The Gospel of John, The Period of Consummation, Part I, John 18:1-10 - Lesson 178
Read John 18:1-9, When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples. And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples. Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground. Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way: That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.
Chapter 1 of John was introductory, Chapters 2 thru 12 record the Lord's ministry in the world, chapters 13 thru 17 record his ministry to his disciples and preparation for his departure.
In chapter 18 we enter into the period just prior to and through his death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ thru chapter 20.
This is the Period of Consummation of the ministry of Jesus Christ.
This is the period of the Sorrows of the Son of God.
He had spoken of his going and therefore it must come about.
Hadn't the prophets said that he must suffer?
John 18 opens with a brief description of Jesus Christ entering the Garden of Gethsemane.
John records nothing of the details recorded in other Gospels such as the request to Peter and John to watch with him.
Nothing is said of his praying to the Father, nothing is said of the agony of our Lord as he shed bloody sweat and was comforted by an angel.
But John presents Christ as the Son of God and not as the suffering Son of man.
He presents him not falling before the Father in agony as the other Gospel writers do.
But John instead presents others falling before him as he speaks "I am he" to those who came to arrest him.
John 18:1, When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron (ked‑rone'), where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.
"These words" that John refers to are the words that Jesus Christ lifted up to the Father in chapter 17 in behalf of the disciples and all believers who would come after.
They are the words he offered to the Father acting as the High Priest for his own.
He has delivered his discourse concerning what he is to do and now he goes forth to do it.
He journeys to the Garden of Gethsemane over the brook Kidron which means in Hebrew dark or turbid, dusky or gloomy waters.
This brook was in a deep ravine called the Kidron Valley on the east side of Jerusalem between the temple mount and the Mount of Olives.
The Kidron Valley follows a winding course down to the Dead Sea and in the millennial times water will flow from the temple donw this valley to both seas.
Some have said that the blood of the sacrifices flowing into the brook Kidron in the time of temple worship added to its dark and gloomy appearance.
The Garden of Gethsemane (place of the oil press) would have been above the valley on the eastern side and on the lower slopes of the mount of Olives.
David crossed the brook Kidron when he fled Jerusalem to escape from Absalom.
Solomon warned Shimei not to cross it or he would die.
Asa destroyed his mother's idol, and burnt it by the brook Kidron.
Josiah stamped the altars and idols of strange gods to powder and scattered the dust in the brook Kidron.
After the Last Supper, Jesus went through the Kidron Valley on his way to the Mount of Olives.
And on this occasion he took his disciples to the garden knowing full well that he would deliver himself up to his enemies.
The disciples were given the opportunity to witness his testimony as he voluntarily gave himself without resistance.
We as followers of Jesus Christ are also to offer no resistance to our enemies.
We are to bow to the will of the Father as Jesus Christ did while he knew full well he was to suffer the ultimate penalty.
John 18:2,3 And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples. Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.
Jesus Christ knew that Judas the traitor would be in the garden at that very time.
He did not avoid the confrontation.
He welcomed it as being about his Father's business.
He did not come while keeping Judas waiting but preceded Judas to the garden.
This place was known to those who walked with Christ as a place that Jesus Christ came to pray to the Father and to instruct his disciples.
It was a place apart from the masses where close communion with Jesus Christ and disciples took place. It was their church.
Judas despised the place no doubt.
The band that Judas brought was probably a detachment of Roman solders.
Matthew 26 calls the band a great multitude and some think it was a tenth part of a legion consisting of as many as 500 men.
In any case gentiles and Jews together had a hand in the arrest of Jesus Christ.
They came to seek out the light of the world with puny lanterns and torches.
Of what use were the weapons to be put to?
These simply are symbolic of what man depends on for light and for protection.
John 18:4, Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?
We saw in chapter 6 verse 15 when the people would have taken him by force to be king, he withdrew.
But here when they come to force him to a cross, he offers himself.
