Wednesday, March 24, 2010

When Life Is Dark

John 18:1-27

Jesus Arrested
1When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was an olive grove (the garden of Gethsemane), and he and his disciples went into it.

2Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

4Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, "Who is it you want?"

5"Jesus of Nazareth," they replied.
"I am he," Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6When Jesus said, "I am he," they drew back and fell to the ground.

7Again he asked them, "Who is it you want?"
And they said, "Jesus of Nazareth."

8"I told you that I am he," Jesus answered. "If you are looking for me, then let these men go." 9This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: "I have not lost one of those you gave me."

10Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant's name was Malchus.)

11Jesus commanded Peter, "Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?"

Jesus Taken to Annas

12Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him 13and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it would be good if one man died for the people.

Peter's First Denial

15Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest's courtyard, 16but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the girl on duty there and brought Peter in.

17"You are not one of his disciples, are you?" the girl at the door asked Peter.
He replied, "I am not."

18It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.

The High Priest Questions Jesus

19Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.

20"I have spoken openly to the world," Jesus replied. "I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. 21Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said."

22When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby struck him in the face with the palm of his hand. "Is this the way you answer the high priest?" he demanded.

23"If I said something wrong," Jesus replied, "testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?" 24Then Annas sent him, still bound, to Caiaphas the high priest.[b]

Peter's Second and Third Denials

25As Simon Peter stood warming himself, he was asked, "You are not one of his disciples, are you?"
He denied it, saying, "I am not."

26One of the high priest's servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, "Didn't I see you with him in the olive grove?" 27Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.


When times are dark, we must learn to be patient. When Jesus arrived at the garden, he was overcome with grief. He knew everything that was to happen soon. The trials, the beatings, the crucifiction. So what did Jesus do? He prayed.

Luke 22: 42-44

42"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." 43An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

We must learn to be submissive. Jesus allowed Himself to be bound by the soldiers who had come to claim Him. As recorded in Luke (which has a more detailed account) He told Peter that He could call upon a legion of angels. Instead, Jesus chose to do the will of His Father.

We must learn to be attentive to the Lord. When life is dark, we sometimes like Peter fail the Lord. After Peter denied Jesus 3 times, the Lord turned to him (as detailed in Luke), and Peter realized that he had done exactly what Jesus had warned him of. His heart was completely disappointed in what he had done. Peter wept bitterly.


Tonight our Pastor pointed out two very interesting things from these scriptures.

In verses 5-6, the Greek text does not recognize "he", in the "I am He" response Jesus gave. He simply replied "I Am". These two simple words made the soldier "draw back and fall to the ground".

What makes this interesting is that these words "I Am", are what God called Himself when Abraham spoke to Him in Exodus 3:14 - God said to Moses, "I am who I am . This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.' "

The second interesting point was that after Peter cut off the ear of the Roman soldier, Jesus healed him!(accounted in Luke) Even though these were the men who would deliver Him to his death, He healed Him! He still had love for them. How amazing is His love and forgiveness! In this same act, he also spared Peter from the consequences of his own actions, even though He knew Peter would soon deny Him.

I know this was very lengthy, but I hope you took the time to read it all!

1 comment:

  1. I did take the time to read this and I love the part about the Greek text not recognizing the 'he.' I need to look further into this. I love to learn new things about familiar passages. God's Word is alive! And that just gave me goose bumps.
    Thank you for sharing, Ashleigh!