The Man Who Had His Ear Cut Off
“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).”—John 18:10 There is an interesting character in the Easter story that we never hear about again: Malchus.
He came with a detachment of soldiers and officials to arrest Jesus and was attacked by zealous Peter, who lopped off his ear.
"No more of this!" Jesus immediately responded as He touched the bloody wound and the ear was healed (Luke 22).
Malchus, the victim of Simon Peter’s impetuous bravado, had an encounter with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Probably not his first encounter, since he was a servant of the high priest, Caiaphas. Those who plotted to arrest and kill Jesus reported to Caiaphas, so it’s likely that the priest used his servants as spies to follow Jesus around and find out exactly where He would be that night. Malchus may have known a great deal about Jesus; what He taught, who He claimed to be. He probably believed what Caiaphas and the others said— that Jesus was a blasphemer and deserved to die.
How did this encounter change Malchus? Was he still eager to see Jesus betrayed? Did he regret his part in Jesus’ brutal torture and crucifixion? Did he ever come to know the truth about Jesus? Did he ever believe the words he may have even heard Jesus say? “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father, but by Me."
In the midst of this painful betrayal, Jesus helped one of His enemies.
“No more of this,” He said. No more resisting. He had made peace with His impending death when He prayed to His Father, “Not My will, but Yours be done.”
Even as He faced suffering, He stopped to heal an undeserving stranger, then told everyone present exactly what was happening.
“This is your hour and the power of darkness,” He said to the priests and soldiers, including Malchus.
Jesus went to the cross for all. Those who believe, and those who betrayed Him.
Imagine how that touch of His hand astonished Malchus and left him with a memory that either haunted or blessed him for the rest of his life.
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” —Romans 5:8