The Meaning of Malchus' Ear
Mat. 26:48-56 John 18:3-13 Luke 22:50-51
In a small Georgia town there is huge pile of rocks stacked neatly to a height of almost 8 feet. Located at the edge of the town limits, everyone knows that it was meant to be some type of monument. But no one knows to whom or what. It has stood there for over 150 years making a silent statement that has been lost over time.
Everyone knows about Stonehenge in England, another collection of rocks. Like the Georgia town's unknown monument, no one knows what it means. The great pyramids of Egypt and the many Indian mounds of North and South America are evidence of ancient societies and their mysteries.
The Bible has mysteries much like those monuments. One of those mysteries is found in our text. We have read many times the story of Jesus' last night with His disciples and the coming of the soldiers to arrest Him. But how many times have we stopped and focused our attention on the Chief Priest's servant, Malchus, and what happened to him that night?
The healing of Malchus' ear is a monument to the character and attributes of the Lord Jesus Christ. Unlike those mysterious monuments mentioned above, this is a monument that can be understood and explained. Let us examine what God is teaching us in the miracle of Malchus' ear.
JESUS HAD A SPIRITUAL PURPOSE, NOT A SECULAR PURPOSE.
Peter knew the stakes when the gang came to apprehend Jesus. And he was ready. Or so he thought. He was ready to go to war, ready to kill, ready to defend His Lord against His enemies. But Christ rebuked him. This was not a war to be fought with swords and staves. This was a spiritual war. In Paul's epistles, we are again reminded that we are in a spiritual battle rather than a physical one. (2 Cor. 10:3-4 ; Eph. 6:12)
So many times today do we need this reminder emphasized again. Some believers today, like Peter, want to fight a physical warfare. We battle with our brethren, our leaders, other denominations, and society. We must remember that our battle is a spiritual one. Malchus was the High Priest's head servant. He was in charge of this mob, and was working on behalf of the High Priest himself. If Jesus ever had an enemy in the human sense, this was it. He had every right to ignore Peter's impetuous behavior. But he did not. Christ showed only love and compassion to one who meant Him great harm.
We must also be mindful that the lost world does not understand this spiritual purpose. (1Cor. 2:14) Our unsaved friends and family question our commitment to the things of God. They accuse us of "going overboard" as we devote our finances, our time and our worship to Christ. Our rewards will be in the hereafter. Our payoff is coming. As we see Christ healing Malchus' ear, let us remember that our warfare is not fleshly, but spiritual.
NEVER LEFT A SITUATION UNDONE OR PARTIALLY DONE.
I once knew a man who was a good mechanic. He could repair car engines and bodies as well as anyone. Though not his profession, it was his passion and his hobby. He decided to buy wrecked cars, fix them, and sell them for a profit. His only problem was that he could never finish the repairs. He would get one almost fixed, then see a "bargain" vehicle that he had to purchase. He accumulated so many wrecked cars in his yard that the county government zoned his property as a junkyard! He certianly didn't start out to accumulate a junkyard, but, because of his inability to finish a project, he became a laughingstock in the neighborhood.
How many of us live our Christian lives like that man? We start out to read the Bible through in a year, but quit after a few weeks. We decide to devote 15 minutes a day to prayer, but get so busy we forget it. We take a ministry in our church only to give it up when the going gets rough. Finish what you start!
When Jesus bowed His head on the cross, His last words were, "It is finished." He left a legacy of finishing what He started. He could have allowed Himself to be taken by the mob without healing Malchus' ear. But that was not His way.
REVEALED HIS OMNIPOTENCE EVEN WHILE WITHHOLDING IT.
He withheld His great power for our benefit. It is strange that the miracle of Malchus' ear being restored is mentioned only in the Gospel of Luke. Jesus did this great miracle so matter-of-factly that many there missed it in the commotion. The world focuses on Christ's suffering and death and wonders, "If He was God, couldn't He have done something to stop it?" The above scripture answers "yes."
We Christians need to realize the lesson the Scripture is teaching us here. There WILL be tough times; there WILL be heartaches, dispair, and trouble in the Christian life. God allows those times, but He also sends some miracles even in the pain. That is His omnipotence. That is His power.
