Jesus lived in a violent world just like we do. He experienced both physical violence as well as the violence of betrayal. Where have you been confronted with these two kinds of violence? How does it help to know that you have a Savior who understands?
Review the various elements of Jesus’ rebuke to his sword-wielding disciple. Instead of defending Jesus, Peter was actually opposing him. What are the reasons that Jesus’ kingdom cannot advance by force? Are there places in your own life, or generally in the church today, where we think we are defending Jesus but are actually opposing the way he wants his kingdom to come?
Jesus’ non-violent love is part of his redemptive work, and it’s also a pattern that Jesus leaves for us to follow (1 Peter 2:21-23). Do you consider yourself non-violent? Can you resist the urge to retaliate when wronged? Consider some places you’ve been wronged, mistreated, or even betrayed where Jesus calls you to follow in his footsteps and trust in God. (Remember that this teaching must be handled carefully and shouldn’t be used to avoid seeking out the help or deliverance God wants us to experience when we are in danger.)