Summary: Sometimes Christians offend us and this can be a stumbling block to our faith. This happened to Malchus when Peter, thinking he was defending Jesus, cut off his ear. Jesus showed us a better way by healing the one that a Christian offended.
WHEN PETER CUT OFF MALCHUS’ EAR
Jn. 18:1-11; Lk. 22:50-51
1. Pastor Ray Stedman told the story of some Americans who were stationed in Korea during the Korean War. They rented a home and hired a local man to cook and clean for them.
2. These Americans were a bunch of jokesters. They’d smear Vaseline on the stove handles, suspend water buckets over the doors, and even nailed the poor man’s shoes to the floor. Day after day the man took the brunt of their jokes without saying anything.
3. Finally, the men began to feel guilty. They told the local man they were sorry and wouldn’t play any more tricks on him. He said, “No more sticky on stove?” “No.” “No more water over door?” “No.” “No more nail shoes to floor?” “No,” they said.
4. “Ok,” he said with a wide smile, “I no more spit in soup!”
5. There are times we’d all like to “get even,” but Jesus showed us a higher standard – to love our enemies. Let’s look at an example of it in scripture.
When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples [to]... a garden, and he and his disciples went into it. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons. 4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?” 5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said....6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they said. 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9 This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.” 10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”
1. I never will forget the boxing match in which Mike Tyson intentionally bit off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear. People thought of Tyson as an animal to stoop to such tactics.
2. But not too far away is our beloved Apostle Peter cutting off a man’s ear, but even more shocking is Jesus’ revolutionary response. Let’s look at “When Peter Cut Off Malchus’ Ear.”
I. PETER’S MISGUIDED VIEW OF RELIGION
A. PETER DEFENDED JESUS
1. The world is full of religious zealots who think they are doing God’s will by killing others. Suicide bombers regularly blow themselves up in the name of Allah. Ahmad Alissa killed 10 people on March 22, 2021 in Boulder, Colorado. TERRORISTS ARE NOT DOING THE WILL OF GOD!
2. And it hasn’t always been other faiths: sometimes so-called Christians have been guilty of atrocities, as in the Crusades, Bosnia, and Ireland.
3. I don’t believe it’s wrong to protect your family, but it IS wrong to kill in the name of any religion! Jesus said, “I send you out as sheep among wolves” Mt. 10:16.
4. “Pastor, if we don’t defend ourselves, Christianity will be wiped out!” No, persecution has never stopped the Church; it only purifies it.
B. JESUS DOESN’T NEED DEFENDING
1. In John 18:6 Jesus said to crowd of soldiers who were asking for Him, “Ego Eimi” – “I, I am.” This was the Greek equivalent to the name God told Moses (Ex. 3:14) at the burning bush, “I AM THAT I AM.”
2. Jesus identified Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses; the God who delivered Israel from the mighty hand of Pharaoh and who sent the 10 plagues and opened the Red Sea.
3. And when Jesus spoke, the power of His identity threw them to the ground. You see, Jesus didn’t need human help or swords; He could’ve spoken a word and destroyed them all!
4. The Lord told Peter to put away his sword and the early Church never again picked it up.
II. MALCHUS’ MALEVOLENCE
A. PART OF THE WAR PARTY AGAINST JESUS
1. Malchus was probably the person in charge of the delegation sent to arrest Jesus. He probably thought, “This should be an easy arrest; no crowd around and we have Judas to lead us to Him.”
2. But Malchus was running with the wrong crowd. “Bad company corrupts good character” 1 Cor. 15:33. When you’re with a group you start thinking, talking, and acting like them. We need to choose our friends carefully, for they will affect us.