Sometimes our humanness just plain stinks—especially when we fail to recognize it. We think we are doing the “Lord’s will,” but our motivation is fueled more by our flesh than the Holy Spirit. It’s comforting to know we serve a God who understands our fallen nature. A God who offers redemption.
Peter certainly ranks high as one with occasional outbursts of humanness. When the soldiers came to arrest Jesus, Peter sought to defend him. He pulled out his sword and sliced off the ear of Malchus, the chief priest’s servant. Peter’s misplaced zeal, however, was not overlooked. Jesus rebuked him. He then performed one last miracle before the cross. He touched the man’s ear and healed him. He covered the mess Peter had made.
I hate to think of how many times my words or actions have reflected my human nature more than God’s. How many times I’ve suffered outbreaks of humanness. How many “ears” I may have cut off in my defense of Christ. Yet no matter how misguided, how far I’ve missed the mark, the hope of redemption remains fixed. Rather than being weighed down with a truckload of guilt over my mistakes, I find forgiveness. And if that isn’t remarkable enough, the Lord turns my messes into healing and restoration. He redeems.
Although Scripture doesn’t tell us what happened to Malchus, my guess is that he was never the same after that touch from Jesus. I think the Lord wants us to know that whatever damage we have caused in our flesh, it is not the end of the story. Redemption is always at work. Oswald Chambers writes “Reality is not human goodness, nor holiness, nor heaven nor hell; but Redemption, and the need to perceive this is the most vital need of the Christian worker today.” Without that Reality, I think many of us would throw in the towel.
Redemption. Oh, how I love that word. How I love the One who has brought it.