Therese Apel

(Photo: One of a family of Redwinged Blackbirds that live out by the lake this year.)

And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. – Luke 22:50-5

One of my favorite ways to study the Bible is to put myself in the mind of each person in the story. What was it like to be there, what would I have been thinking? Today I can’t help but wonder about the man whose ear was cut off, and then Jesus healed it.

This man who we know nothing about, had been sent with a literal goon squad to pick up a preacher. When he gets there, the preacher and his followers are not combatants, and they are not soldiers. They’re just fishermen.

He probably thought this would be easy, and essentially it was except for the part where one of the disciples, we always assume it’s Peter, cut his ear off.

As quickly as that happens, Jesus heals him. Jesus picks up that ear and puts it back on his head like it had never left.

Maybe these weren’t just fisherman after all.

What happens in the days that follow? Where does this man go? Does he follow every step of Jesus’ trial to see what happens? I would. That guy saved my ear.

Is he overwhelmed by the kindness that says “it doesn’t matter what’s happening to me, my focus is on you and your healing?“ Does he begin to wonder if all the things the Pharisees said about Jesus are true?

At what point does the screaming in his heart about the miracle he saw become loud enough that it drives him to the foot of the cross? He experienced something nobody else in that group had experienced, so did he tell the story? Did he reach out to the others and say, “I think we did it wrong?“
The moment that Jesus submitted to go with them was one of the moments that our salvation was sealed. Do you think the man whose ear was lost and found again ever comprehended what a moment that was?

And the message that kindness and love and forgiveness wins in the end over force and anger and jealousy and power hunger, do you think he understood that? 

Because so often we don’t. We’re more focused on the fact that we think it was Peter that cut his ear off, or that, look, this is another one of Jesus’ miracles.

It was more of a statement than a miracle. It was the eternal reminder that Love wins.

When they come for you with swords drawn, look to heal. When they bring you deceit and anger, respond with love. When they betray you with a kiss, forgive.

I assure you, it changes lives. ❤️

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