The Healing of the Ear in Gethsemane

The Healing of the Ear in Gethsemane

The Healing of the Ear in Gethsemane.

Please Read Luke 22:47-53.

  1. Parallel Passages. Each of the four Gospels has a version of the arrest of Jesus… Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; and John 18:1-11. Only Luke recorded Jesus healing the high priest’s servant’s ear. This was the last recorded physical healing that Jesus accomplished on earth. His healing hands would be tied and bound after this healing, until they were opened wide for the crucifixion. Is it okay to have different versions of the same event in the Bible?
  2. Before the Arrest of Jesus. Thursday night was the beginning of the Passion of Christ. The following occurred, in order, before His arrest: The Passover meal with the disciples, what came to be known as the Last Supper; Judas departs the Supper to meet with religious authorities; Jesus predicts Peter’s denial; the prayer and agony of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane; an angel is sent to strengthen and encourage Jesus at His lowest in the Garden; while still at the foot of the Mount of Olives, a mob arrives, with Judas in the lead, to arrest Jesus. The disciples were falling asleep earlier in the Garden. This approaching mob surely woke them up. Why were they so tired?
  3. The Mob. This was not your ordinary little group. Various versions describe this group in different ways: a contingent; a detachment; a multitude; a cohort; a mob; a huge group. Scholars estimate that there was anywhere between 200-600 men in this mob. They were all carrying torches and weapons, with swords, clubs or spears. Judas, as the official accuser, was in the front, along with Temple priests, elders, Roman soldiers and Temple police. The religious authorities had issued a warrant for Jesus’ arrest. They were to seize Jesus, arrest Him, and bring Him to the religious court for trial. The Temple leaders didn’t want to arrest Jesus in the Temple, even though He taught there every day, for fear of inciting a riot. Jesus was quite popular in the general public.
  4. The Unexpected Power of Jesus. Jesus sees this mob approaching in the dark of the night, and He is surprised at the numbers involved and their weaponry. “What am I, some dangerous revolutionary?” He asked them. Jesus asked the mob who they were looking for, knowing full well He was the target. They said they were looking for Jesus the Nazarene. Jesus confidently blurted out, “I AM he!” There was so much spiritual power and authority that accompanied these words  that the whole multitude fell backwards, flat on the ground. His claims to be divine, the Great I AM, was scandalous, but also filled with overwhelming divine energy. It’s clear Jesus simply overpowered the mob. They literally couldn’t seize Him. He allowed Himself to be taken. He submitted. He gave them permission to take Him to His death. As Jesus told them to their face, “This is your moment, when the power of darkness reigns.” What would you have thought if you were one of the Roman contingent who fell flat on your back when Jesus spoke?
  5. Judas. The official accuser paid by the Temple authorities, Judas had a pre-arranged signal with the soldiers… He would give a kiss of greeting to the guilty party, to the man who was to be arrested. So that’s what he did. Judas greeted Jesus warmly with “Rabbi, Rabbi!” Jesus, gracious to the end, responded with, “My beloved friend.” Jesus then followed that up with, “Is this why you have come to me? Are you really going to betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” With His poignant response, Jesus brings us back to the prophecy of Psalm 41:9, “Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.” And Psalm 55:12-13 as well, “For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me, who has exalted himself against me; then I could hide from him. But it was you, a man my equal, my companion and my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked to the house of God in the throng.”  Have you ever been seriously betrayed by a friend? How did that make you feel? Jesus can personally identify with you in your sense of betrayal. He knows first-hand what that feels like.
  6. Disciples. Still standing with Jesus in the face of the mob, the disciples were alarmed at what was going on. Several hundred men with weapons, looking to arrest Jesus! They asked Jesus if they should defend Him with their swords.
  7. Peter. True to his personality, Peter decides to take matters into his own hands and picks up his sword, which was more like a dagger. Fortunately for Malchus, Peter has bad aim. He’s not much of a soldier. As opposed to his head or neck, Peter struck Malchus’ ear and severed it from his head.
  8. The Healing. Jesus forcefully told Peter “No more of this!” and touched the man’s ear and healed him. That’s right. Miraculously, the ear grew back. Jesus re-created the ear of Malchus, and he was healed, right there in the middle of the mob. Malchus was a member of the mob sent to arrest and seize Jesus, the servant of the enemy high priest, and Jesus healed him! Jesus’ words to Peter at this point are memorable… “Put away your sword. Those who live by the sword, will die by the sword. All those who embrace violence will die by violence.” Malchus, the healed servant, is never mentioned again. Do you think he became a follower of Jesus?
  9. Disciples. At this point, most of the parallel accounts have the disciples deserting Jesus and running away. John recorded a more sympathetic version. Jesus is facing up to the mob, and He says to them, “I am the one you want. Let these others go.” All the disciples then fled the scene, seemingly with Jesus’ permission. Should they have stayed at Jesus’ side? What would you have done?
  10. The Hearings Begin. Jesus was then arrested, bound, and led away by the mob, with Peter following at a distance. They brought Jesus to a retired high priest’s house for a hearing, and the Passion continues.
  11. Later That Night. Between the Temple authorities and the Roman authorities, Jesus had to endure six different hearings. From Gethsemane He was taken to Annas, the powerful retired high priest; then to Caiaphas, the ruling high priest; then before the Sanhedrin, the Jewish high council, where Jesus was condemned to death; then onward to Pilate, then Herod, then finally back to Pilate for the final sentence: death by crucifixion. And Jesus continued to submit throughout.
  12. The Big Question. What did we learn about Jesus in this story?