You bring up a great point to illustrate what I was
saying in a recent post
about the difference between "studying" scripture vs.
"meditating" on scripture. Studying those examples that you
gave or any other similar examples would involve perhaps
getting some commentaries or a concordance out and seeing
what else the Bible may say on a subject and then form an
opinion about what it can all mean.
Meditating begins with going to God directly with faith
that He is willing and able to teach us and humbly
asking God to reveal what He knows the hidden treasure is
within His word for our edification. Then listen and open
your heart to receive.
I'd like to give one quick example that illustrates the
hidden meaning in an otherwise seemingly meaningless bit of
information similar to the ones you listed in your post:
I was just thinking about this early this morning too so
it must be that I was meant to share this.
Bruce, would you say that the incident of Peter cutting
off an ear with a sword that Jesus heals back on right away
would fit in nicely with your other examples of strange
mysteries in the Bible?
Why an ear? I heard Gene Scott years ago mention about
this that Peter was either the greatest swordsman in the
world or the worst to go after a guy with a sword and only
cut off an ear. If he was trying to do that then he's the
greatest but if he was trying to cut off the guy's head,
then he's the worst. (Like a scene in Butch Cassidy and the
Sundance Kid, I think it was, where one of them shoots the
gun out of a rival's hand and the now weaponless man,
rubbing his empty hand admires his skill with a handgun
until the shooter's partner informs him that he was actually
aiming for your belly...)
But here's what I learned from the Holy Spirit about this
incident: Peter was trying to impress Jesus with his
willingness to fight for Him and even die for Him as he had
earlier stated that he would. Now, when the men arrived to
take Jesus away, Peter saw his chance to make good on his
claim and he attacked one with a sword but rather than be
appreciated or commended by Jesus Peter was rebuked with the
52. Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again
thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword
shall perish with the sword.
10. Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and
smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear.
The servant's name was Malchus.
11. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword
into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me,
shall I not drink it?
50. And one of them smote the servant of the
high priest, and cut off his right ear.
51. And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus
far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.
The text really doesn't give us much insight into what
this ear cutting off could mean, it just tells it and leaves
it at that. But the Holy Spirit had something more He wanted
to say about it. Peter was doing what he thought Jesus would
want but it turned out not to be what Jesus wanted at all.
Many Christians operate this same way and do what they
assume Jesus wants instead of letting Him lead them
especially when it comes to dealing with others that come
against us. We know that the Bible is called the Sword of
the Spirit, right? Many Christians use the Word of God the
way Peter was using his sword and attack or rebuke or even
try to "witness" to non Christians by quoting scriptures at
them but rather than doing good their efforts can result in
a spiritual way the same as Peter's sword and result in the
non Christian becoming as if their "ear to hear" is cut off,
See? I have known people who have become hardened to the
gospel after being "witnessed" to by a well meaning
Christian until they hate to hear any mention of the "good
news" anymore. But the same Jesus who healed that servant's
ear can also heal the cut off ear of a wounded person if
Jesus is allowed to be involved and we learn when to "put up
The woman at the well is the way we should witness, which
is to tell others of what Jesus has done for us and then
introduce them to Jesus and then get out of the way and let
Him speak to them Himself and then they can say what that
woman's townsfolk said,
42. And said unto the woman, Now we believe,
not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves,
and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the