I read Luke 22, verses 49-51 and I stopped.
When those with him saw what was happening, they said, “Master, shall we fight?” One of them took a swing at the Chief Priest’s servant and cut off his right ear.
Jesus said, “Let them be. Even in this.” Then, touching the servant’s ear, he healed him.
In THE MIDST of being hated, in the dark, Jesus gives up and he heals. Jesus healed the man who not only hated but was hating him. "Let them be."
And then they took him away.
But what about the Chief Priest's servant, brand new ear intact? Maybe he'd suffered poor hearing from birth or maybe he'd heard perfectly good these how many years -- but five minutes ago there was a moment of silence and pain and then Jesus TOOK IT AWAY.
As this man -- his name was Malchus -- led Jesus away to his master's home, what was going through his head?
Could he have seen that Jesus is Lord? Because healing the people at a morning breakfast or the hilltop lunch was one thing -- but the middle of the night to one who was here to see Him suffer?
Did he walk away after they arrived at the house, touching the ear that Jesus had just given him, watching through a window as men made fun of Jesus? Was he with his friends, fashioning the crown of thorns, avoiding eye-contact with Jesus?
The next morning as they all crowded around Him, "Are you the Son of God?" Daring Him to answer. What was Malchus thinking? Was he shouting accusations along with the rest?
I can't help but think that this man can't forget. About last night when a good friend of Jesus cut off his ear because he was there to kill Jesus -- and then Jesus HEALED him.
It's widely understood that you may hate the people that hurt you.
That you may seek to see them suffer.
That there not need be any kind of reconciliation.
Yet, here is Jesus.
In the garden in the cold in the middle of the night. He's got his friends with him and then people come and He knows why they are here: to destroy Him.
And Peter steps in, to defend Jesus, because Jesus is just standing there. He cuts off one man's ear. With his sword. Jesus shakes His head. He looks into the eyes of this man, Malchus, this one-eared man who has come to kill Him and oh He reaches out His hand and He heals.
Interestingly enough, it's later on, after all Jesus' friends have 'cut and run', that Peter is chilling in the courtyard of the Chief Priest's place, mingling with the servants. Here's Peter, "I don't know Jesus. No, seriously, I don't know the man!"
And then John 18:26 says this: One of the chief priest's servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said, "Didn't I see you in the garden with Him?"
A relative! Malchus has a relative, who is also a servant of the Chief Priest. A relative who must have seen Peter cut off Malchus' ear. Malchus could even be here, sitting around the campfire, right across from this man who took a swipe at his face with a sword.
A group of people; one who, not so many hours before, was eating bread and talking with Jesus, as they always did, until now when he had ran away. One, who, until tonight, had not made contact with this Jesus man -- until the man who says that he doesn't know Jesus cut off his ear to defend Jesus and Jesus healed him despite everything.
"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you... if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?...and if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you?...but love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back...be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." Jesus said this, all the way back in Luke 6 and here is chapter 22 and He's living it.
We are Peter, striking out with our sword.
We are Malchus, healed, for nothing we have done.
As Jesus lived toward Malchus, as He lives toward us,
so must we live.
Yeah, I know. It's too hard. No matter how hard we try WE CAN'T DO IT. I know I know I know. I've tried, too.
So what now?
It's embracing Christ, it is, and allowing His Spirit to breathe in us. It's praying that He will heal us, our ears, our eyes. Because He said, ask in My name and you will receive.
How you loved Malchus,
I want to give up like that.
I want to know what You knew,
about what truly matters,
and then live as You did.
I ask for Your Eternal perspective,
so that when I look at the stars I see Your light,
bleeding love into a thousand shards of brilliance.
So that when I look around me at all the people, I see Your Hand holding us,
providing unbreakable peace in breakable hearts, and You will find me and fill me with the Spirit of Your love and You will pour it out wherever You please.
I pray that I will not lower my head in shame for fear of what they think, though I may be standing for Your name. Because every knee will bow. And every tongue confess, at the coming... of Him, the King: Jesus.
And if every knee is going to bow, Truth will obviously prevail:
Apologize, even you're heart claims it's too stubborn.
Forgive, even though to forgive seems that it would be too hard to live.
Lift up your hands, to the Heavens.
He hears you.
He loves you.
Give up what you cling to, and
you will find Him.
Glorify Yourself, dear Jesus.