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Facing Our Gethsemanes

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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.

—John 18:10

In the flurry of activity in the Garden of Gethsemane, very few noticed the last miracle in the earthly ministry of Jesus. He healed the ear of Malchus, which Peter had cut off with a sword.

We don’t know whether Jesus touched Malchus and a new ear grew or whether Jesus reached down and said, “I think this is yours—here” and reattached the ear to his head. I don’t say this with irreverence; I simply don’t know how Jesus healed him. Whatever the case, the high priest’s servant got his ear back.

We don’t read in any of the Gospels, however, that Malchus thanked the Lord. But it’s interesting to note that the last miracle of Jesus was healing someone who had come to arrest Him. Jesus was still caring for individuals.

In the book of Philippians, we are told that Jesus emptied Himself. He “made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant” (2:7). But what did He empty Himself of? He certainly didn’t lay aside His deity, but He did lay aside some of its privileges. And one of the privileges that would have been afforded Him would have been angelic deliverance. But Jesus would not take hold of that because of the necessity of paying the price for our sin.

We may all come to face Gethsemanes in our lives, if you will. For Jesus, Gethsemane was a time of difficulty, of hardship. It was a time when He had to surrender to the will of the Father, knowing that was the right thing to do. You may come to experiences in life that are similar, when you don’t understand why God is allowing a certain thing. You don’t know what’s ahead. But you can trust your unknown future in the hands of a known God.

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