Now everyone who reads the Bible has their own favorite character. Maybe it's Moses (depicted by this action figure with the ripped abs, huge biceps and disproportionately large feet), Abraham, Noah, or Esther. How about a New Testament character like John, Paul, Mary or Peter (no, not the 70's folk group)?
I've always pictured myself a little like David and a lot like Peter in many ways. I rush into things sometimes before completely thinking them through...even with the best intentions.
Let's take Peter for example. Before thinking through the situation the night Jesus was arrested, he pulls out his sword in the garden when the authorities had come and whacks the right ear of Malchus clean off. Was he going for his throat and missed? Did he realize he was outnumbered hundreds to one? Didn't matter...Peter acted before he thought and Jesus cleaned up the mess. Jesus also dressed Peter down in the process for his actions.
We were reading this story last night in John 18, and I began to wonder about Malchus. Why does John mention him by name and position while telling a story of such great importance with dire consequences? What was Malchus's take on everything going down? Was he just there because he had to be as a servant of Caiaphas or did he want to see Jesus dead?
Luke tells us in his accounting of the story that Jesus picks up the ear and heals Malchus on the spot. So, here I am sitting in church last night trying to picture just what Malchus must be feeling after this infamous scene. First...with but the words 'I am He', Jesus knocks down the entire detachment that had come to arrest him. Malchus is rolling around trying to right himself and gain his composure. In comes Peter with either a precise Ninja move or a swing and a miss, and Malchus is without his right ear. Then, the Man he is there to help arrest picks up his ear and puts it back on the side of his head while chastising the one who sliced him.
Wonder how Malchus slept that night? Do you think he was lying there in the servant's quarters with the other help, rubbing his ear saying 'you ain't gonna believe what went down in the Olive Garden tonight...'? Think he might have had a completely different view of this Man who knocked over hundreds with but His voice? Do you think his thoughts drifted to Jesus with pity for the torment He was about to endure? Did he actually see Christ hanging on that cross in a public spectacle of humiliation and his heart go out to Him?
What becomes of Malchus, the man like so many of us who happen to be on the wrong side at times but have ample opportunity to make it right?
I truly hope to see Malchus in Heaven when I'm called home and hear his story of that night and how his encounter with Jesus forever changed his life and hear Peter's side of the story as they laugh about the whole thing and praise God together for His brilliant plan of salvation.
That would be an awesome Rest of the Story moment. One of many I will get the privilege to hear, I'm sure...