Listening and Swords

Just woke up thinking more about the concept of anointed listening and all the times that Jesus said let those who have ears to hear, hear.

It struck me that when Peter cut off a servant’s ear in the Garden of Gethsemane, there’s a very poignant symbolism happening.

When we draw our swords and attack — when we use physical force — we separate people from their ability to hear any message we might otherwise have been able to share with them. Using force cuts off their hearing ability.

I believe this was a sign. The reason I believe it was a sign is that I think it would be very difficult to cut off an ear without damaging the head, shoulder, or neck. Sort of like when you throw a ball or wad of paper at something from quite a distance, and it hits something odd, lands in someone’s cup or whatever, and you say “Ha, ha, I couldn’t do that again if I tried a hundred times.” When you swing a sword at someone, it’s much easier to hack off a hand or foot or even to gouge an eye. No doubt the victim tried to duck the blow, but the point is, it’s no accident (when the event is taken as a spiritual lesson) that it was specifically an EAR. Use of the sword damages the world’s ability to hear a message of love.

This is the one of the strongest Biblical passages in favor of pacifism. If we want the world to be able to hear the message of Jesus, we need to put away our sword and work for healing of those ears.


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The author lives in Goshen, Indiana with his wife and four children. He is self-employed as a leadership coach working with business executives, writers and other artists, and spiritual leaders. His clients enjoy business growth, increased vision and purpose, work/family lifestyle balance, and freedom from writer’s block.

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