The Three Betrayals of the Teacher
Betrayal #1: Judas' Betrayal
Betrayal #2: Peter draws his sword.
The blow was as clumsy as Peter’s courage was great; the tactic was as pointless as Peter’s misunderstanding was total. John agrees with Luke in noting that it was Malchus’ right ear that was severed, and with Matthew in recording Jesus’ command to put away the sword (cf. also Je. 47:6). But in Matthew this command is followed by a paraenetic conclusion: ‘for all who draw the sword will die by the sword’. Here John’s report focuses all the attention on Jesus Christ himself: Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me? Peter’s bravery is not only useless, it is a denial of the work to which Jesus has just consecrated himself—and entirely in line with the Synoptic evidence as to the failure of the disciples to comprehend the passion when it was announced to them (Mk. 8:31–33 par.; cf. Jn. 13:6–10).