Gospel of John [18:4-11]. Gethsemane, part 5.

Title: Gospel of John [18:4-11]. Gethsemane, part 5.



Joh 18:4 Jesus therefore, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth, and said to them, "Whom do you seek?" 


Joh 18:5 They answered Him, "Jesus the Nazarene." He said to them, "I am He." And Judas also who was betraying Him, was standing with them.


Joh 18:6 When therefore He said to them, "I am He," they drew back, and fell to the ground.


F.B. Meyer makes a great point here.


This 'occurring before His surrender would show His power over His enemies, and so the freedom with which He gave Himself up.' [F.B. Meyer]


Joh 18:7 Again therefore He asked them, "Whom do you seek?" And they said, "Jesus the Nazarene."


Joh 18:8 Jesus answered, "I told you that I am He; if therefore you seek Me, let these go their way," 


"let" - avfi,hmi[aphiemi; aorist active imperative] = let go, forgive, permit. It is a command and not a request.


Joh 18:9 that the word might be fulfilled which He spoke, "Of those whom Thou hast given Me I lost not one."


If any one of them got the beating and scourging of our Lord they certainly would have died.


As always His mind is on others, on those He promised to protect, and here at His gravest hour. This is again fulfillment of His prayer.


Joh 17:12

"While I was with them, I was keeping them in Thy name which Thou hast given Me; and I guarded them, and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.


You know you have true courage when in the midst of intense suffering against you; you are not occupied with you but with others.


It is then that they laid hands on Him and seized Him. This caused Peter to leap into action, no doubt remembering his promise to the Lord and trying to dash away the Lord’s promise that Peter would deny Him.


Mat 26:50-51

Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him. And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached and drew out his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest, and cut off his ear.


Peter asked first but didn’t await an answer.


Luk 22:49-50

And when those who were around Him saw what was going to happen, they said, "Lord, shall we strike with the sword?" And a certain one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear.


Joh 18:10 Simon Peter therefore having a sword, drew it, and struck the high priest's slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave's name was Malchus.


It may be that John was comfortable in mentioning Peter by name because he was dead by this time. John’s gospel is written around 90 AD and it is likely that Peter had been martyred about 20 years ago.


Joh 18:11 Jesus therefore said to Peter, "Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?"


Malchus was the servant of the high priest. Therefore he was likely the leader of the Jewish contingent in this armed band.


The war was not going to be won by the sword but through the sacrifice of the Messiah. After our Lord prayed to the Father He was thoroughly ready to drink the cup of the sins of the whole world. This would mean that He would be chained, beaten, and humiliated. He could have made His body impenetrable or impervious as diamond. He could have made Himself invisible. He could have used His omnipotence to immediately make the whole band disappear and materialize on top of Everest. And as He states, He could have called upon His Father to deliver 12 legions of angels [72,000 angels] on the spot. What do you think 72,000 warring angels might have done to the band of one or two hundred men? Can you imagine their facial expressions when they witnessed such a host materialize in front of them? It makes for a great movie, but Christ does not gain the victory in a Hollywood style.


Mat 26:52 Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.


Mat 26:53 "Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?


Mat 26:54 "How then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen this way?" 


After His three prayers to the Father, “If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me,” we see His full understanding, after His greatest temptation, that there is no other way.


In this we see a pattern in our own walk with the Father’s plan. We each must come to the conclusion that our way is the Father’s plan and that there is no other way. And for us it is the way of Christ. He is the way, the truth, and the life. Temptation comes upon us all the time trying to push us another way, contemplating another way, and in giving in (an option that for Christ would have been detrimental to us all) to, in grace, conclude that there is no other way. There will come a time in the positive believer’s life that he will be convinced that there is no other way and he will gain the confidence that comes from such a conclusion and that God’s plan or God’s way, purposes, commands, objectives, as the love of his life, will mow over all opposition.


Rom 8:38-39

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


This statement is true for all believers, the weak and the strong, but for the strong, this is their marching song as they face down the opposition, within and without, that attempts to divert them from the way.


I want to give one example of this before we continue on in the Gethsemane narrative.


Paul with representatives from the Gentile churches in Macedonia and Asia brought the gift that the churches raised for the Jerusalem church to Jerusalem. And when he entered the temple during the feast, Jews from Asia who recognized him accused Paul of bringing Gentiles into the inner temple court, which was a crime punishable by death. Paul did not bring them in there but an uproar occurred and Paul was delivered from death by the Romans who arrested him. He was soon taken to Caesarea for trial and representatives from the Sanhedrin followed him a few days after in order to bring the accusation. Notice how Paul stands in great confidence in defense of the way before the governor Felix.


Act 24:1 And after five days the high priest Ananias came down with some elders, with a certain attorney named Tertullus; and they brought charges to the governor against Paul.


