Is it possible that the last miracle of Jesus before his glorious resurrection is to replace the ear of Malchus, whose ear Peter has cut off with a saber blow? Little seems to be the case: “Just by touching it, the glue goes back to the head”, according to Saint Thomas More. Yes, but when he is about to leave the Church in the hands of Peter, that Jesus repairs a wrongdoing of his is a sign of hope.
Perhaps in that sword and the subsequent healing was established —the Cross and the sword— Christianity, which requires the mercy of Christ from behind, repairing damages from the beginning. Note, however, that he does not rebuke Peter, as he used to, and very harshly for other reasons. We can deduce that he would not have made ugly, therefore, the rude tears of Clovis, the fierce king of France, who, recently converted, when they told him of the Lord’s Passion, regretted not having been there with a handful of his francs to free him. The absence of a scolding for Pedro could be attributed to the bitterness of the moment, but there are other double-edged signs.
In the exhortation to the apostles after Supper, that same night, in this same chapter, Jesus said: “Whoever does not have, let him sell his tunic and buy a sword.” And when they answered him: “Sir, here are two swords”, he did not make them throw them away, as can be seen, but merely replied: “That’s enough.” Traditionally that has been read as an exasperated sigh at the apostles’ lack of allegorical understanding. What is clear is that it was not so clear when immediately after they stand with a sword in the Garden of Olives and, even more, brandish it gallantly against “a crowd of people (…) with swords and clubs” and “with lanterns , torches and weapons”, as Juan describes with a play of light and shadow and icy shine on the metal edges. The apostles ask: “Lord, did we strike with the sword?” The refusal was either never said or it was not instantaneous, because he gave Pedro room to pounce on the High Priest’s servant, aiming for his head.
As Jesus had asked them to buy a sword and they had shown that they already had two, and Jesus had concluded “enough is enough”, Is it not possible that they understood that with one —the one that, in effect, they did take— was enough? That’s why the second one doesn’t appear, but one does.
What is indisputable is that Jesus did not make an exhaustive condemnation of swords. Nor in the Garden does he rebuke the swordsman. He doesn’t even tell him to hand over the sword to the soldiers, but rather to keep it in its scabbard, while He faces the mob: «How did you come out with swords to capture me against a thief? Every day he was among you in the Temple teaching, and you did not arrest me »(Mc 14,48-49).
What is indisputable is that Jesus did not make an exhaustive condemnation of the swords
Of course, repair with mercy the wound caused to the enemy. One would say that mercy is always the best part, like mercy in the episode of Martha and Mary. But Pedro’s gallantry, against a cohort with his tribune, stays there. By forgiving him the denials, surely Jesus remembered this mishap. Peter, in his first outburst and in his own way, was willing to die with Him before the rooster crowed.
One last significant fact: the evangelist, after all this confusing skirmish, did not consider it necessary to suppress, qualify or clarify the previous advice to buy a sword. He keeps it.
The grace of Christ is published on April 25 in the Monóculo publishing house