Text: John 18:1-26
Event(s): Jesus is betrayed and arrested; Jesus appears before the High Priest; Peter denies Jesus
John 18:4 “Jesus..knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward…” They’d come out with hundreds of soldiers consisting of both “officers” of the Jewish temple police accompanied by the Roman soldiers. (According to various commentaries, it is believed that anywhere from 200-600 soldiers were present). They’d come with torches and weapons and lanterns. But Jesus did not at all try to avoid His arrest. He went to a well known place, and when they arrived, He stepped forward.
John 18:6 “they drew back and fell to the ground.” I am He. Jesus had stepped forward and now released a declaration of who He was. The impact of His words so evident that it caused the troops to fall backward as He momentarily released just a drop of His inherent power as God.
John 18:10“Then Simon Peter…cut off his right ear” Just earlier, Peter had been sleeping instead of praying. I wonder how different his response would have been…I wonder how different many of our responses would be in the midst of pressure if we prayed more.
John 18:12 “[they] arrested Jesus and bound Him.” Jesus not only could have called on all the forces of Heaven to come to His defense. He Himself had already defied nature by raising people from the dead, healing, and performing miracles. It was not the chains, the ropes, or the soldiers that bound Jesus. It was love. He allowed Himself to be bound this way.
John 18:19 “The high priest asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine.” The high priest was completely out of line here. Much like in our legal system today, it was illegal for the accused to be interrogated lest the accused say anything that might implicate him. Just like we studied earlier in the case of the woman caught in adultery, guilt had to be established by reliable witnesses.
John 18:21 “Ask those who have heard Me…” Again, witnesses. Jesus was pointing to the rules written in the law for how these proceedings should have been handled. The testimony of witnesses was an indispensable part of any serious trial in Judaism.
Today’s Takeaway: Prayer prepares us to respond better. “Give me this day my daily bread. Give me what I will need today, Lord, to sustain me and to cause me to respond the way You would have me respond.”
Additional (optional) reading: The parallel accounts of today’s event’s may be found in Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52 and Luke 22:47-53