Act 24:2 And after Paul had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying to the governor,

"Since we have through you attained much peace, and since by your providence reforms are being carried out for this nation,


Act 24:3 we acknowledge this in every way and everywhere, most excellent Felix, with all thankfulness.


Act 24:4 "But, that I may not weary you any further, I beg you to grant us, by your kindness, a brief hearing.


Act 24:5 "For we have found this man a real pest and a fellow who stirs up dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.


Act 24:6 "And he even tried to desecrate the temple; and then we arrested him. [ And we wanted to judge him according to our own Law.


Act 24:7 "But Lysias the commander came along, and with much violence took him out of our hands,


Act 24:8 ordering his accusers to come before you.] And by examining him yourself concerning all these matters, you will be able to ascertain the things of which we accuse him."


Act 24:9 And the Jews also joined in the attack, asserting that these things were so.


Act 24:10 And when the governor had nodded for him to speak, Paul responded:

"Knowing that for many years you have been a judge to this nation, I cheerfully make my defense,


Act 24:11 since you can take note of the fact that no more than twelve days ago I went up to Jerusalem to worship.


Act 24:12 "And neither in the temple, nor in the synagogues, nor in the city itself did they find me carrying on a discussion with anyone or causing a riot.


Act 24:13 "Nor can they prove to you the charges of which they now accuse me.


Act 24:14 "But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law, and that is written in the Prophets;


Act 24:15 having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.


Act 24:16 "In view of this, I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men.


Act 24:17 "Now after several years I came to bring alms to my nation and to present offerings;


Act 24:18 in which they found me occupied in the temple, having been purified, without any crowd or uproar. But there were certain Jews from Asia — 


Act 24:19 who ought to have been present before you, and to make accusation, if they should have anything against me.


Act 24:20 "Or else let these men themselves tell what misdeed they found when I stood before the Council,


Act 24:21 other than for this one statement which I shouted out while standing among them,' For the resurrection of the dead I am on trial before you today.'"


[back to]

Mat 26:52 Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.


Mat 26:53 "Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?


Mat 26:54 "How then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen this way?"


And so saying He touched the ear of Malchus and healed Him.


It was not at this time that the Lord would fight against His enemies but would save them. He would not allow such a wound to happen during His passion.


Also, one could conclude that He healed him so that Malchus could hear His words.


Peter’s actions were enough for the soldiers who then bound Christ.


They bound like a criminal the only perfect man in history and the Savior of mankind. To this indignity Jesus asks: Mat 26:55-56.


Mat 26:55 At that time Jesus said to the multitudes, "Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as against a robber? Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me.


In other words, what has happened or what is different from then until now? If I was not a criminal then but I am a criminal now, ask yourself why it is you are doing this? He said this for their sakes and not some last minute defense for Himself. He does not want them to see Him as a criminal but as the Savior of the world so that they will believe in Him. He knows the arrest is necessary in the Father's plan, but in the arrest He still appeals to the conscience of those arresting Him that they may come to believe in Him.


Mat 26:56 "But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled." Then all the disciples left Him and fled.


The Lord of course knew that it must go down this way.


It was His hour but it was also their hour in which the power of darkness would prevail for a time.


Luk 22:51 But Jesus answered and said, "Stop! No more of this." And He touched his ear and healed him.


Luk 22:52 And Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders who had come against Him, "Have you come out with swords and clubs as against a robber?


Luk 22:53 "While I was with you daily in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me; but this hour and the power of darkness are yours."


And so Jesus was led away to the house of Annas.


And as the ranks of the armed men now closed around the bound Christ, none dared to stay with Him, lest they also should be bound as resisting authority. So they all forsook Him and fled.


But there was one there who joined not in the flight, but remained, a deeply interested onlooker who was likely a young John-Mark.


Mar 14:51-52

And a certain young man was following Him, wearing nothing but a linen sheet over his naked body; and they seized him. But he left the linen sheet behind, and escaped naked.


It is very likely that this is the young John-Mark. It is also likely that the last Passover was celebrated in the upper room of his house. Judas and his band likely went there first to seize Jesus. When the soldiers had come to seek Jesus in the Upper Chamber of his home, Mark, roused from sleep, had hastily cast about him the loose linen garment or wrapper that lay by his bedside, and followed the armed band to see what would come of it. He now lingered in the rear, and followed as they led away Jesus, never imagining that they would attempt to lay hold on him, since he had not been with the disciples nor yet in the Garden. But they, perhaps the Jewish servants of the High-Priest, had noticed him. They attempted to lay hold on him, when, disengaging himself from their grasp, he left his upper garment in their hands, and fled naked. No doubt this night changed that young man’s life and he became a dedicated believer who was instrumental in the building of the early Church.  So ended the first scene in the terrible drama of that night.



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