Monday, May 2, 2016
“Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest’s slave.” (John 18:10 (NLT)).
Sword!? Why did Peter have a sword? Wasn’t the country covered with Roman troops? Yes, I realize they couldn’t be everywhere at the same time! But, I don’t understand what an apostle of Jesus, is doing carrying a dangerous weapon? Wasn’t Jesus with him? Why did he need a weapon if Jesus was with him? Where is Peter’s faith? Is he choosing a sword to protect him rather than putting his faith in Jesus? Wait a minute! Didn’t Jesus tell the apostles to buy a sword (Luke 22:36)? Hmm, he did, didn’t he?
I suppose Peter had a sword because he wanted to protect Jesus? But, did Jesus need protection? If he could walk among an angry crowd attempting to throw him off a cliff, he certainly didn’t need Peter’s protection (Luke 4:28-30). So, why does a Christian need a weapon to protect himself or someone he loves? Do you lock your doors at night or during the day? If so, why? Does that lock mean you don’t trust Jesus??
Why did Jesus allow him to carry a sword? Especially one sharp enough to separate a man from his ear? Jesus taught Peter and others, “Love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44). Luke doesn’t put a weapon in Malchus’ hand. He wasn’t a soldier. He wasn’t a policeman. He wasn’t a threat to our Lord. He was only a slave. Could we even classify him as an enemy? It appears that he was in the wrong place, at the wrong time, perhaps for the wrong purpose. I doubt if Peter was aiming for his ear! Yes, I know Jesus told him to put up his sword. But, why did Jesus allow one of his apostles to carry a dangerous weapon? Can you imagine the pain produced from having an ear whacked off? Think about the blood flow! Imagine the surprise of the victim as well as all who observed the incident? Perhaps Jesus allowed the sword and Peter’s zeal in order for a miracle to be performed? Such would prove Jesus as God’s Messiah whether the mob realized or accepted it at that particular time!
If Malchus overheard his master’s plan to arrest Jesus, he may have gone along to see what would happen. Being a slave, he may have had no other choice than to accompany his master? If he expected Jesus to call down ten thousand angels, he was disappointed. If he expected a bloody battle between the temple police and Jesus’ apostles, his imagination ran too wild. If he expected any type of conflict, he certainly never envisioned being its only victim! Yes, he felt the pain and momentarily lost an ear, but in exchange he was offered a lifetime gift and may never have understood how eternal it was.
1. He met Jesus.
2. He felt the Lord’s touch.
3. He received his healing.
4. He received positive proof that Jesus was Israel’s Messiah and could be his Savior.
Luke offers no other information about this slave. Did he receive his freedom from sin, or reject it as misplaced superstition? Did he get a second chance by wandering into that huge crowd that heard Peter’s sermon on Pentecost? If not, didn’t the buzz going around Jerusalem reach his ears about apostolic healings? On his visits to the Temple, didn’t his path collide with the apostles or members teaching there every day in the courtyards? It would be sad indeed if he turned a deaf ear and remained blind to all those opportunities. Yet, even today, some choose to walk that path. Are you one of them?