Summary: We see the miracles. We may have even experienced a miracle. Yet we still turn a blind eye and tend to reject Him. Malchus felt the touch of Jesus, yet still arrested Him.
There is a stack of rocks about eight feet tall on the outskirts of a small Georgia town. It has been there for well over a hundred years and everyone knows by the way it was stacked, it is probably a monument of some kind. But, the exact reason for this monument has been kept silent for so long that nobody remembers what it was.
You have heard about Stonehenge in England. It was also a monument of some sort for somebody, but again, the reason has been lost throughout the generations. We can appreciate it as a feat of man’s ability to build things, but we will never be able to understand the mystery behind it.
Many more mysteries intrigue us, such as the serpentine Indian mounds in Chillicothe, Ohio, or the pyramids of ancient Egypt, but that is all they will do; intrigue us, as their exact meanings have disappeared permanently from the face of the earth.
The Bible has mysteries of its own, and one of them is found in LUKE 22:47-51.
‘While He was still speaking, a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss Him, but Jesus asked him, ‘Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?’
When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, ‘Lord, should we strike with our swords?’ And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting of his right ear. But Jesus answered, ‘No more of this!’ And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.’
In JOHN 18:10, it says the one who sliced off the ear was Simon Peter. One of the mysteries in this passage is revealed in MATTHEW 26:48-50. It says that after Judas kissed Jesus (as a signal that this was the One who they were to arrest), Jesus referred to Judas as ‘friend.’ I would be hard pressed to call anyone who was betraying me to death a friend; but Jesus did. Is the answer in this mystery to be found in the love Jesus had for Judas?
Another mystery is that in the middle of all the chaos, Jesus took the time to reach over and heal a man who had been hurt. That in itself is a kind of monument to the character and attributes of our Lord. Let’s see if we can’t unravel the mystery behind the healing of Malchus’ ear.
What purpose do you think Jesus had in healing him?
1. JESUS’ PURPOSE WAS TO FINISH WHAT HE STARTED
I have always been drawn to Peter. He was the one who always had to say something, whether it made sense or not. Remember on the Mount of Transfiguration when he suggested they build shelters for everyone and just stay there? To me, Peter seems to be the average everyday person who makes his share of blunders, but because of his great faith, he comes out ahead at the end. I relate to that. I have also made my share of blunders and have said many things that later I regretted, but through God’s great glory, He has still allowed me to work for Jesus.
But Peter sometimes seemed to lack a solid understanding of Christ and His mission. In MATTHEW 16:21, we find Jesus telling His disciples that He had to go to Jerusalem and suffer, and that He would be killed and be raised up on the third day. In the next verse, Peter takes Jesus aside and actually tries to rebuke Him! Peter was not alone in this, however. The other disciples also had a problem understanding things in the way Jesus wanted them to. The disciples argued amongst themselves about who was the most important. I have pictures in my mind of Jesus throwing up His hands and rolling His eyes at some of their actions and comments, but I also see Jesus having the love necessary to put up with them and continue teaching them.
But when the men came that night to get Jesus, Peter was very aware of what the stakes were, and he was ready for whatever happened – or so he thought. He was ready to go to war and kill the enemy, but we find that Jesus rebuked him. Jesus knew that this was not a war to be fought with knives and swords. It was a spiritual war in every sense of the word.
Paul reminds us of that in EPHESIANS 6:12 –
‘For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the Heavenly realms.’
Today, we also find ourselves needing to be reminded of this. Some believers today are just like Peter was. They want to fight a physical warfare. We battle with our Christian brothers and sisters, our church leaders, other denominations, and society in general. We must remember that our battle is a spiritual one. Malchus was in charge of this mob, and was working on behalf of the High Priest himself. If Jesus ever had an enemy in the human sense, this was it. He had every ‘human’ right to let Peter do what he wanted to do. But Jesus knew this was spiritual. He showed only love and compassion to one who meant Him great harm.