Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Real Story Behind Malchus's Ear

When Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter overreacted and tried to fight off His attackers. “Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus” (John 18:10). Jesus picked up the ear and placed it back on Malchus’s head! (Luke 22:51). You probably know that, but do you see the story behind the story?

It was no accident that this happened to Malchus, who was “the high priest’s slave.” After He was arrested, Jesus stood on trial before Caiaphas, who was the high priest that year (Matt. 26:57). The Heavenly High Priest stood on trial before the earthly high priest, but Caiaphas didn’t recognize Him.

Although it is not recorded in Scripture, Malchus undoubtedly reported this incredible miracle to his boss, the high priest. Caiaphas had previously prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation (John 11:49-51) but now God was giving him another chance to repent. Would he believe Malchus's testimony and change his mind? Caiaphas chose to dismiss it, which sent Jesus to the cross.

On Judgment Day, the roles will be reversed. Caiaphas the earthly high priest will stand on trial before Jesus the Heavenly High Priest, and will give an account for his life. I’m sure that Malchus’s ear will come up in the conversation. Although we don’t know for sure if he ever repented, tradition tells us that Caiaphas later converted to Christianity. If that’s true, the miracle of the severed ear might have had something to do with it. And that’s how God can take mistakes like Peter’s over-reaction and use it for His purposes.

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