Divine Blueprint and Malchus’s Left Ear
fter his intense prayer time in Gethsemane a Roman auxillary force came along with the High Priest Caiaphas’s high-ranking personal slave Malchus to arrest Jesus by the mark of Judas’s kiss. [Matthew 26:51-54; John 18:1-13]
Consumed with the prospect that their Lord was about to be taken away Simon Peter strikes Malchus cutting off his right ear. Jesus immediately rebukes Peter by reminding him about God’s sovereign will.
“Peter!! Put that sword away! Have you not been listening to me? Have you forgotten that I told you that this must happen for it is the will of my Father? Scripture will be fulfilled” [the author’s own living translation]
How many times have we ourselves acted this way? Sword drawn, knowing what God has said, and yet we swing and amputate. We, like Peter have forgotten what God told us and have gone beyond the bounds.
I have particularly found verse fifty-three of Matthew chapter twenty-six to be encouraging. Christ reminds Peter of God’s power. Was Peter so weak as to not realize that if Jesus wanted to he could have easily summoned 18,000 angels to his side? Like us, yes he was. He needed to be reminded that Christ is the Lord of Hosts.
Holy amnesia is a common frailty with man. The challenge comes for us when we act. We have head knowledge and by divine grace some of it seeps into our hearts but the real test comes in the application of what we claim to know.
When am I to fight and when am I to wait on the Lord? When is it that I am seeking to take Malchus’s left ear and when is it that I need to sheath my sword?
It is in attempting to answer those questions that we trip befuddled. I think the clue comes by a few means. First, what has God said? This involves a solid knowledge of all Scripture so it tends to exclude many since they know little. If this is you it is time you get serious and study. If you aren’t sure exactly how to begin that track, speak to your elders. If you don’t have elders then read Hebrews 13:17 and repent. Next, seek the counsel of other mature believers. There is safety in that. [Proverbs 11:14, 15:22] One should always have a healthy distrust of planet me.
And lastly, pray. But don’t use prayer as your bias scapegoat. Don’t halt your decisions because a burning bush hasn’t shown up or a turtle dove from Jerusalem hasn’t landed on the back porch singing How Great Thou Art. Consult the Scriptures, consult trusted believers, pray for wisdom, and then act.
We cannot guess the secret counsel of God but we can act upon what we do know.