The Sword & Malchus

Malchus was only named in the account of John. He was the slave of the high priest whose ear was sliced off by Peter’s sword. The healing of his ear by Jesus was only mentioned in the account of Luke.

50 And one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus answered and said, “Stop! No more of this.” And He touched his ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders who had come against Him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as you would against a robber? 53 While I was with you daily in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me; but this hour and the power of darkness are yours.” – Luke 22:50-53 (NASB)

Tommy Tenny taught on this during Easter Sunday and it struck a cord in me. Tommy painted the scenario that Peter probably thought it literal when Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” – Mat 10:34 and thus he carried a sword around with him. It is unlikely a fisherman in normal circumstances to be found carrying a sword to supper. It goes to show how much the disciples understood what Jesus was teaching and referring to. Back to the quoted passage. The sequence of how Jesus handled the situation was highlighted. Jesus first DISARMED Peter in Matthew 26:52 & John 18:11 by getting him to put the sword back. After disarming Peter, Jesus then proceeded to heal Malchus and then addressed His arrestors. 

I have come across many sword-wielding leaders, who are as brash and clueless as Peter was. This “sword” is definitely not the Word defined in Hebrews 4:12 but a sword of misplaced zeal in misinterpreted Word. Many unnamed servants of God who have quietly served in the body of Christ were blatantly cut and severed by these “Peters”. There is no doubt of the potential of Peter and similarly these “Peters”. Yet, they have to be disarmed. There is a need to disarm the sword that the “Peters” are wielding to brutally cut others. Malchus was healed only after Peter was commanded to keep the sword.

We often tell the “Malchus” to forgive and trust that God will heal. This is true, but people do not take the step to get “Peters” to put down their swords. Instead of being healed, the “Malchus” sometimes get a second, third or even more slashing from the same Peter or other Peters. I can imagine if Jesus did not stop Peter, there might be more people who will be cut until the soldiers stop him. There is no other account after this that Peter carried a sword with him. It is interesting that “Peters” do not even realise what they have done when there is a “blood bath” surrounding them of injured people who stayed away from them. Not because the “Malchus” do not forgive but it is human nature to stay away. If I am Malchu, I will carry a shield with me if I ever have to meet Peter again lest I lose my ear! Even with a shield, I am not sure if I want to be in the same place as Peter! It will be easier for the “Malchus” to be reconciled to the “Peters” when they are unarmed, but in the love and gentleness of Christ. Such is the wisdom of Jesus in handling such situations!


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