It was like most nights in the arid Garden of Gethsemane – one of Jesus’ favorite spots to go for refuge from the crowds. This was not to be like any other night however. Earlier that evening, Jesus spent time with His disciples celebrating the Passover Feast. During that time, He gave them His final encouragement. He told them to not be troubled by the events that were to follow, for they were all part of God’s plan for salvation. Certainly, they must’ve had a million questions for Him. None of it made any sense.
After dinner they went to the Garden, while Judas met with the temple leaders to receive the payment promised for betraying the Messiah. Jesus prayed persistently that His Father find another way to accomplish His will, yet He knew it was the only way. Jesus was now committed to God’s plan, still He prayed to the point of sweating droplets of blood.
A vigilante mob entered that place of solitude on a mission that only mob violence could accomplish. Peter, the one who would do anything for Jesus, rose to the occasion by drawing his sword. It was the only way he knew to defend the man who had consumed his life for the past three years. We often see this kind of action today. Instead of responding peacefully, we retaliate with violence.
In an instant, Peter attacked the servant of the high priest, Caiphas, named Malchus, and severed his ear. Good old Peter – always the impulsive one. Jesus miraculously restored the servant’s ear as an act of compassion. He scolded Peter for his impetuous behavior. Again, Jesus used every situation to teach.
I can’t help wondering how Malchus felt during that entire ordeal. To have an ear lopped off and then replaced in an instant was a miracle. In the process, his hearing was undoubtedly better than before.
What was going through the mind of Malchus? First he’s fiercely attacked for doing his job and then he becomes witness to an absolute miracle. How did this incident affect him? Did he become a follower of Jesus? Did he live in fear that he’d 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. I’m not saying that we’ll immediately be restored, but God is able to do so if we ask. Miracles still happen on a daily basis. Sometimes we have to look closely to see them, but God provides these little clues to His amazing power, for us to grow in faith and learn to rely on Him.