Tag Archives: Rome

Putting It All Together

My original title for this was going to be something along the lines of, “Why not Peter with Jesus.” The basic premise was this. Peter cuts off the ear of Malchus. Jesus heals Malchus. Soldiers do not arrest Peter and execute him with Jesus. I started thinking about this incident yesterday and how to me Peter not being arrested made no sense and if you only read John, it doesn’t make any sense at all.

3 So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” 5 They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.”[a] Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 When Jesus[b] said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” 9 This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” 10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant[c] and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

12 So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews[d] arrested Jesus and bound him. 13 First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.

15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, 16 but Peter stood outside at the door.

John 18:3 – 16

Can you imagine that conversation?

Malchus: “Holy crap! That crazy Jew just cut off my ear!”

Soldier: “Stop being such a baby Malchus. It’s just a flesh wound. You’ll be fine.”

Malchus: “Are….are you sure?”

Soldier: “Yes, Malchus.”

Malchus: “Oh, okay. If, if you say so.”

Doesn’t seem terribly plausible does it. But without any other information, what are we to assume? The Romans wouldn’t put up with this. Peter would be right there with Jesus on Cross. There wouldn’t be any ifs, ands, or buts about it. Thankfully, Luke gives us a few more details on the matter.

47 While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the servant[h] of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53 When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

54 Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance.

Luke 22:47 – 54

Okay, Jesus heals the dude. Pretty incredible and it seems plausible that they would be so awestruck by what they witness that they may have forgotten about Peter. Then again, these were Roman soldiers, so it doesn’t seem that plausible.

Soldier One: “That guy cut off Malchus’ ear!”

Soldier Two: “Yeah, but this Jesus guy made it all better.”

Soldier One: “I don’t care! He attacked a Roman soldier and cut off is ear. That’s not gonna fly.”

This conversation seems much more likely, but again, the guards don’t go after Peter. As awestruck as they may have been, there’s still simply no way that they wouldn’t have arrested Peter on the spot. They’d have been all like, “Well, that was cool. Still, we can’t have you running around mucking things up now, can we. You’re clearly a threat to Rome. Off with us you come.” Perhaps one of the other Gospels could shed some more light on the subject matter.

47 While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” 49 And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. 50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.”[f] Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. 51 And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant[g] of the high priest and cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” 55 At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. 56 But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.

Matthew 26:47 – 56

Oh, thank you, Matthew. Luke and John suddenly make more sense now. The disciples suddenly running away ties everything together quite well. Peter cuts off an ear, Jesus heals it, and in all of it the disciples scatter. The Roman soldiers are all like, “Wut!?” but in the end, they got what they came for. Malchus is fine and Peter is presumably gone. What are they to gain by sending resources after him? How are they to convince Pontius of using their resources to find him?

Soldier: “They cut Malchus’ ear off.”
Pontius eyes Malchus suspiciously.
Malchus: “I got better.”

When you put Luke, John, and Matthew together, Peter not being crucified with Jesus doesn’t seem so far fetched anymore. Like Chris Rosebrough says on Fighting for the Faith, the three rules for good discernment are context, context, context.

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The sin of praying to the Saints

Roman Catholic tradition teaches praying to the Saints.  Many of our protestant brethren would tell us we should not do so because it’s not found in scripture.  Well, that’s a rather sad excuse.  Should I not listen to heavy metal or country simply because it’s not found in scripture?  Hardly.  If that’s your line of reasoning, than we shouldn’t be driving motor cars or using computers.  More astute Christians will tell us that we should not be praying to the Saints because Christ is our only mediator between God.  And that is a very valid argument.

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.

Not through John.  Not through Mark.  Not through Augustine.  Not through Luther.  Through Jesus.  So why would we pray to any of these Saints?  It is not through them which we shall be saved but through Jesus Christ.

But that’s not what I’m getting at either.  Not, what I’m getting at is that praying to the Saints is a sin on the grounds that contacting the dead is a sin.  First of all, Deuteronomy 18:10-11 explicitly speaks against it.  We can also look at 1 Samuel 28 in which Saul goes to a medium to contact Samuel.  According to verse 15, contact from the world of the living was a major annoyance for Samuel.  Furthermore, we see when Saul asks Samuel for help, Samuel basically answers “Why are you asking me when the Lord has turned from you?” Saul asking Samuel for help isn’t really all that different than praying to the Saints.  Both are dead.  Both are great people of God.  Seems to me that speaking with the dead doesn’t do a whole lot of good.  Since we are not to be contacting the dead, then we should not be praying to the Saints because what is prayer but contact.  It’s difference when we pray to Jesus because he is risen from the dead.  Being no longer dead, he is a living body that may be contacted.  If you are praying to the Saints, then you are attempting to contact the dead which, as the law tells us, is a sin.

Some Roman Catholics will point to Matthew 17:3 as proof that praying to the Saints is okay and that contacting the dead isn’t forbidden.  However, there is one thing they tend to leave out.  Peter didn’t contact the dead here; Jesus, AKA God, did.  I think it stands to reason that God can do whatever he pleases.  God also made a wager with Satan.  That doesn’t mean we should.

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A Proud Catholic

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Catholic is one of the most beautiful words in the Christian language.  It’s a shame that our American theology has tainted it so.  The blinding hatred of everything Roman Catholic has ruined so much.  Sure, Rome has it’s issues, but just because they have issues doesn’t mean we have to reupholster the bathroom as we throw out the bathwater.  The word catholic means universal.    The holy catholic Church doesn’t refer to Rome but the entire body of Christ.  As I say to my Baptist friends, “I’m catholic, small c.”  I fail to understand why the LCMS changed catholic to Christian.  To make it easier for converts?  So people don’t think of Rome?  I don’t know.  But I wish we would get back to it.  To this day, when reciting the Nicene Creed every Sunday, I still sometimes have trouble saying And I believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church.  For me, it often comes out And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.  It’s a great and wonderful Christian word that I believe we need to re-embrace.  It’s too important not to.