My mind likes to wonder about the things left unsaid. If there’s any room for my mind to speculate …. ponder…. consider, it likely will. So as I’ve heard, watched, and read the Passion story this Holy Week, one character keeps preoccupying my mind: Malchus. Truthfully, I’ve often just overlooked this name with little regard. After all, his name only appears in John.
John 18:10 says, “Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and hit the slave of the high priest, and cut-off his right ear. And the name for the slave was Malchus.”
All the gospels mention this event of the soldiers coming to arrest Jesus in the garden when Peter cut the ear of Malchus. In Luke, it says that Jesus reached up and healed his ear on the spot. I can’t help but wonder how that healing would have impacted Malchus. We don’t know for sure. The gospels don’t follow him so there’s a lot of possibilities.
In the hours that followed, was he in the crowd yelling “crucify him”? Did he look for some kind of reasonable explanation of the miraculous healing? Did he believe that he had just imagined the whole thing? Did he believe him to be a magician? Did he try to minimize the whole ear cut to his authorities upon making a report?
All of these are possible, but I can’t help to believe that he was changed. How could he not be? Did he slowly come to a point of realization in the minutes, hours, days following that Jesus is the messiah? Or did he struggle internally the remainder of his life between what he experienced and what he had been taught throughout his life?
It’s so hard to believe that one having a personal experience with God could be anything other than totally changed. Having received a personal touch of healing by Jesus seems like it would be transformational from the inside out. Like it would be so exciting that one would proclaim it from the rooftops. Truthfully, I have no idea what his reaction was. But I pray that we don’t miss the everyday personal experiences we have with Jesus…..whether it be healing, witnessing a sunset, or receiving a kind word just when you need it. And I pray that those experiences leave us changed for the better.