Peter’s Attempted Murder

Original article HERE

NOTE: THIS ARTICLE is a reprint from the blog of reverend Kevin Rogers of New Song Church in Windsor, Ontario and is reproduced here for your convenience. You can visit the his blog called "The Orphan Age" HERE.

In Jesus’ last miracle before he would be tried and executed, we see an example of how God loves His enemies. This is the story of Malchus, the servant of the High Priest.


Luke 22:

47 While He Was Still Speaking A Crowd Came Up, And The Man Who Was Called Judas, One Of The Twelve, Was Leading Them. He Approached Jesus To Kiss Him, 48 But Jesus Asked Him, “Judas, Are You Betraying The Son Of Man With A Kiss?”

49 When Jesus’ Followers Saw What Was Going To Happen, They Said, “Lord, Should We Strike With Our Swords?” 50 And One Of Them Struck The Servant Of The High Priest, Cutting Off His Right Ear.

51 But Jesus Answered, “No More Of This!” And He Touched The Man’s Ear And Healed Him.

52 Then Jesus Said To The Chief Priests, The Officers Of The Temple Guard, And The Elders, Who Had Come For Him, “Am I Leading A Rebellion, That You Have Come With Swords And Clubs? 53 Every Day I Was With You In The Temple Courts, And You Did Not Lay A Hand On Me. But This Is Your Hour—When Darkness Reigns.”



In this brief encounter we see three fast-moving actions. First Judas’ betrayal of Jesus unfolds. The affectionate and respectful greeting by kiss was weaponized into a horrific betrayal. Judas Iscariot becomes the prototypical traitor, a ‘frenemy’ of God. From his high privilege of being called as a student of Jesus, Judas would abandon the one most capable of revealing God’s love and truth.

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The second action could be called the ‘knee-jerk prayer’. Here’s a question for God, but we’re too rushed to await a response. The disciples ask Jesus if they should strike with their swords. But before Jesus can respond, Peter jumps into the fray with sword swinging.


After three years of intense day and night discipleship, the inner circle still had a lot to learn. Seeing the emotional betrayal of their brother Judas Iscariot and the covert arrest of Jesus rushed them into ‘fight or flight’ mode.


We know that it is Peter because of John’s account of the events.


John 18:

Jesus, Knowing All That Was Going To Happen To Him, Went Out And Asked Them, “Who Is It You Want?”

“Jesus Of Nazareth,” They Replied.

“I Am He,” Jesus Said. (And Judas The Traitor Was Standing There With Them.) When Jesus Said, “I Am He,” They Drew Back And Fell To The Ground.

Again He Asked Them, “Who Is It You Want?”

“Jesus Of Nazareth,” They Said.

Jesus Answered, “I Told You That I Am He. If You Are Looking For Me, Then Let These Men Go.” This Happened So That The Words He Had Spoken Would Be Fulfilled: “I Have Not Lost One Of Those You Gave Me.”

10 Then Simon Peter, Who Had A Sword, Drew It And Struck The High Priest’s Servant, Cutting Off His Right Ear. (The Servant’s Name Was Malchus.)



Before we examine Peter’s knee-jerk response, we need to see what John saw. Upon Jesus’ declaration ‘I am he’, the enemies stepped back and fell to the ground. This was a miracle of sorts because people armed for conflict are on high alert and sure-footed.

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Here the ‘Great I Am’ reveals that ‘I Am He’ and the enemies fall backward. Had they recognized who Jesus really was, they would have fallen forward to the ground and cried ‘Lord have mercy on us.’


Even with God’s power demonstrated in this way, Simon Peter was having trouble hearing God’s voice. After all he had heard from Jesus, he was still unable to hear the truth that Jesus would be falsely accused and put to death. In a show of fierce loyalty, he lifts his sword and hacks off the right ear of Malchus, the High Priest’s servant.


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