Monday, August 29, 2016

My Name is Malchus (John 18:10)

I can't shake the feeling, lingering in my core, since the night in the garden.  Caiaphas instructed me to follow the guards out to the meeting point.  I would be his eyes and ears.  The High Priest hoped the Nazarene would say something, anything which could be brought as evidence in front of the Sanhedrin.  There were still a few members who needed convincing of the dire political crisis we faced.  As Caiaphas said, "It is better that one man be destroyed, rather than a whole nation."

But the horror that occurred there still plagues my dreams by day and night.  The betrayer, I believe his name was Judas, greeted the one named Jesus with a kiss.  The moment seemed unreal, an expression of kinship in return for blood.  What did this disciple of his expect to gain by turning over a man who harbored no guilt?

A sword was drawn to defend the teacher.  I saw only a flash of the moon's reflection in the steel blade.  The burly fisherman had taken up arms against the authorities.  He would pay dearly.  The next moment is a blur in my mind.  I saw blood and knew it was mine.  It was on my tunic and in the palm of my hand.  There were shouts from both sides, but no retaliation.

He touched me, the Nazarene, and my ear, which had been severed by the sword, was healed.  The moment calmed.  Jesus chastised the overzealous fisherman and it seemed as if no resistance had ever been mustered.

Yet there was blood on my garment.  My blood.

So this afternoon, the third day since they crucified Jesus, my master has sent me out to listen to voices who speak of a resurrection.  Some of the Nazarene's followers claimed that their friend would rise from his tomb.  This concerns Caiaphas.  Not that he believes it possible, that a dead man can raise himself from the grave.  Caiaphas is convinced the Nazarene's followers will steal the body.  I do not know what I believe.  All I am certain of, is he touched me and I am healed.

I was told they were still gathered in an upper room of a particular house.  I enter the structure with caution and approach the men called disciples, not as the ears of the High Priest, but as someone who needs to know about this man named Jesus.

When they see me there is fear etched on their faces.  I say, "My name is Malchus.  Your master healed my ear, in the garden." I feel the side of my head to ensure my ear is still in place.

One of them steps forth, the burly one, the fisherman.  He approaches me.  The expression on his face shows no hatred or anger toward me.  Slowly the one named Peter smiles.

"I have heard that the stone has been rolled away," I say.

"What you have heard is true.  We are His witnesses.  We welcome you among us, Malchus." Peter draws me into his embrace as he speaks my name.

"We have seen him.  He is alive." Two of the other men in the room state.

Peter releases his hold on me and looks deeply into my eyes. "You, my friend were sent to be the ears of Caiaphas.  To listen to the words he needed to hear.  But those words reached your heart instead.  And because of your listening, Malchus, you have been healed."

copyright 2016 - Donald P James Jr

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