The Arrest of the Messiah!!!
And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.” Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. But Jesus said to him, “Friend, why have you come?” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him. And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?” In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me. But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled……. Matthew 26:47-56 (Luke 22:47:53
In our previous Study, we saw how Jesus went through the Prayer in Gethsemane dreading break of fellowship with the Father and we saw that Fellowship with the Father is the Most important thing we can ever desire on Earth. Fellowship with the Father is the thing we must value most more than anything on Earth. And it is because we have not understood this that we take Sin likely. We also saw how He told His Disciples to Watch and pray lest they fall into Temptation and how they ignored His warnings and continued in their Sleep.
And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great Multitudes with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.” : While Jesus was waking Peter, James and John from their sleepy Position. Behold Judas showed up. And it was interesting to note that the Soldiers could not recognize Jesus at night. Of course in the day time, they would have recognized Him but they did not want to catch Him in the day because People would raise an uproar. But Since Jesus was just like His Disciples and dressed like His Disciples, it could be difficult to recognize Him in the midst of His Disciples. So Judas Kiss was to distinguish Him and to detain Him while the Soldiers come behind to lay Hands on Him before He slipped away as He always did. All this pictures of Jesus you see with a Hallo(that shining light) around His Head is a Deception. If there was an Hallo around His Head, the soldiers would not have needed Judas to identify Jesus in the Dark. Jesus became a Man just like all of us. There was no special mark on His body to identify Him. The purity He had was not seen in an Hallo around His Head or a shining light around His body. But All His purity was in His Heart. This is where our own purity also lies today, not seen on our head.
Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.: Judas betrayed His Master with a Kiss. Judas embraced His Master but with an Evil Heart. He kissed the Lord yet betrayed Him. He had come into a great familiarity with Jesus that He could Kiss Him on the cheek Yet it was to betray Him. He called Him ‘Rabbi’, Yet he Betrayed Him. Few hours ago, He broke bread and drank wine with His Master, few hours ago, Jesus washed His Feet but yet that did not made Him give up the Evil in his Heart. I wonder how He could come so close to His Master’s Face and Yet not convicted. When Peter denied Jesus, seeing Jesus Face far away convicted him. But Judas have suppressed his conscience and given Himself to be used by the Devil. There are many even today, who betray Jesus with a Kiss. They speak so much about Him yet betray Him with their actions. They call Him ‘Rabbi’ but not the Lord of their life. They break bread in His presence but betray Him in the way they speak with and treat their Wife at Home. Those who retain Evil in the Heart and Yet embrace the Lord in pretense are Judas of our days. Let us therefore examine ourselves, lest we are categories among those whom the Lord have to say to, “It is better You were not born”
But Jesus said to him, “Friend, why have you come?” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him.: Look at the immediate Response of Jesus to the one who was betraying Him. This was the one whom He has been so good to for three and half years. This was one of whom he had not gossiped about his stealing the Group Money for three and half years. This is one of whom He gave Powers to Heal the Sick and cast out demons. This was one of whom He had enjoyed so much invitation because of His Master. But Yet, when He was betraying His Master, His Master called Him Friend. Here we see the tremendous love that was in Jesus even for Judas. When Peter was trying to advise Jesus not to go to the Cross, Jesus turned and called Him “Satan(Matt 16:23), but when Judas was actually betraying Him, He called Him” Friend” The Love of God is different from Human Love in this sense that Human Love needs a response to continue Loving. Human Love only love those who Love in return. Human love comes and disappears when confronted with Evil and hatred in return. But God’s love is unchanging, it is not affected by the response, it doesn’t matter how people behave towards God, He still Loves them and continue to do. We cannot understand the depth of God’s Love until we see How He loves His enemies. Man became an enemy of God after Adam fell in the Garden of Eden. And we see the greatest manifest of God’s Love that He sent His Son to Die for us on the Cross. Romans 5:8 says, ” But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” This is Divine Love!!! Anything Less than this is Human Love. And very often when we speak about Love, we are only referring to Human Love. When We say we Love one another, what we are saying is, “We Love those who Love us in return” This is Human!!! Divine love can Love when Hatred is given in return. We see a great example of Divine Love in Jesus attitude to Judas, an enemy who was betray Him despite all the good things He had done for Him. He calls Him friend, meaning, “You can come back even though You betray Me”. But the pity was that Judas did not come back. This is a Lesson we must learn for We shall also Face similar experiences on Earth. People will betray us and deny us, returning our good for Evil, being ungrateful for all the good we have done for them and people can be Evil to us without any cause at all. And we have a Flesh that seeks for revenge, we all know what it feels like within when people treat us like that. And we need to cleanse ourselves from the Corruption in our flesh in time of Temptations when someone like Judas confronts us. We must never curse or threaten those who do us Evil. They are only bringing the Father’s Cup to us to drink. No one can harm us if the Father has not permitted it. Shame on believers who still raise curse on their enemies and wish that God would Judge their enemies. It is a mark of a heart that is not filled with God’s Love to wish that those who do Evil to us die. No matter how Evil a person May be, we must see Him as a Friend. We must believe in Romans 8:28 which says, ” And we know that ALL THINGS work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose”. It is ignorance and lack of faith in the Promises of God that makes us curse and hate our enemies. When I find myself in a Church where people are asked to curse and destroy their enemies, All I do is close my eyes gently and ask God for Mercy. Will You be happy if you find of your enemies in Hell? Will You be happy if one of the person whom Christ died for goes to Hell. Remember Christ died for You while You were still His enemy.
