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Friday, December 12, 2008

I wonder what happened to Malchus...

I'm reading in the book of John these days. Got to chapter 18 today. It's the story of Jesus being arrested. One particular person, however, caught my attention.

Malchus.

Not exactly a familiar biblical name, huh? Who was he?

Malchus was the high priest's servant. (v. 10) He was with the crowd that came to the olive grove to arrest Jesus. We aren't told much more about him. But one specific action put him in the Bible forever.

Dear, dear Peter (he's my favorite disciple) did something very rash. When he saw the crowd coming to take Jesus away, he drew his sword and cut off Malchus' ear. OUCH!!! I can only imagine the pain and horror of having your ear cut off! It probably fell to the ground in a gush of blood. Now, if that had happened today, we would have called 911, put the ear on ice, and rushed the man into surgery. But none of that was necessary.

Why?

Because Jesus---Immanuel, God with us---was standing right there. Luke 22:50-51 tells how Jesus touched the man's ear and healed him.

As I read this story today, I couldn't help but wonder about Malchus. Did his miraculous healing change his attitude about Jesus? I think it must have. How could he go through the trauma of having his ear cut off, then healed in a matter of minutes and not be changed somehow? I think he probably followed along with the crowd after Jesus was arrested, but I don't think he was a part of the crowd any longer. I think he probably watched Jesus hanging on the cross with sadness. At least I hope so anyway.

Malchus. I wonder if I'll meet him in heaven someday.

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