“...He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”(Matthew 5:45 NIV)
I’ve always wondered how it happened. What occurred that night to cause Peter to pull out his sword? It is shocking that Peter had a sword in the first place. On this particular evening, it wasn’t just to cut open figs or to filet a fish. This time it was swung with malicious intent. Heads were going to roll. For years the Romans had bullied and intimidated the Jews, and this time they came to capture the one Man that accepted the fisherman despite his impulsive mouth and, at times, reckless behavior. He swung to kill, but his accuracy did not match his passion. Instead of cutting off a head, an ear was the casualty.
Shock horror fear. What was a fleeting moment of anger transformed into a canvas for grace. Jesus, with his cheek, still wet with the saliva from Judas’ betraying kiss, saw it all. He saw the swing of the knife. He heard the cry of the soldier. He, while peacefully surrendering to trumped-up charges, picks up the bloody ear. What comes next was an actual demonstration of God’s love. Without a word, He heals the man who came to do him harm. He restores the soldier that came to capture him.
This healing could be considered an unnecessary miracle. It was not a life-ending injury. The loss of an ear was purely cosmetic. The soldier could live a full life without an ear. He could work. He could have a family. He could still serve as a soldier, but he would be dismembered forever. This is the crazy thing about God’s love for us. He does things that are not “that deep” to show us just how deep His love is.
Secondly, notice that the miracle is one for an individual that was not on His side. Here we see that Jesus loves those that have no intention of helping Him. He does some of his best work for those that may never serve him. Why? Because that’s just who He is. His agape love transcends sides or support. He surpasses teams or allegiances. He loves all His creation. He said that [God] causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45).
I’m not sure what side you feel you are on. The simple fact that you are reading this suggests that you want to serve God or get to know who He is. This demonstration of grace, this restored ear, is a tiny glimpse of His love. If He’s willing to do that for a Roman soldier, how much more does he want to pour out his love on you?
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." (Luke 12:6-7 NIV)
- The idea of being insignificant is one that many individuals face. How can this story dispel that myth?
- What emotions would you feel if you were the soldier that received healing that night?