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Monday, March 16, 2009
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"Whatever Happened To Malchus?"
"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). "But Jesus answered 'Stop! No more of this.' And He touched his ear and healed him." (Luke 22:51).
Dave Roever is a former soldier who was critically wounded after his body was badly burned from a grenade explosion in Vietnam. His recovery was slow and painful and included many plastic surgeries to replace missing body parts. Over the years he has shared his testimony along with the gospel message in various settings. Among the stories he tells is how he, for many years wanted to learn to play the piano by ear and finally accomplished his goal. He would then demonstrate his gift for playing a song as he removed his artificial ear and proceeded to "play piano by ear."
During the arrest of Christ in the garden of Gethsemane we read about Malchus, a servant to the high priest, who also has a "testimony" regarding his ear. During Jesus' arrest, Peter who was attempting to protect Him, took out his sword and cut off Malchus' ear.
I find it interesting the way the scene is portrayed in the movie, "Passion of The Christ". During the fracas, as they are subduing Peter, Christ picks up the ear and much to the consternation of Malchus, reattaches the ear making it perfectly whole again. (This is the last healing miracle of Jesus prior to his death on the Cross.) The scene ends with Malchus clasping his reattached ear with a perplexing look as Christ is taken away.
In my personal study I often wonder, whatever happened to a particular Bible character, especially one who appears briefly in the Scripture and then disappears without further information. Malchus is one of those people.
One is left wondering, what does he do next? Does he continue with the mocking crowd or does he experience a conversion transformation as a result of his brief encounter with Jesus? Perhaps his wife was already a follower or a friend had told him about Jesus' power to heal and now he, himself, had a most unusual personal encounter. Of course, there is much we could speculate when so little information is given.
All four Gospels briefly mention the story of Malchus, with each contributing details not necessarily found in the others. However after this encounter he is never again mentioned in Scripture. I wonder what happened to him. Could he really go on after this experience without following Christ?
For some reason I believe the reference in each of the Gospels and John's specific use of his name may very well indicate that Malchus was known to the early church. If so what a testimony he must have had!
So often I believe there is an unknown component to our attempted impact for Christ. We sow seed and sometimes see the harvest, oftentimes we don't. We'll just have to wait till heaven to find out. And I sure wonder if we'll see a former slave to the high priest who has quite a story to tell!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Jesus, the story of Malchus reminds us of those who come against You in their thoughts, words and actions. Yet You respond to them in love even as You extend Your saving grace toward them. When we were powerless, lost in our transgressions and sins, You died for us, the ungodly. You made a way for us to be justified through Your shedding of innocent blood so that we, though guilty, could be saved from the Father's wrath. We are no longer enemies of the cross, but reconciled to the Father, through Your shed blood. We want to sow seeds of salvation wherever we go and trust You for the eventual saving of many lives. In Your name, Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Brooksyne's Challenge about "Renewing Your Mind": We got a number of responses from readers last week regarding the "means" by which they renew their minds. But it was difficult to make a composite since most were long in explanation (my assignment was very difficult when I asked readers to keep it brief!) But the overriding theme, as would be expected, included Scripture memorization; prayer walks; reciting Scriptures, the Ten Commandments, written prayers; turning a drudgery type chore into a prayer time; meditating on brief Scriptural phrases. These were the recurring themes readers sent in. Thanks for your participation.
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"Lord Most High" Audio Brooksyne and I enjoy this song and believe you will also, as we joyously declare Jesus to be our Lord Most High!
Dave Roever is still sharing about his experience in Vietnam although he must be in his sixties by now.
Saturday afternoon I looked out our office window for an interesting view. A hawk was checking things out around our small barn. (Sorry for the blurriness.) It lingered a few minutes before taking off.
This last Saturday I attended our men's breakfast for a hearty men's meal of eggs, ham, sausage, potatoes, french toast, pancakes and pastries! With our kitchen in disrepair at home we've gone without fresh eggs for over a month so this breakfast was extra good!
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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