Simon Peter Series: Part Three

Peter Cuts off the Ear of Malchus

When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” 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 its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?” John 18:1-11, ESV

Garden of Gethsemane

The story of Peter cutting off the ear of the priest’s servant always makes me giggle a little. This is such a Peter thing to do. 

He’s defensive of those he loves. 

He acts abruptly. 

He isn’t afraid of the consequences. 

He doesn’t let corrupt authority force him to back down in fear. 

Let’s be honest, growing up in Sunday School we were always taught that this was foolish on Peter’s part and everyone just brushed by it. Yet, I’ve always loved this part of the story of Jesus’ betrayal. Here in the midst of betrayal we see complete devotion. Once again Peter is the only disciple stepping out of the group and taking action. He doesn’t follow the pack and he doesn’t let corrupt actions go by with inaction. Jesus tells him that He must go with them for His time has come, but he doesn’t tell Peter he acted foolishly. Jesus simply tells him to put away his sword and heals the man’s ear (Luke 22:51).

We read this part of the story already knowing the outcome so it is easy to see Peter as being foolish and not having faith. However, if we were in the moment and did not know the outcome I believe most of us would have a similar reaction. If someone you love and have spent the majority of your time with is suddenly betrayed by someone else you love and is being taken away to trial, I would hope you wouldn’t just meekly allow it to happen. I, for one, know I would be a lot like Peter. 

Betrayal of a loved one is difficult enough, but when it comes at the hands of another loved one you find yourself in even more turmoil. I find it hard to believe any one of us would be okay with witnessing and allowing our loved ones to be betrayed without a fight. 

There is a time and place for everything, and a couple of those things are justice and standing up for what is right. Take some time this week to search your heart and life to see if there is anything or anyone in your life that you need to be defending. There are things the enemy is trying to take from you and you should not be sitting by idly allowing it to happen. 

Take a stand. 

Put your faith in the One who holds you. 

Get over your fears. 

Fight for your life and your loved ones. 


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