CHARACTERS OF THE PASSION – MALCHUS
There are many minor characters in the Passion story, but each of them carries a remarkable lesson in their experience with Jesus. One of them was a servant of the high priest Caiaphas, named Malchus. Most of us remember him being the victim of Peter’s sword and having his ear restored miraculously by Jesus, without even one stitch.
I can’t help wondering how Malchus felt during that entire ordeal and after. He came to the Garden of Gethsemane with a troop of vigilantes to arrest the man who was stirring up the synagogue – the one accused of heresy by the Sanhedrin – the one who claimed to be the Son of God – a blasphemer. Malchus was following orders like any other servant would. His boss was the high priest after all. He didn’t have a choice.
In my aging process, I’m losing the sharpness of my hearing and often get words mixed up, but the thought of physically having my ears lopped off certainly is nothing in comparison. To have my hearing restored to perfection would indeed be a blessing.
Peter’s first instinct was to protect his Savior, Jesus. Good old Peter, always at the ready to defend His Savior. Even at that moment, he underestimated the power of Jesus. He was bold in his actions, took up his sword and cut off Malchus’ ear. Jesus rebuked His disciple and immediately restored the ear – reattaching it with His touch alone. Imagine what his hearing was like after that healing.
What must have been going through the mind of this man? First he’s attacked for doing his job and then he becomes witness to an absolute miracle on his own body. I often wonder what happened to Malchus after that incident. Did he become a follower of this amazing healer? Did he live in fear that he would someday encounter this band of rabble rousers again? Did he go back and serve Caiaphas? How would you feel?
To be healed by the Son of God is something that we all have available to us. He may not be physically present to touch us and remove our infirmities, but He is present nonetheless. All we need to do is pray that His will be done in our lives. I’m not saying that my hearing will be restored if I ask God to do so, but I am saying that if He choses to do so, He can do it.