Tag Archives: Malchus

The Kind of Heart That Wins People and How To Get It (Part 2 of 2)

reaching outThis is the final piece of this “Winning Malchus” essay. We’ve hiked the peaks and valleys of our Christian methods of helping people find Jesus. Though there is no right method, there is a right manner, a good heart.

We pick up the story after Peter lopped off the ear of a guy named Malchus in the Garden of Prayer. No way to win a person to Jesus really. Mercifully, on his way to jail, Jesus corrected his misguided act of violence. Nevertheless…

All was not lost. Later that very night Jesus the Merciful gave Peter the Impulsive an opportunity to redeem himself when one of Malchus’ relatives approached Peter in the high priest’s courtyard and asked, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?” In other words, “Aren’t you that guy that attacked Uncle Malchus and chopped his ear off? What the *%#@ is wrong with you? If that’s how you Christ followers roll I want nothing to do with you guys! From now on stay away from me and my family!” Not exactly the response we look for in our evangelistic efforts. Continue reading


The Kind of Heart That Wins People and How To Get It (Part 1 of 2)

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls.” Proverbs 11:30reaching out

This is part of a larger essay that I call:  “Winning Malchus.” In the last couple of posts, I’ve been talking about the meeting of Malchus’ ear with the sharp edge of Peter’s sword. As was his trend, on his own way to prison Jesus fixed Peter’s mistake and gave back the high priest’s servant his ear. But the lesson stands. In our interaction with not-yet-Christians we should be more like Jesus and less like his hotheaded disciple. If we want to win Malchus rather than wounding him we must seek the same kind of heart attitude of Jesus. Continue reading

When is a Sword Not a Sword? (Part 2 of 2)


In part 1 of “When is a Sword Not a Sword?” I talked about the danger of using the Sword of the Spirit as a weapon against pre-Christians. Peter was granted a sword and then used it to hurt a man instead of helping him. Some more along those lines…

Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them. Proverbs 29:20

Peter was pretty much of a swing-first-and-ask-questions-later kind of guy, to say nothing of his swordsmanship. I’m guessing that he wasn’t aiming to surgically sever Malchus’ ear, but like a lot of Christians whose MO is to just let it fly, he was just swinging that thing at whatever he could hit! It’s the mantra called: Ready, fire, aim! This practice dates back to the Crusades where we slash whatever is in the path of our sword and blame it on Providence! Continue reading

When is a Sword Not a Sword? (Part 1 of 2)

“If you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one…”
The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”
“That is enough,” he replied. Luke 22:35-51 
“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Matthew 26:52
In the first post of this series that I call “WINNING Malchus (as opposed to WOUNDING him)” I talked about how NOT to evangelize for which Peter is our poster boy! Next we looked at Jesus’ alternative method of winning the hearts of people. He didn’t come with a sword in his hand but with nails in his hands! In this post and the next I’d like to examine the issue of how and why Peter, of all people, got his weapon in the first place!

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How Jesus Wins People

malchus 2

 Jesus won my heart not by force but by fascination. Note to self. Do what Jesus did!

In my last post I introduced the wacky story about Peter whacking off Malchus’ ear and used it to illustrate how NOT to win people to Jesus. Fortunately, Jesus shows us a better way…

We’re not given enough information to know what happened to Malchus after his assault and healing in the garden. Did he become a follower of Jesus or simply go on his merry way wondering what all that was about? If he did come to Jesus what did the trick? Was it getting his ear back or was it something else? Continue reading

How NOT to Win People to Jesus

MalchusWhen Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 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

“One by one, these disciples would infect the nations with grace. It wasn’t a call to take the sword or the throne and force the world to bow. Rather, they were to live the contagious love of God, to woo the nations into a new future.” Shane Claiborne

Most pre-Christians think Jesus is all right, but his Church, not so much. Go figure! Could their antipathy have anything to do with how we (Incoming pun!) cut off communication with the world? You have to admit that after what Peter did, Malchus couldn’t very well “hear” the good news, at least not from him!

Some of the stories in the Bible were included to show us how not to do things. Abraham’s lies, Moses’ temper tantrums, David’s adultery, and Peter’s sword slinging for instance. Everyone makes mistakes, kings and apostles included. Continue reading