Wednesday, January 20, 2021

 When Government Thugs Come to Your Door, Remember This...

Imagine you an armed guard, a real tough guy. Your job is personal body guard for a prominent political figure. You know your employer is highly corrupt—but he pays you well.  

You are sent with a small legion of men—including your superiors—to arrest a controversial figure by night, out of the public eye. You have your misgivings but your personal code of ethics is to just do your job. The work you do helps establish order in a turbulent society, after all. And besides, you're proud of your prowess, your skills, your dedication. You're never afraid to be front and center when coming face to face with lawbreakers and troublemakers.

Your name is Malchus. The year is 33 A.D. The place of the arrest is an olive orchard on a steep hillside facing Jerusalem's eastern wall from across the Kidron Valley.

An unexpected turn of events causes your name to be memorialized in scripture for thousands of years into the future:

And being in an agony he [Jesus] prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, 

And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.

But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?

When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword?

And one of them [Peter, the chief apostle] smote the servant of the high priest [Malchus], and cut off his right ear.

And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.

Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves?

When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.

Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house.

If you were Malchus, how would you feel? What would be your thoughts? How might your life be changed?

We can't point a finger of blame at Peter whose bold instinct is to defend his best friend from armed thugs. Against all odds Peter flashed his sword in defiance of the contemptible cowardice displayed by low-lifes in high positions in the cover of night. 

Jesus has just suffered excruciating emotional pain. His clothes are stained red with his own blood. One of his chosen insiders has just betrayed him to his worst enemies—less than one minute ago. The full weight of massive power is about to crush down upon Jesus. And you are an integral party to his suffering.

But in response to Peter cutting of your ear, Jesus (this man you have come to arrest) isn't thinking about himself. Instead, he picks up your ear and miraculously rejoins it to your head. His actions and words show pure love and utter compassion for your own pain and suffering—just as much as if you're an innocent babe. But you know you're not.

We know from the scriptures what happens during the next 24 hours and during the next three or four days. 

But how are you changed, Malchus? And what would you want to say to all the rest of us?

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Orem, Utah—January 20, 2021—©2021 Daniel Kemper Lubben

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