Biblical People

Biblical People: Malchus

Each of the biographies of Jesus include the story of a mob coming up to Jesus to arrest him. In each account one of Jesus’s disciples whips out a sword and slashes at the high priest’s servant, cutting off his ear. 

Why is the high priest’s servant there? He could be acting on his own accord, though more likely the high priest ordered him to join the mob tasked with arresting Jesus. The bigger the crowd, the easier this will be.

This implicates the high priest in the conspiracy to arrest and execute Jesus.

By combining these four biblical accounts of this event, we discover that the high priest’s servant’s name is Malchus. We also learn that the assaulting disciple is Peter.

Given what we know about him this shouldn’t surprise us. He often speaks before thinking and sometimes acts just as fast.

What’s most delightful, however, is a detail that only Luke shares. After Jesus tells his disciples to not resist his arrest, he restores Malchus’s missing ear. Even when Jesus faces arrest, setting in motion the events that will lead to his death, he still cares about the needs of others. 

When we face difficulties, do we still notice the not-as-important needs of those around us?

[Discover more about Malchus in Matthew 26:47–52, Mark 14:43–50, Luke 22:49–51, and John 18:10–11.]

Read more about other biblical characters in The Friends and Foes of Jesus, now available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at