In this study we are looking at the statement In Matthews 26:51, “And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the High Priest and cut off his ear.” This is a brief account of one of the most bizarre, unexpected and improbable incidents in the exciting life of Christ. All that Matthew says about this event is that one of His disciples cut off the ear of the servant of the High Priest, and Jesus rebuked that disciple, commanded him to put away his sword; and let him know that in a moment's time He could call 72,000 angels to His side, if he wanted to. Was it his right ear or left ear? Matthew didn't say. But there is more to story than Matthew told us.
Turn with me to the gospel of Luke 22:50,51, “And one of them struck the servant of the High Priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus answered and said, Permit even this. And He touched his ear and healed him.” Luke reveals two additional facts. The swordsman, whoever he was, cut of the right ear of the High Priest's servant It would appear that the disciple struck at his head, missed his aim and cut off his ear. Luke also reveals that Jesus restored the man's ear and healed it.. That man was lucky he didn't lose his head. I wonder what the High Priest thought when he was told about this miracle. Most likely he didn't believe it.
The apostle John in his account of the event gives us two more additional facts. about this incident. Turn with me to John 18:10, “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.” I think it is noteworthy that John is the only one who tells the name of the High Priest's servant. Some think when Matthew, Mark and Luke wrote, perhaps it would have endangered Peter's life to have named him, but when John wrote his gospel, Peter had already suffered death, so that no harm would follow by giving his name.
Be that as it may, the fact remains that to know the truth about Malchus' ear, one must consult four books of the Bible. Having read all four gospel accounts, we conclude that Peter with a sword cut off the right ear of the High Priest's servant, Malchus. Jesus rebuked Peter verbally and restored the ear. Incidentally, we also learn from this story that Jesus and His disciples were not pacifists. We know from Luke 22:38 the apostles had among themselves two swords. Jesus knew about them and said that two were enough.
The question is often raised, “Why did the Holy Spirit have the Bible written in such a way that the reader has to go here and there to get all the facts The
whole story about Malchus could be told in less than twenty-five words. Since the story about Malchus is such a little story, why didn't God tell us everything in one of the gospel accounts? No one knows why God had the Bible written like He did, but it is an indisputable fact that you will never know all the facts about Malchus until you study, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Moreover, what is true about Marlchus is true of many other Bible subjects.
Secondly, the story about Malchus suggests to us the importance of knowing how to think on the Bible. It is imperative that Christians and non-Christians do their own thinking on the Bible. The way that you learned the whole story about Malchus in this study is the way you should think on the Bible and arrive at the whole truth on any Bible subject. Christians are under command to give Bible answers to Bible questions that inquirers ask about the Christian religion. I Peter 3:15 gives this instruction, “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” In order to do this, you must learn to think for yourself. It is dangerous to let others do our thinking for us on the Bible. When I was in the service, the captain under which I served knew I intended to a preacher when I got out of the Air Force. He called me in one day for a talk about religion. I will never forget a statement he made. He said, “I don't have to study the Bible and worry about what it means. My priest takes care of that for me..”
Have you ever wondered how so many people get involved in some of the way-out- cult churches.? In extreme cases, it sometimes ends in a mass suicide. How can people get caught up in these radical and fanatical cults? Most cults emerge by people putting their complete trust in the Bible interpretations of religious fanatics. No one must dare question the interpretation of the leader, and in this way he practices mind-control over his followers. You must not be dependant on my interpretation of the Bible or that of any other man or woman. You have as great a responsibility to interpret the Bible as any preacher has. Since all of us one day will be judged by the words of the Bible, we therefore have a personal responsibility to study and understand the Bible for ourselves. Parents cannot interpret the Bible for their children; they have the responsibility to do that themselves. We should love and honor our parents, but sadly parents can be prejudiced and wrong in their interpretations of the Bible. Jesus said that anyone who loves father more than Him is not worthy of Him. He knew that many Jewish mothers and fathers would do their best to
prevent their sons and daughter from becoming Christians. Jewish parents would do this because of their false interpretations of the Old Testament and the New Testament. . That is why so many of them have rejected Christ. Children cannot reject Christ out of fear of being rejected by their parents. This is an awful dilemma, but there is but one solution, and that is that children must study the Bible for themselves.
Now we can help one another understand the scriptures, and we can receive help from parents, preachers, teachers, friends, commentaries and other sound religious books. However when we learn a religious truth as revealed in the Bible, then it becomes our knowledge, however and from whoever we may have learned it. When you have learned a truth from my teaching, verified from your own study of the Bible, then that knowledge yours. It belong to you and you must apply it to your life. It is yours because you understand it and have it in your mind
The great masses of people, who do not think for themselves, are like cattle following the few who do. Christians are not to fall into this mistake. We live in an age of religious confusion and division and a divided Christendom. Both adults and children must think for themselves. Before children reach the age of accountability and can understand right from wrong, they are not responsible for their conduct, but when they reach the age of accountability, they become accountable to God, and must study the Bible for themselves and correct any wrong teachings they may have received from their parents or others. What I have said is verified by the following statements from the Bible. I John 4:1 says, “Beloved, believe not every spirit but try the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” I Thess. 5:21 says, “Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good.” Sunday school teachers should impress these truths on children as soon as they are able to comprehend them. The Bible is just as much for children as it is for adults. Happy are children who learn this truth as early in life as possible.