Who’s In Charge Here?
Holy and Righteous God, may Your Spirit abide with me so that I might know You better today and always.
Read John 18:1-18
 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.  Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.  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.  Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”  “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.)  When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.  Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.  Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.”  This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”  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.)  Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”  Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him  and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year.  Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.  Simon 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,  but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the servant girl on duty there and brought Peter in.  “You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” she asked Peter. He replied, “I am not.”  It 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. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhy did Jesus not resist this arrest?
Today’s reading pitches Jesus from the solitary place of prayer into the chaotic action surrounding his arrest (1). The text is full of the hustle and bustle of characters causing mayhem around Jesus. There is betrayal (2), aggression (3,12), the menace of an interview with Annas (13), and the accusation of the servants in the courtyard (17,18). And there are the actions of the confused and frightened disciples themselves, first lashing out to defend Jesus (10) and then caving in before his accusers (17). What mayhem! Jesus has fallen into a whirlpool of hostility and chaos. Or has he? Everything may not be as it appears. Look again. None of these characters is actually in control, nor is the action random and meaningless. There is a plan here (4,9) and Jesus knows it full well. His Father is in control (11) as he always is. Even in life’s most perplexing and crushing moments, when we feel that all is spinning out of our control, there is our Father working to bring the mayhem around us into line with his perfect plan. And in the midst of the chaos, we can be calm, as was Jesus.
Where is the mayhem or chaos in your life? Ask God to keep you calm as he works out his plan.
Lord, when all seems out of control, help me look to You. I trust Your ability to create newness from chaos.
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