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Wednesday, March 23, 2016
"Surveying the Cross"
Message Summary: 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? And of course with this week's study being those who witnessed the events of Christ's final days, was he among those who looked on from afar?
Note: Yesterday we linked to a powerful video that tells the story of Simon of Cyrene in a very interesting and creative way. For today's message I found a similar one with the story of Malchus. (Just over 3 minutes)
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"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).
Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span
Dave Roever was critically wounded after he 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. I recall he was a popular speaker when I was on a youth committee in the early 80's here in Pennsylvania. 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."
Today let us examine a rather obscure Bible character who also has an ear testimony. During the arrest of Christ in the garden of Gethsemane we read about Malchus, a servant to the high priest. During Jesus' arrest Peter, 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 recorded 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 he had already heard about Jesus' power to heal and now 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? And of course with this week's study being those who witnessed the events of Christ's final days was he among those who looked on from afar?
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! He might have had kids come up and pull on his ear!
So often I believe there is an unknown component to our attempted impact for Christ. What impact did this divine encounter have on Malchus? We sow seed and sometimes see the harvest, but often times 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 an ear story to tell!
Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty
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 on the cross. We want to sow seeds of salvation wherever we go and trust You for the eventual saving of lives. In Your name, Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Malchus" Video 3 minute monologue by the "Skit Guys"
"At Calvary" Video The Collingsworth Family
"When I Survey The Wondrous Cross" Video Homecoming Singers with several solos
Terrorism: Once again our world is reminded of evil with the Islamic terrorist attacks yesterday in Belgium. The world continues to need the love of Christ.
Major Events of the Passion Week
An astounding 30 of the 89 accumulative chapters in the four gospels cover the period beginning with Christ's triumphal entry through His resurrection and post-resurrection appearances. Mathematically this means that approximately 33% of the written material in the Gospels deals with a mere .05% period of His life! In the providence of God we have a much greater proportion of Scriptural revelation dealing with God's greatest act of mercy in providing our redemption.
Here's an interesting chart from a Study Bible that may be helpful as you study the Bible this week. It sure helps me to have a sense of when the events took place and is inspiring to read these Scriptures in the daily sequence leading up to Easter.
Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem: Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-40; John 12:12-19
Jesus Clears the Temple: Mt. 21:12,13; Mk. 11:15-17; Lk. 19:45,46
Jesus' authority challenged in the temple: Mt. 21:23-27; Mk. 11:27-33; Lk. 20:1-8
Jesus teaches stories and confronts the Jewish leaders: Mt. 21:28-23:36; Mk. 12:1-40; Lk. 20:9-47
Greeks ask to see Jesus: Jn. 12:20-26
The Olivet Discourse: Mt. 24; Mk. 13; Lk. 21:5-38
Judas agrees to betray Jesus: Mt. 26:14-16; Mk. 14:10,11; Lk. 22:3-6
The Last Supper: Mt. 26:26-29; Mk. 14:22-25; Lk. 22:14-20
Jesus speaks to the disciples in the upper room: Jn 13-17
Jesus struggles in Garden of Gethsemane: Mt. 26:36-46; Mk. 14:32-42; Lk. 22:39-46; Jn. 18:1
Jesus is betrayed and arrested: Mt. 26:47-56; Mk. 14:43-52; Lk. 22:47-53; Jn. 18:2-12
Jesus is tried by Jewish and Roman authorities and disowned by Peter: Mt 26:57-27:2, 11-31; Mk 14:53-15:20; Lk 22:54-23:25; Jn 18:13-19:16
Jesus is crucified and buried: Mt 27:31-56; Mk 15:20-41; Lk 23:26-49; Jn 19:17-30
The glorious resurrection: Mt. 28:1-10; Mk 16:1-11; Lk 24:1-12; Jn 20:1-18
(This material is developed from an outline in the Life Application Bible)
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Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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