John 18:10 – Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant's name was Malchus.) (NIV)
Luke 22:51 – But Jesus answered, "No more of this!" And he touched the man's ear and healed him. (NIV)
For years, I've wondered how followers of Christ can inflict such deep hurts on others, and still call themselves Christians. About a year or so ago, I was revisiting the Scripture passage on the arrest of Jesus, and I noted how Malchus, a servant of the high priest, not one of Christ's followers, had his right ear cut off by Simon Peter, who was one of Christ's followers. This familiar passage struck a chord in my heart when I thought how confused Malchus might have been if he had heard Peter's testimony on the Day of Pentecost. After all, Peter was a follower of Christ, supposed to love others, and here he was lashing out with vengeance. I expect that Malchus had a question or two about Peter's "Christianity", not to mention the physical and even emotional hurt he experienced when his ear was chopped off! Maybe he thought, "If this is how followers of Christ act, then I don't want anything to do with them!"
Perhaps we, too, have been hurt by followers of Christ. If this is the case, today's Scripture tells us how we can be healed.
Jesus reached out in compassion, and showed how much He cared for Malchus, a sinner who was planning to arrest Him. If we've been hurt by those who claim to be followers of Christ, then we, like Malchus, can be made whole again by standing in the presence of Jesus, and by allowing the Man from Galilee to touch us and make us whole.
Prayer: Jesus, sometimes we don't understand the actions of others, but we know that, when we stand in Your presence, and allow You to touch our spirits, we will be made whole. Thank You. Amen.