On May 3rd, 1999 Pastor Troy Withey and his wife Trina, were moving into their new parsonage. He had just become pastor of the First Baptist Church of Mulhall, Oklahoma. They had spent the day moving in: unpacking boxes, placing furniture and getting to know their new home. Late that evening, as they prepared to shower and get ready for bed, they found that they had no hot water. The water heater had quit. "It had been working earlier in the day -- we had done some dishes," the pastor explained later. "But it just stopped working." They called a deacon and he invited them to his house for the night. They accepted his invitation with thanks. He had a big day tommorow; he was preaching his first sermon as the pastor. While at the deacon's house, a TV bulliten informed them that a massive thunderstorm with tornadoes was heading directly for them. They took shelter in the deacon's basement and waited the storm out. An hour later, they came upstairs to survey the damage. There were trees and power lines down. Anxious to find out about their own new home, Troy and Trina drove the 3 miles to the parsonage. When they arrived, they found that the parsonage was completely gone, nothing left but a cement foundation. You could say, "What bad luck! Why didn't God take care of His preacher?" But if you ask Pastor Troy and Trina, they will tell you of God's personal care for them. The broken water heater "was just God delivering us," said Troy.
KY on December 21, 2000,Emergency medical technicians acalled it a miracle.
A 33-year-old South woman was torn in two and died instantly when she was
thrown from a cot in the sleeping compartment of a semi-trailer truck on.
The crash tore her premature baby from the womb, one month shy of its delivery
date. When emergency workers arrived on the scene, they discovered the
child, alive, with only one tiny cut to its knee, still tied to its mother
by the umbilical cord.
HAS COMPASSION ON EACH ONE INDIVIDUALLY.
A leper came to Him (Luke 5:12-13) and said, "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." Jesus' answer to him illustrated His whole ministry: "I will: be thou clean." He healed all manner of sick, He raised the dead, He blessed the little children. And He did each miracle individually!
So when Peter impertinently cuts off the ear of the servant, Malchus, Jesus works one more miracle. He simply picks up the severed ear and places it back on Malchus' head. The childrens' Hymn says, "Jesus loves me, this I know; For the Bible tells me so." The love of God is an individual love, a personal love!
The father and his teenage son were arguing over rights and responsibilities. The teen wanted his "rights" and the father wanted him to fulfill his responsibilities. Angry words were spoken and the 15 year old said, "I'm just gonna leave. The first chance I get, I'm gone." Immediately the father's heart melted. "I'm sorry.I love you, son. Let's try to work out our disagreements without arguing." That was the first time in a long time that the father had told his son that he loved him. It made a difference.
In the healing of Malchus' ear, God is telling us that He loves us...every one of us...individually.
JESUS GAVE THE CROWD, AND US, ONE LAST GLIMPSE OF HIS GLORY.
As the head
servant of the High Priest, Caiphias, Malchus knew the claims of Christ
and he knew what the religious leaders, like his master Caiphias, thought
of Him. They said that He was a charlatan, a fake, a false messiah,
and a heretic.
But the Bible does not record what Malchus thought of this so personal of a miracle. He saw a sword and ducked, then felt a sharp pain on the side of his head. He, no doubt, felt the blood flow down his neck and onto his clothes. He probably heard a ringing sound deep in his head. But this Malchus, who had felt the healing hands of Jesus touch him, continued with his assignment. He brought Jesus bound to the home of his master.
Did he ever recount the events of that night in his head? Jesus had given him one last glimpse of His glory and diety. He had personally shown him who He was. He was not the false prophet that his master had talked about and worked against. He was the Son of God. He was the Messiah, the Christ. But he had a hand in Jesus' death. He, like the others of his day, rejected Jesus, even in the face of the miracles and mighty works that He did.
Conclusion: I am nothing but a messenger of God. I take the Scripture and preach it to you. Though my words have no power, the Words of God are all powerful! Christ is calling you to Him! He loves you as He has loved every person who ever lived. Don't reject Him as Malchus did. Don't walk over all the blessings and miracles that He has given you in your life. Accept Him today!
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