In each generation there are code names for political thought that carry significant meaning at the time, but may become lost to future generations. Take terms like liberal or conservative. These have meaning to us today. But will they mean the same to future generations? Nazi, Whig, Rabbits, Mules. Some have meaning today, some we have not idea what they were or what they stood for.
Take the Zealots of Jesus time. This was what we might consider a radical group of Jews who held to the idea of an earthly Jewish King who would come in power and glory and defeat the Romans with power and might and the sword.
Interesting to note that Jesus’ Apostles weren’t all the fishermen we often think of. They also included Matthew, the tax collector who had served the Roman government and Simon the Zealot, both of whom had been in the room with Jesus while he prayed and both of whom would be among the disciples who would scatter this very night.
But in this hour of darkness, Jesus holds out a very special message to the zealots of the day. Jesus makes it very clear that it is by design and fulfillment of the scriptures that God has chosen for Him to be taking this path. It is not because of weakness. With a word, legions of angels would appear in full battle regalia. Jesus specifically tells people to put away the sword and, in a bigger message explains that those who live by the sword die by the sword.
While we may not see the meaning, it would have been clear in that day and age that Jesus was sending a message to the Zealots – I am the Messiah, and we will not be attacking the Romans with sword we will be attacking and overcoming death with His sacrifice on the cross.
He turned Himself over willingly. He asked that all others be released. He told Peter to put away the sword.
That when He rose from the dead He would go to Galilee, that all would fall away, that He prayed in the garden and they kept falling asleep, that He saw His betrayer coming, that He was betrayed with a kiss, that He commanded Judas to do what he came for and called him friend, that He had legions of angels at His disposal, that He didn’t call them so scripture would be fulfilled, that all the disciples deserted Him
It was fully within His control. He willfully submitted to to what must transpire