He Who Has Ears (part 1)
“Do you bring in a lamp
to put it under a bowl or a bed?
Instead, don’t you put it on its stand?
For whatever is hidden
is meant to be disclosed,
and whatever is concealed
is meant to be brought out
into the open.
If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
- Jesus -
From beginning to end; Genesis to Revelation, all of the Bible is the story of God’s love for humankind and His redemption through Jesus Christ for us to hear and believe.
I want to take the climax moment of the story of God’s love and redemption, break it out into several parts, and share it over the course of this Easter season with you as seen through the eyes; or perhaps more appropriately, as heard through the ears of a particular individual whom I suspect most of us have either never heard of or have passed by so quickly that we didn’t even noticed him there…
Well, I am thrilled to share this with you today.
Listen, I don’t do this a lot… In fact this is really the first time I’ve ever shared my story like this before. So forgive me if I stumble over my words or get lost in the details.
Frankly, when I think about what happened, well I am still overcome with awe.
Maybe you’re wondering what happened.
Oh wait, I should introduce myself first. My name is Malchus and I am… or I was the servant of the High Priest, Caiaphas. And I know you’re thinking that sounds like a pretty important job, and it was to a degree. But between you and me, it really just felt like I was a “go for,” you know “go for this and go for that.”
But there was one time that I remember feeling somewhat important, I guess. And that’s the story I want to share with you – my story, of a changed life.
So, it was early in the morning, and I mean early. Most people don’t even know that hour exists. And I was sleeping and my family was sleeping. And there came a knock at my door, which progressed to more of a pound.
What in the world, I thought to myself. Who is knocking at this hour?
Well I had to assume it was important and knowing my role, I got up and went to the door.
I was barely awake and it took everything I had to lift the dead bolt off the door and open it. They don’t make locks these days like they used to, I tell you.
Anyway, I opened the door just a crack. It took my eyes a few seconds to focus, but I recognized the guys standing there so I opened the door all the way. They didn’t say much at first. Clearly they meant business. They told me to follow them. So it did.
Well, within minutes we arrived at the house of the High Priest and joined a group of others in the courtyard around back. Most of them were temple guards, guys I knew pretty well. Then I saw Caiaphas talking to a guy named Judas and I realized exactly what was going on.
See, Judas was a money man in those days; like a financial officer. I had known him a bit because of his involvement with the money changers and sellers in the temple court. But a few years prior, he bailed on his job to follow a rabbi named Jesus. Then, just a couple days prior to that night, he showed up at the temple – Judas that is, not Jesus – pulled a bunch of us servants and some priests aside and made a deal with us. Or maybe we made a deal with him. But at any rate, it was a deal none of us could pass up.
You see, this rabbi, Jesus, had been stirring up the religious pot with a bit too much vinegar if you know what I mean. His religious zeal had crossed the line and I guess he’d broken the law of God.
Now I’d never met the guy, but I’d heard his claims and they were definitely edgy. He talked a lot about the Kingdom of God; and how close it was. Evidently he implied on more than one occasion that he was Messiah – the Christ who Scripture promised would save the people from sin. Outlandish stuff.
He’d heal people who were blind and cast out demons. And he’d tell these stories; these parables, and whenever he’d close a story he’d say something like: “He who has ears, let him hear.”
It all made for good pomp and show, but honestly, I never really understood what he was talking about…but I would understand soon enough.