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Arresting the Son of God

Arresting the Son of God details logo The LORD is near - Sunday, January 2, 2022
by Jacob Redekop, Brian Reynolds, John van Dijk, Eugene P. Vedder Jr
Details
Arresting the Son of God

There was a garden, which [Jesus] and His disciples entered. And Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with His disciples. Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, “Whom are you seeking?”
John 18:1–4

Arresting the Son of God
Again and again John’s Gospel sets Jesus before us in His dignity as the Son of God here on earth. This is the evangelist’s focus too in this presentation of the betrayal and arrest of our Lord Jesus. The other Gospels mention Judas’s shameful betrayal with a kiss of the One he called Rabbi, and how the armed multitude took Jesus captive. John also identifies Judas as the betrayer, and he makes clear that the mob Judas led were troops and officers he had received from the chief priests and Pharisees.

In this Gospel the kiss is not mentioned. In the full knowledge of what was about to happen, Jesus steps forward facing the enemy throng and asks them whom they are seeking. When they answer, “Jesus of Nazareth,” He calmly tells them, “I am He”; literally, “I am”; the “He” is filled in by the translators to give the meaning in English. But in chapter 8:58 He had told His opponents the very same thing, plainly asserting that He was before Abraham. He was the One who had revealed Himself to Moses by that name at the burning bush in Exodus 3:14. In their fear, the Jewish people never spoke that holy name aloud.

The crowd drew back and fell to the ground. Jesus repeated His question. They repeated their answer. He repeated who He was—and still is—adding, “If you seek Me, let these go their way.” The Son of God allowed them to arrest Him and bind Him; the Good Shepherd protected His sheep, standing between them and the foe!

Eugene P. Vedder, Jr.





 

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