And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.: John 18:10,tells us that it was Peter that drew His swords and struck the servant of the High Priest. Jesus had warned Peter earlier to Watch and Pray lest He falls into temptation but He ignored it. And now that Temptation came, Peter fell. Instead of reacting in a Divine way, He reacted in a Human Way. We fall each time we react like a Child of Adam instead of a Child of God. The children of Adam will hit back whenever they are hit. And this is exactly what Peter did. But Jesus with the same Flesh that Peter had had taken time watched and prayed in the Garden. The reason why we Sin is because we were not watchful and praying when we should. We think we are capable not recognising that we are weak. Only Humble People seek God in prayer. The more Humble we become, the more we pray. And God gives Grace to the Humble. And if we receive Grace from God in every situation we find ourselves, it is Impossible to Sin(Romans 4:16). We also read in Luke 22:51 that Jesus healed the ear of this Servant. To see the debt of Jesus Love, You have to become His enemies. These people hated him and wanted to capture Him and destroy Him but they saw the greatest of His Love when He healed the ear cut off by one of His disciples.
But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. : Jesus told is Disciples In Luke 22:36, ” he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one” and Peter could have said, “Lord what do you mean by don’t use the Sword? Aren’t you the one that asked us to take a sword? That’s why we brought the sword to defend You”. And I perceived that Jesus was saying, “That’s not what I asked you to bring the sword for, You must never use the sword in attack. The sword was to be used to defend yourself in case the Roman Soldier lifts up their swords against You” The sword was for defence not for attack. So when we put this two commands together which are, ” Buy Yourself a Sword” and “Put Your Sword away” we understand what Jesus means. It is wrong for us to attack people but it is perfectly okay to defend ourselves when we are attack.
Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?”: Jesus was saying, “I don’t need you to defend Me. There are 72,000 Angels(A Legion is 6,000, so Twelve Legions is, 6000*12=72,000) in Heaven whom the Father can put in my Disposal if I just ask Him. It is not because I am unable to defend myself, but it is because I don’t want to defend myself. All I want to do is fulfill the Scriptures. It is more important for Me to fulfill the word of God than to ease suffering” This is the attitude we see in Jesus. It was more important for Him to fulfill God’s word than to escape suffering. We can also examine ourselves if this is our attitude to the word of God. Is it more important for us to obey God’s word or is it more important for us to escape personal suffering and discomfort? This is the test of our Discipleship that when it comes to the time of personal suffering, are we still willing to follow God’s word and obey it whatever the cost? Or do we seek to defend ourselves or pray that God would send His Angels to rescue us or protect us from People who hurts us. In the old testament, we read of God sending His Angels to protect His People. But in the New Covenant, those who follow Jesus are not protected from their enemies. God Allows His Children to Suffer and be killed. Because In Death, He manifests a greater glory of those who are faithful until death. If you ask God to save you from every single problem in Life, how will you fulfill Your ministry? How shall Scriptures be fulfilled? God Allows us to go through difficult situation so that we can have a ministry to others of what we have experience of God. Rich ministry flows from a life that has gone through many different trials and difficulties and in the midst of it has experienced the mighty power of God. Listen to a Man who has gone through suffering in his walk with God and You will find rich content in his words.
In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me. But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.: Jesus showed the unreasonableness of them coming to Him with swords and Clubs as if He was going to run away or fight back. He has always been with them in the synagogue but they could not arrest Him there because His time had not yet come. But now that His time had come, He gave Himself away. No one could lay hands on Jesus until His time had come. If we walk in His Footsteps seeking to please the Father as He did, it would also be true in our lives also. Everything that would happen in our lives will also be to fulfill what the Father has written about us.
Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled: These folks who had said, “we will never Leave you” fled when they saw a risk to their own. And this has been true from the history of Christianity that when we face trouble and risk to our own lives we will also Forsake Christ unless we are filled with the Holy Spirit and have built up our love for Jesus Christ in our hearts. Those who are self confident and say, “Even if all men Forsake you, I will not!!!” Will always be the first to leave. Let Him who thinks He stands take heed lest He fails. It is good for us to have low thoughts about ourselves and our spirituality and recognize that we could deny the Lord ourselves if we don’t receive Grace from God.
Dear Friend, Look unto Jesus as Your Example in Everything and you will never go astray. Look at His attitude to His enemies, Look at His Love to Judas. This is the Way we are called to walk in His Steps. May the Lord give us Grace and open our eyes to see Him Clearly in Jesus name(Amen). God bless You. Have a blessed day.
#Everyday with Jesus.
The Arrest of the Messiah!!!