11.Put up thy sword into the sheath. By this command Christ reproves Peter’ action. But we must attend to the reason, which is, that a private individual was not permitted to rise in opposition to those who had been invested with public authority; for this may be inferred from the other three Evangelists, who relate Christ’ general declaration,
He who strikes with the sword shall perish by the sword,
We must also beware of repelling our enemies by force or violence, even when they unjustly provoke us, except so far as the institutions and laws of the community admit; for whoever goes beyond the limits of his calling, though he should gain the applause of the whole world, will never obtain for his conduct the approbation of God. (134)
Shall I not drink the cup which my Father hath given to me? This appears to be a special reason why Christ ought to be silent, that he might be led as a lamb to be sacrificed, (Isa_53:7;) but it serves the purpose of an example, for the same patience is demanded from all of us. Scripture compares afflictions to medicinal draughts; for, as the master of a house distributes meat and drink to his children and servants, so God has this authority over us, that he has a right to treat every one as he thinks fit; and whether he cheers us by prosperity, or humbles us by adversity, he is said to administer a sweet or a bitter draught. The draught appointed for Christ was, to suffer the death of the cross for the reconciliation of the world. He says, therefore, that he must drink the cup which his Father measured out and delivered to him.
In the same manner we, too, ought to be prepared for enduring the cross. And yet we ought not to listen to fanatics, who tell us that we must not seek remedies for diseases and any other kind of distresses, lest we reject the cup which the Heavenly Father (135) presents to us. Knowing that we must once die, (Heb_9:27,) we ought to be prepared for death; but the time of our death being unknown to us, the Lord permits us to defend our life by those aids which he has himself appointed. We must patiently endure diseases, however grievous they may be to our flesh; and though they do not yet appear to be mortal, we ought to seek alleviation of them; only we must be careful not to attempt any thing but what is permitted by the word of God. In short, provided that this remain always fixed in our hearts, Let the will of the Lord be done, (Act_21:14,) when we seek deliveralice from the evils which press upon us, we do not fail to drink the cup which the Lord has given to us.
(134) The reader will find our Author’ views on this subject stated fully in the Harmony of the Evangelists, vol. 3, page 244.