“No one ever spoke like this man!”
As the time grew near, Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane where he had prayed all night while his disciples slept.
A crowd of soldier came to arrest him with the help of Judas, one of his own disciples. Jesus stepped forward to meet them instead of running away or hiding like any other person would have done.
He asked them who they were looking for and they answered “Jesus of Nazareth.” He calmly said, “I am He.”
When he said that he was really saying with authority, “I am YHWH, your God.”
They recognized the power in him and fell to the ground. They quickly recovered as they remembered what they had been sent to do.
Then Peter initiated some combative efforts to defend Jesus by wildly swinging his sword, cutting off the ear of one of the men. Jesus rebuked Peter for fighting. Then, before this man, named Malchus, could even know what had happened to him Jesus reached down, and picked up his ear off of the ground and placed back in its proper place on his head and healed him.
Jesus had healed one of his enemies less than 24 hours before he would be hanged on a cross to die by his enemies.
Yes, Jesus healed his enemies. That is just what Jesus does. He comes to us and heals us out of his love for us. With his love he changes us from enemies to the beloved children of God.
I wonder if Malchus became a disciple of Jesus later. The Bible doesn’t tell us, but I can’t imagine that he could have done anything else but follow Jesus after that. Every time he heard the birds sing, or listened to others speak, or touched his ear he was reminded of Jesus healing him.
As we follow Jesus to the cross let us give him thanks for healing us and making us His own. Even when we responsible for sending him to the cross he reaches out to heal us by his Grace. When have you experienced the healing power of Jesus in your life and you knew without a doubt it was Jesus? When has God done something really wonderful for you that you did not expect? Jesus still heals us when we least expect it.
Thanks be to God and his Son. Amen.
Sue is NLS Spiritual Director, since 2019 and is a retired Lutheran Pastor (ELCA). Active in VdC since 1995, she has served two terms on the Board of the Texas VdC Secretariat, and also on the Texas Gulf Coast VdC Board as Spiritual Director since its start-up in 2017.