Thursday, April 10, 2008

I Quit!

Since we recently came out of the Easter season, your church probably spent a lot of time talking about the crucifixion/resurrection story. And I hope you had a chance to really meditate on some of the lesser known stories that have been told in the Gospels. Few ministers preach about Peter’s denying of Jesus three times. I guess we don’t really want to rag on Peter because we wonder what we would have done if we were put into the same sandals. I have never heard anyone preach about how John outran Peter to the tomb of Jesus. I used to wonder why that was mentioned in John’s gospel. But the more I thought about John and his indescribable love for Jesus, it makes perfect sense. How about Pilate's wife or the soldiers who were guarding the tomb? Ever wonder about Barabbas, the rest of the story? I do.

But there is a guy who I can guarantee you would have quit his job the minute his encounter with Jesus ended. His name was Malchus, and he was the servant of the high priest. You know the story.

”Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?” John 18:10-11 (New King James Version)


So here is the scoop. A band of armed Jewish temple guards come to arrest Jesus. Malchus is tagging along because his boss, the high priest is the head man in charge of this altercation. Peter doesn’t charge the priests soldiers. He doesn’t even charge the high priest himself. Who does he attack? Poor Malchus, who is just there because his boss called a midnight field trip. And after feeling the blow, he probably saw his ear sitting on the ground in a bloody mass.

Then imagine the hardened criminal and rebel rouser Jesus, whom you have come to arrest, reach down and put your ear back on. Can you imagine how much love must have been bursting through his eyes? Can you see what it might have felt like? Can you imagine how that encounter would have changed you forever?

The guards, even after seeing that miracle close up; continue in their arrest of Jesus. I wonder if any of them simply dropped their weapon and said “Forget this, I’m outta here!”

Could Malchus have ever gone back to work for the priests after seeing the meeting where grace and mercy encountered religious tradition? And in his life, grace won.

Have you had a close and personal encounter with Jesus? Has He touched your face? Has He shown you the kind of mercy that has changed your life forever? And if so, have you simply walked back to work for the world?

If you are the servant of the current religious machine, I challenge you to quit your job, drop your nets and follow the One who reattaches ears and reassembles broken lives.

3 comments:

  1. Coyote10:58 PM

    Yeah!! Malchus finally makes the headlines! I love that story and have talked many times about what Malchus must have thought at that moment and then, well... forever!
    That was definitely a life changing field trip for good ol Malchus!!

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  2. Thanks Coyote. You sound hot! Want to go out some time?

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  3. Coyote8:16 AM

    I would love to go out with such a man of God as you.... but I hear your fiance is not one to mess with... heads roll etc.. yikes!

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