In today’s Gospel, the Pharisees decided that they wanted to put Jesus to death. He was a real threat to their position of authority in the Jewish faith. They were the guardians of the rules of the faith. And Jesus had just declared that he is Lord of the sabbath.
He withdrew from that place. Did he do so out of cowardice? Did he not come to offer his life for us?
No, he did not do so out of cowardice. His hour had not yet come. He came to fulfill the will of the Father, which completely matched his own divine will. Since his humanity was an instrument of his divinity, his divine will was expressed through his human will. He would give his life at the time, and in the way, that had been foretold. Not in any different way. Not any sooner and not any later.
He would give his life freely. We could say that his human will was obedient to his divine will. But we cannot say that, in his divinity, he was obedient to the Father. He was receptive to all that the Father had given him when he was begotten of the Father. That includes the Father’s plan for our salvation. If we say that he is obedient to the Father in his divinity, that implies that he is somehow less than the Father in his divinity. Both are fully perfect, so that would not be possible.
When the time came, Jesus did not resist his capture. When Peter cut off Malchus’ ear, Jesus healed him. He was not combative toward Pilate. He was led toward his execution like a docile lamb to his slaughter.
He does not descend to the level of argumentation and dispute of his foes. He does not match their ultimate violence. He abides in humility, doing nothing but the Father’s will.
How can Jesus’ way be a model for us? A way of interiority, peace, and humility. Doing nothing but the Father’s will.
Do we thrash against our circumstances or against those who oppose us? Or do we look for the interior silence where we can encounter God? Do we bear our cross at the time and in the way to which we are called?