For he came into this world to suffer, and went to the other world to reign.
His mission at this time is a cross and therefore he boldly went forth to meet Judas and the multitudes, lighted by the torches and the lanterns.
No doubt there was much noise and commotion.
Jesus Christ was in charge because he knew all things.
He knew what was to take place down to the finest detail.
Whom seek ye?
John 18:5, They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.
Apparently the crowd did not recognize Jesus Christ for they said Jesus of Nazareth instead of answering "thee".
Notice that Judas did not even recognize the one who he walked with for 3 years.
The Light shone in the darkness and the darkness comprehended it not.
But Judas is now with the right crowd.
He was the great pretender but in time all pretenders are revealed.
He stook with the multitude against the one who had loved him and was now ready to give himself for him.
Not very many hours ago Judas sat with this Christ and the Eleven.
Now he is found with the enemies of Christ and not only found but he is their guide.
John 18:6, As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.
Jesus Christ speaks "I am" and the power of his word is manifest.
They were there to arrest him but by his word they fell before him.
And every knee shall bow!
Not difficult to see that happening when a simple "I am" causes this great multitude to go backward and fall to the ground.
It is as if Jesus Christ by his word blew them all down.
No huffing and puffing required, just simply his word.
By this act of his divine power he reveals that he is more than Jesus of Nazareth.
He is God manifest in the flesh, he is the word of God!
At his word they fell to the ground.
By this exhibit of divine power he also convinces that he voluntarily gave himself to them.
Their weapons and their numbers were not relevant at all when simply by his word they were immobilized.
He was not to be captured as a lamb dragged to the altar but he was to offer himself a willing lamb for the sacrifice for sin.
He could have simply walked away from this multitude as they lay on the ground.
But God allows us to see that Jesus Christ freely offered himself for us.
No man was endowed with power to take the life of the Son of God.
Had not he said in: John 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again....
John 18:7, Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.
Whom seek ye? He asked as they lay on the ground.
In this repeated question after he had exercised his power it is as if he said:
I have told you that I am he.
Have you not learned by this who I am when your hearts are so terrified that you have fallen down before me?
But they do not learn by miracles.
Faith is not built on miracles.
Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
They continued faithless as they lay on the ground.
They answer him again, Jesus of Nazareth.
John 18:8,9 Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way: That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.
Jesus Christ was about to suffer for his own.
His own were not called upon to suffer.
It was not required of his own to suffer, it was required that he pay the full penalty for sin.
It was not proper for his disciples to suffer lest their sufferings should be thought of as a part of the price of redemption.
Did not the High Priest enter the tabernacle alone to make atonement?
He was about to sanctify himself alone so that his own might be sanctified through him.
Jesus Christ loved them till the end.
He first thinks of his own and their safety.
He was the shepherd to his sheep.
He was willing to lay down his life for the sheep.
let these go their way: That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.
As none of the apostles were lost by Christ so too will none of those who come after be lost by Christ.
If you have been given to Christ, life eternal is secured by the word of Christ.
Notice the power of the command of Christ, notice his power to restrain.
We learn in the next verse that even though Peter cuts off the ear of the high priest's servant Peter was not arrested.
The word of Christ was obeyed.
John 18:10, 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.
Malchus was safe in the presence of Jesus Christ for none ever died in his presence.
Peter, did not your master instruct you to watch and pray lest you enter into temptation?
Weren't you sleeping when the Lord asked that you spend the hour praying with him?
If so you would have been walking in the spirit instead of walking in the flesh and obeying the lusts of the flesh.
Here we see Peter full of zeal when stillness was called for.
Later we see Peter cowardly when he should have confessed Christ.
Most likely Peter meant of kill this one who dared lay his hands on his master.
But his master did not allow the weapons of this world in the fight against the evil one.
So instead of Malchus being beheaded the sword cut off his ear which Jesus immediately restored.
This was the last miracle of Jesus Christ before he laid down his life.