Shall I Not Drink My Cup

10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?” ~ John 18:10-11

Judas had led a company of armed soldiers, along with some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees, to where Jesus and His disciples were in the Garden of Gethsemane. When Simon Peter saw what was going on, he drew his sword in a daring attempt to defend Jesus, and he struck Malchus, the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.

But Jesus shouted to Peter, “Cephus, put your sword away! Do you not think that I can call on my Father and He will put at My disposal more than ten thousand of His angels? Or do you suppose that I should not drink the cup that is given to me? If I do not drink, how then can the Scriptures be fulfilled? And if the Scriptures are not fulfilled, you have no life; you have no salvation.”

By saying and doing this, Jesus has set a precedence for us. If Jesus, being God, felt it necessary to drink the cup that He was given, how much more should we feel the need to drink the cup that is given to us. Too many times, we as Christians hope for a certain situation to turn out such and such a way and when it does not happen the way we have designed its conclusion, we are crying, “Woe is me! Woe is me!”

We’ve all been given a cup to drink; shall I not drink my cup, and shall you not drink your cup? Of course we should, to each his own cup, to each his own trials and rewards. What God has called you to do is not what God has called me to do, and vice versa.

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs tells the story of Peter being warned that Nero was seeking an opportunity to put him to death. It stated that the believer’s persistence for him to escape the city was so strong that he was persuaded to flee. As he was coming to the gate, he saw the LORD Jesus coming to meet him.

“LORD, where are You going?” Peter asked Him. “I am come again to be crucified,” was His answer. It was then that Peter had to answer for himself the question, “Shall I Not Drink My Cup?” And Peter turned around and went back into the city. He was crucified upside down at his own request, as he did not feel worthy to suffer in the same manner as the LORD had.

We all have a cup to drink, some more bitter than others. Still, we must all drink the cup that is handed to us. Serving Jesus is not all peaches and cream. It is not all sunshine and games. Some will have to drink the cup of suffering, or the cup of persecution, and others the cup of Martyrdom, and some the cup of joy and increase. Whatever your cup, whatever my cup, we must all drink.

Dear Heavenly Father, help me not to complain about the cup that I have been handed. Help me not to look at others’ blessings and complain, but rather to be grateful that I have the privilege to drink the cup that is handed to me. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

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