Malchus? This was the first time I'm learning of a man named Malchus. I remember hearing the story of Peter cutting off a slave's right ear and Jesus healing him. However, the name I couldn't place. Then, to try to view the death and resurrection of Jesus through the eyes of Malchus was very moving to me.
Quick summary on Malchus. Malchus, the servant of the high priest, was one of the men coming to arrest Jesus. Peter cut off Malchus' right ear. Jesus, with one touch, immediately healed his right ear. Malchus moved forward with participating in the arrest.
Imagine being Malchus, a servant. He was told how horrible of a man Jesus was and they needed to arrest him. He believed them I'm sure, especially after Peter cut off his right ear. However, imagine what Malchus was feeling when Jesus picked up his right ear and healed him. Confused I'm sure. Amazed. Awestruck. Thankful. I'm sure there was even remorse for what he was about to do to repay him. He still moved forward with supporting the high priest and doing what he was told to do. You may be asking yourself why. Why didn't he fall on his knees and beg for forgiveness? Why didn't he show Jesus how much he believes in him now? Did he really believe at that moment that Jesus is the Messiah?
Bill Crowder, the author of The Window On Easter, writes:
"I love that idea-but we just don't know. What we do know, however, is that for the rest of his life, Malchus wore on the right side of his head the proof of an encounter with the God-man. For the rest of his life, whenever he heard the name Jesus, his hand must have unconsciously moved to touch that restored right ear. For the rest of his life, he would be unable to deny the love and care that he had experienced in what one poet called "the touch of the Master's hand." For the rest of his life, he bore the evidence of the greatest surprise he would ever experience."
Bill Crowder continues with the following:
"Malchus knew what it was to be owned, and, as a result of Peter's behavior, knew what it was to be hated. In Christ, however, he had known what it was to be cared for and loved. That had to have been a surprise, given the nature of the circumstances under which he met the Savior."
In other words, we don't need to know why Malchus didn't follow Jesus in that moment. We need to learn that we, especially in this day and age, are sinning against Jesus just as Malchus did. There are moments in all of our lives where we sin. Not one of us is perfect. Worry, doubt, greed, lust, dishonesty, jealousy. It all comes creeping in our lives. God knew where we would be today. Yet, He still sent his son to die for our sins on the cross. Bill Crowder wraps up this chapter perfectly:
"Paul reminds us, 'But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.' (Romans 5:8) While we were yet sinners....Now that is a surprise."
I love that we can stop and compare ourselves to Malchus, the servant whose right ear was cut off by Peter and then healed by Jesus. It's so easy for us to look at others and say "how could they?" When God could be looking at us saying the same thing. Yet, instead, He loves us through it all and surprises us by giving us healing in ways we couldn't ever imagine.
For me, what I want to learn from Malchus is to never miss a chance to thank God for the healing He sends my way. I want to show him how grateful I am so I can follow His path and not my own.
* Be sure to join us next week for our next chapter, The Window of Sin: Judas Iscariot.