Aug 22, 2006

the right ear of malchus

Just some curiosity here!

After Judas applied the finishing touches in his betrayal of Jesus with a kiss, Simon Peter brandished a sword and sliced off the right ear of Malchus (the servant of the high priest,) as described by Luke in chapter 22:49-51 (ESV):

And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, 'Lord shall we strike with the sword?' And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, 'no more of this!' And he touched his ear and healed him.

I'm curious to know what actually happened to the servants ear! When Jesus "touched his ear" did he reattach the ear, replace the ear with a new ear, or just heal what was left dangling from his lopsided head? Whatever the healing process, surely his ear was replaced with the perfect match.

Certainly Malchus instantly realized the great power of Jesus when his ear was miraculously restored, and it's hard to believe the arresting party missed this unusual event; they would have to be physically and spiritually blind to overlook such an unusual occurrence, and it's hard to imagine this group thought they were arresting just another average ol' Joe. I'm curious how this might have shaped their future lives.

When reaching old age, could Grandpa Malchus describe his encounter with the Lord that night to his grandchildren while pointing to his perfectly replaced ear without considering the pain of losing an ear, and the subsequent miraculous replacement? Surely the world of Malchus was shook to the core by this miracle, and it must have crossed his mind that Jesus was the promised son of God. I'm curious if he ever accepted Jesus as the Messiah, and his Lord.

And the sword(s) the apostles carried, that's another poser for another time.


Laymond said...

Larry I see the swords as serveing a duel purpose first it would have taken to long to qnaw off an ear as Mike Tyson did.Being armed gave the opertunity for Christ to perform a mirical, and show his adversity to violence. If there were no weapons the example of meekness would have been far less convincing.

Laymond said...

opportunity, miracle I will do better I promise.if the letters are not in the right place the words look strange huh.
signed Lyamodn Mthderei

Danny Kaye said...

Now THAT'S a cool thought! I never thought about what ol' Malchus thought or how it effected him. could let the imagination go wild on that one.

I do think that the soldiers realized before they even got to Jesus that they were arresting someone with pretty amazing authority and power. We see them fall back when he says "I am He."

Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, "Who is it you want?"
"Jesus of Nazareth," they replied.
"I am he," Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.)When Jesus said, "I am he," they drew back and fell to the ground."
(John 18:4-6)

I cannot help but believe that one of them was the soldier who said "Surely, this man was the Son of God." after Jesus died. And perhaps it was ol' Malchus, himself.

Purgatory Penman said...

The disciple was only thinking like a human being; Christ was illustrating the divine attitude toward violence.

Your thoughts on this subject reveal the imagination of a writer. Are you a creative writer?
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Larry said...

One has to wonder just how enthusiastic these soldiers were about the prospect of arresting Jesus; more than likely they followed orders like robots at first, but when Jesus identified Himself they hit the ground in a heartbeat, and I have the feeling their lives were never the same again.

Larry said...

Perhaps chewing off ears was not in vogue during this period. :)

The arresting party quickly realized that Jesus had powers far beyond their imagination, and by His healing of Malchus they knew He could only be arrested if it pleased Him; that had to be a very scary moment.

Larry said...

Purgatory Penman...
Thanks for your comments.

It's hard for me to imagine that Peter could live with a completely sinless person for such a long time without understanding that Jesus did not condone violence.

Peter's use of the sword, and his subsequent denial of Jesus (among other things) shows his humanity, and gives the rest of us some hope when we realize that those who actually walked with Jesus made mistakes just like we do 2000 years down the road; he forgave Peter, and we have the same promise of forgiveness when we mess up.

preacherman said...


Great post.
I have alwaysloved this story.
It defiantely agree that it does show hope for us when we mess up.
Thanks for you post.
Enjoy reading your blog.
Keep up the great work and GOd bless you as you serve Him!

Larry said...

Our imagination can run wild on just what actually happened the night Jesus was nabbed.

One mention of Malchus then silence for 2000 years can't help but cause one to wonder how this event affected his life.

Thanks for dropping by...

Stoned-Campbell Disciple said...

Better than the original ... like the Wine, :)

Bobby Valentine

Louie Piner said...

Jesus knew what had to happen that night. Peter cutting off the ear of Malchus would cause a free for all because they were still under "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" and an ear for an ear. If Jesus had not healed the ear of Malchus the soldiers would have turned on Peter. This was not what needed to happen. When God wants something to happen it will happen!!!

oktokie said...

I think Jesus knew what would happend and he prepared them for the strike of the sword.

The night of the last supper, Luke 22.

35Then Jesus asked them, "When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?"
"Nothing," they answered.

36He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 37It is written: 'And he was numbered with the transgressors'[b]; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment."

38The disciples said, "See, Lord, here are two swords." "That is enough," he replied.