Summary: The flesh and the spirit are at war in this passage, and in our own hearts.
Passage: Matthew 26:47-56
Intro: Everyone thinks they know what a real man is.
1. pro athlete, Rambo, fireman.
2. always tough, strong, can really shoot any one of his variety of weapons, protect the fam!
3. Father’s Day is tough, because we are not quite as secure in our role as mothers are.
4. and we look at Jesus, and He is our hero, but He was very different than the stereotypical man.
5. and few passages show how different he was than this one right here.
6. it was a big opportunity for Jesus to “man up”
7. but as we’ll see, it looked like abject failure
8. guys, this passage is very instructive to us as Christian dads.
9. and we may find it very challenging in our day and age.
10. but there is a contrast here that we need to look at, and a choice we need to make.
I. The Heart of Darkness
1. as we take a look here, see how many of these characteristics match what we value in our world.
2. Jesus had fought the great battle of Gethsemane, was ready to receive the unlimited wrath of God.
3. that wrath was partially delivered by men, from the evil heart of men.
4. what does it look like? We will recognize these.
5. intimidation, “large crowd”.
Il) when I was fire chief, learned to attack a fire with overwhelming force at the beginning, instead of slowly fighting
6. it came with weapons, swords and clubs. Advantage to the one with it
PP “Now that’s a knife”
7. it came with false friendship, betrayal with a kiss.
Il) we do it with a handshake, “I have no weapon”
8. it came under cover of darkness, in secrecy
9. it came outside the law, a rabble of men sent by the high priest to intimidate, overwhelm, and seize someone who they were frankly afraid of.
Il) would like to try and arrest Jesus? And if He resisted?
10. but in v50, they “put their hands on him” and took him into custody
11. but don’t lose sight of this, because this is the way the flesh operates.
12. sometimes more civil, but ultimately it is a power game and the guys with the biggest guns and armies gets to force his will on the other.
II. The Heart of Light
1. the contrast could not be stronger
2. and even more provocative, Jesus’ response is contrasted not only to the crowd, but to at least one disciple
3. Jesus is betrayed by a kiss in v49, (which by the way was insubordination for a disciple to master.
4. Jesus reply? Hurt? Anger?
6. “I acquiesce to your purpose” because God had called him to
7. flesh crying out for vengeance, at least get one good lick in.
8. but Jesus did nothing of the sort. So guards put hands on him and arrest.
9. not everyone there was as calm as Jesus! One guy responds like we might all like to think we would.
Il) frankly, all men like Peter for whacking off this guys ear!
10. “servant of the high priest”, so perhaps in charge of this whole event.
11. the fight is on!! But not for long.
12. Jesus breaks it up with a rather famous phrase. May I paraphrase?
13. “everyone who lives according to the flesh will die according to the flesh.”
14. not a call to pacifism, but to living in the spirit, walking in God’s ways instead of man’s ways, walking in the light instead of the darkness.
15. trying to match force with force?
16. Jesus says, “I have forces available to me that can destroy everyone here.”
17. but the light exercises power in another way.
18. from here on in this narrative, Jesus is victoriously doing the Fathers will with the infinite power of righteous character.
19. and there was nothing anyone could do, not even the forces of hell, to stop what God was doing through him.
Il) don’t picture Jesus plodding down the Via Dolorosa a beaten man. Blood loss, beaten horribly, but completely unbowed in spirit
20. it is a different kind of power we are witnessing; the power of a life fully committed to God’s purpose, and which accomplished things we could never even dream of.
III. Whose Heart Do I Want to Display?
1. this is a choice, you know.
2. Jesus displayed a heart of surrender to God, which means at this point He surrendered to these evil men.
3. and throughout the next few hours, he kept His infinite power in check and accepted what men did to Him as the will of God.
4. and look what it accomplished in your life and mine, in the lives of millions!