it “sufficient” for you when God answers your prayer by telling you He’ll answer them in the resurrection? It was enough for Paul (IICor.12:7-9). The Lord asked that the cup might pass three times (Mark 14:41) and Paul asked three times (IICor.12:8). It sufficed Moses to ask once (Deut.3:24-26). Just remember, when you “cry Abba” (Ro.8:15), you are praying “Abba…not what I will, but what Thou wilt” (Mark 14:36).

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