Loving Lord, may the mind of Christ fill my thinking and the life of Christ guide my living. I want to make an impact for you.
Read John 18:1–14
18 When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it.
2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.
4 Jesus, 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.) 6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
7 Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?”
“Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.
8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9 This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”[a]
10 Then 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.)
11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”
12 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him 13 and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.
- John 18:9 John 6:39
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectRecall a time when life seemed especially chaotic and confusing. How did you feel? Where was God in it?
It’s easy to miss the drama here. Try to get inside the scene. An armed rabble of Temple guards and officials. Judas. The rest of the twelve. Probably, given that Jerusalem was packed for Passover, several onlookers. The action uncontrolled and random. Shouting, running, confusion, fear. In the middle of it all, one person stands out. Jesus, facing betrayal, desertion, arrest, torture and death is in control. He dictates the course of the questioning. He calmly identifies himself. When Peter lashes out, he reaches out in healing.
None of this is what we might expect, but it is completely true to the character and mission of Jesus. However much he may appear to be a hostage to the plans of others, Jesus is working out his destiny, and nothing will divert him from what he has come to do (v 11). Twice he says ‘I am he’ using an unusual and emphatic form of words which he often uses in John, and it reminds us of God’s words to Moses at the burning bush (see Exodus 3:14; John 8:24,58) and hints at his true identity. In the midst of the chaos, he is King. And if he reigns supreme in the chaos in the garden, he can reign over the chaos of our world and our lives.
Bring to Jesus now any chaotic situation in your life, your community, or our world. Allow him to bring his calm authority to bear.
Father, forgive me for my limited understanding and my wavering trust. Infuse me with trust in Your greater plan and purpose.
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