Blessed… One More Miracle from the Prince of Peace

51 One of those with Jesus reached for his sword. Striking the high priest’s slave, he cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put the sword back into its place. All those who use the sword will die by the sword. 53  Or do you think that I’m not able to ask my Father and he will send to me more than twelve battle groups of angels right away? 54 But if I did that, how would the scriptures be fulfilled that say this must happen?” 55 Then Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come with swords and clubs to arrest me, like a thief? Day after day, I sat in the temple teaching, but you didn’t arrest me. 56  But all this has happened so that what the prophets said in the scriptures might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left Jesus and ran away (Matthew 26:51-56, Common English Bible).

All four gospels tell of the high priest’s slave having his ear removed by a sword. Only John identifies the slave as one named Malchus. Matthew, in our lesson today has his focus on Jesus as the Prince of Peace. Luke has his focus primarily on the miracle. Healing is exactly where I would expect this physician to focus his understanding. This was a miracle right up Luke’s alley.

Jesus is in the garden. He has spent the last bit of time in prayer, asking the Father to remove this burden from him, but Jesus always includes, “Not what I want, but what you want.”

All the disciples with the exception of Judas, who was now making his appearance. He led the priests and the guards straight to Jesus so they could arrest him, all for a few bucks (or whatever their slang word for money might have been). Now Judas kisses Jesus, making the betrayal complete. The guards move forward and a sword is drawn, John says Peter drew the sword,  and the slave’s ear is cut off.

Jesus immediately goes into protection mode. He doesn’t want people to get hurt and with Roman soldiers probably present, he knew things could escalate quickly. Additionally, such a battle in the physical world was not Jesus’ way of doing things. It just doesn’t match up well with his ideas of forgiveness, grace, turning the other cheek and love.

Luke tells us a miracle took place next. Jesus healed the slave’s ear. What a display of compassion for one’s enemies. It was one of the last lessons Jesus taught in a physical way. It was him truly living out the idea of “Prince of Peace.”

Here is the deal to me. How could anyone, witness what happened to a slave named Malchus walk away from that place still wanting Jesus arrested and crucified? Though Matthew doesn’t talk about the healing, it is still important and noteworthy. An ear is cut off, Jesus picks it back up, places it back on the man’s head and it reattached and heals. That would classify as a miracle.

Nothing more is said of Malchus in the Bible. We know little that came to him. There is an old Italian legend that says Malchus is confined under a mountain and walks around a column. The legend says that his continuing life is punishment for his role in Jesus’ arrest. It says with each step he takes Malchus moves a little deeper into the ground and when his body disappears completely, the end of the world is at hand.

I prefer to think that Malchus grabbed the miracle he was given, repented and moved forward as a believer. As a first generation member of The Way, he would have been fairly important. Additionally, he had a great story to tell.

For me, this story is about Jesus’ compassion. He stopped those who had ideas of violence. Jesus demonstrated that even in our darkest hours, we are called to live in compassion and love. Our faith should never leave us.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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