“You remember the story in the Bible about the fellow named Malchus,” Stan asked me one morning while we waited from breakfast.
“Malchus?” I said. “Yeah, I think so, but fill me in.”
“He was in the Garden of Gethsemane the night Jesus was betrayed,” Stan replied. “He worked for the chief priest who was there with a bunch of other people to arrest and seize Jesus.”
“When Jesus was on His way to the cross,” I commented.
“That’s right,” Stan replied. “And this Malchus fellow got in the way of the apostle Peter’s sword when Peter tried to protect Jesus from being seized.”
“Got in the way of his sword? In what way?”
“Peter cut off his right ear.”
“Wow!” I said, “that must have hurt.”
“I can only imagine,” Stan replied, “but what Jesus did about it raises a question in my mind.”
“What did Jesus do, and what’s the question?”
“Well,” Stan replied, “the first thing Jesus did was to tell Peter to put his sword away. Then Jesus touched Malchus and healed his ear, which brings me to wondering what Malchus did in response to what Jesus did. And it’s the same question about me.”
“What same question?”
“About being healed by Jesus’ touch,” Stan said. “With Malchus I can’t help but think he must have become a believer when he saw what Jesus did by merely touching him. How could he not? And then I think about all that Jesus has done for me and how too often I don’t respond in the way I should to the way Jesus touches my life.”
“Oh,” I replied, “I see what you mean. It’s hard to imagine that this Malchus guy didn’t become a believer and a disciple, but maybe not, considering how we don’t respond to all that Jesus has done and continues to do in our lives.”
“Exactly,” Stan replied. “Just look at how long it took me to accept His finished work on the cross so I have the assurance of spending eternity in God’s presence when it’s time. Also look at how often I don’t acknowledge with praise and thanksgiving all He does in my life while He keeps me on this side of eternity.”
“So,” I said, “you think maybe Malchus just went home and continued on with his life even though Jesus had healed him with His touch?”
“I don’t know,” Stan replied, “but I do know that if it had been me in the garden, there’s a good chance I could have just ignored Jesus’ healing touch. However, I’m eternally thankful that the present-day me didn’t do that so I have the assurance of salvation along with the gift of being able to grow ever closer to Jesus and God the Father as a disciple on this side of eternity.”
Bible verses to consider:
And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached and drew his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest, and cut off his ear. Matthew 26:51.
Simon Peter therefore 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.
And a certain one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus answered and said, “Stop! No more of this.” And He touched his ear and healed him. Luke 22:50-51.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you healed me for all of eternity through your free and gracious provision of the finished work of Jesus’ cross. Thank you, too, for healing me of my separation from you on this side of eternity by your provision of being allowed to know you and Jesus ever more deeply while you keep me here. I confess that too often I do not seek or accept your healing touch. Please forgive that foolishness. And please help me follow every step of your lead so I do, in fact, claim and embrace all of the healing you have for me. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted God’s healing touch in the sense you know you will spend eternity in His presence when it is time? If no, why? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with claiming and embracing all of the healing God has for you on this side of eternity? If you sense the need to be more aware of and accepting of God’s healing touch in your life, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?