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Monday, April 6, 2020

Raindrop on budding branch (photo by Doris High)
Raindrop on budding branch
(photo by Doris High)

Note: This week we will consider witnesses during the events of Holy Week that are rather incidental to the main story. But each one just like each of us indeed has a story.


Message summary: All four Gospels briefly mention the story of Malchus, with each contributing details not necessarily found in the others.

ListenListen 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
At Calvary!

Today let us examine a rather obscure Bible character whose name is mentioned only once. 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.

During the fracas as they were subduing Peter, Christ picked up the ear and, much to the consternation of Malchus, reattached the ear making it perfectly whole again. (This is the last recorded healing miracle of Jesus prior to His death on the Cross.)

In my personal study I often wonder, whatever happened to a particular Bible character, especially one who appeared briefly in the Scripture and then disappeared without any further information. Malchus is one of those people.

We're 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 whose name means "king", with each gospel contributing details not necessarily found in the others. However, after this encounter he is never again mentioned in Scripture, so it leaves me wondering 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 at the cross from afar?

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! His favorite verse was probably, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear" (Luke 14:35). Do you suppose his grandchildren approached him with this request, "Grandpa, tell us again about the story when you got your ear cut off by Simon Peter and Jesus of Galilee picked it up and reattached it." That request was probably followed up with each child taking a turn pulling on the ear that was miraculously restored.

Whenever Malcus looked in the mirror, combed his hair, or scrubbed his ear(s) he had a tangible reminder of the Savior's miraculous power and compassionate touch. What do you have in your life that serves as a reminder that Christ made a difference? It may be something tangible, it may be a miraculous physical healing, it may be a memory, perhaps even a vivid dream that God used to change your life. But for all of us the old rugged cross of Calvary should serve as a reminder.

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 we see the harvest, but often times we don't. We'll just have to wait to find out what heaven more fully reveals. We may meet up with a former slave to the high priest, by the name of Malchus, and if so he'll surely give us quite an ear full!

Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty
At Calvary.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, 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 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 Jesus' shedding of innocent blood so that we, though guilty, could be saved from Your wrath. We are no longer enemies of the cross, but reconciled to You, our Father, through Jesus' shed blood on the cross. We want to sow seeds of salvation wherever we go and trust You for the eventual saving of lives.

Our eyes are on You and our hearts are drawn to Your Word especially during this critical peak of the coronavirus. People are fearful and uncertain of what the future holds for them, but we know that You have a greater purpose that pertains not only to our present circumstances but also with eternity in view. Help us to find opportunities this historic week of Christ's death to direct people's attention to Your Word and the gospel message of salvation. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

Malchus monologue
Malchus  Video  The Skit Guys (Just over 3 minutes)
He was a servant to the high priest and found himself on the wrong end of a sword. Watch as Malchus describes the events surrounding the Garden of Gethsemane.

Another very well-done monologue was presented in a local church in Florida yesterday.  Video  It appears to have essentially been the sermon for that church so it is longer but very well presented.

Mark Hall, Casting Crowns
"At Calvary"  Video  Casting Crowns

"It's About the Cross"  Video  Ball Brothers

Dave Simpson has been my friend since 1st grade. He owns a precision machining business in Springfield MO that is in the process of producing a ventilator that can be sold for a fraction of the price of others on the market! Please pray that they can get the necessary pieces from their vendors to move ahead on this project and that they are not held up by any bureaucratic red tape!

Simon of Cyrene monologue
Promotional video for Holloway America. If you enjoy glimpses of modern manufacturing you will enjoy this video!  (1:30 minutes)

Rain Drops on Branches and Flowers photo collection by Doris High

Finally today:

Sadie with mask
Sadie wears a mask as she prepares to take her outside. This is a lighter moment reflecting the very serious restrictions this virus has brought upon our population. Actually, this is an old dust mask we found in the garage while cleaning up recently. The extra time with staying home daily has caused us to do some much needed cleaning and clearing out. How about you?

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 as I 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: Matthew 21:12,13; Mark 11:15-17; Luke 19:45,46


Jesus' authority challenged in the temple: Matthew 21:23-27; Mark 11:27-33; Luke 20:1-8
Jesus teaches stories and confronts the Jewish leaders: Matthew. 21:28-23:36; Mark 12:1-40; Luke 20:9-47 
Greeks ask to see Jesus: John 12:20-26
The Olivet Discourse: Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21:5-38
Judas agrees to betray Jesus: Matthew 26:14-16; Mark 14:10,11; Luke 22:3-6


The Last Supper:  Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20
Jesus speaks to the disciples in the upper room:  John 13-17
Jesus struggles in Garden of Gethsemane: Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46; John 18:1
Jesus is betrayed and arrested: Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:2-12


Jesus is tried by Jewish and Roman authorities and disowned by Peter: Matthew 26:57-27:2, 11-31; Mark 14:53-15:20; Luke 22:54-23:25; John 18:13-19:16
Jesus is crucified and buried: Matthew 27:31-56; Mark 15:20-41; Luke 23:26-49; John 19:17-30


The glorious resurrection: Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-11; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-18

(This material is developed from an outline provided in the Life Application Bible.)

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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.

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