“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 18:1 We never hear of Malchus again, but I have to wonder what it was like to be him that night. Suddenly a zealous disciple of the “criminal” he came to arrest, Jesus of Nazareth, lops off his ear.
Then Jesus reaches over, touches his bloody wound, and says, “No more of this!”
Instantly, the ear is back in place and completely healed.
Malchus, the victim of Simon Peter’s impetuous bravado, had an encounter with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. I suspect that this may not have been 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 not hard to imagine the priest using 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 must have believed what Caiphas 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 reached out to help one of His enemies. “No more of this,” He said.
No more resisting what is meant to be. He had made peace with His impending death when He prayed to His father, “Not My will, but Yours be done.”
He could have left it at that; calm Peter down, and let events unfold. But He stopped to heal an undeserving stranger, then let everyone present know 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 of us—those who believe, and those who betrayed Him.
I can only imagine how that one touch from 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
[Photo: Boaz Crawford, CreationSwap]