47 While Jesus was still speaking, Judas arrived. He was one of the Twelve. A large crowd was with him. They were carrying swords and clubs. The chief priests and the elders of the people had sent them. 48 Judas, who was going to hand Jesus over, had arranged a signal with them. “The one I kiss is the man,” he said. “Arrest him.” 49 So Judas went to Jesus at once. He said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. 50 Jesus replied, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then the men stepped forward. They grabbed Jesus and arrested him. 51 At that moment, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword. He pulled it out and struck the servant of the high priest with it. He cut off the servant’s ear. 52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him. “All who use the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I can’t ask my Father for help? He would send an army of more than 70,000 angels right away. 54 But then how would the Scriptures come true? They say it must happen in this way.” 55 At that time Jesus spoke to the crowd. “Am I leading a band of armed men against you?” he asked. “Do you have to come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courtyard teaching. And you didn’t arrest me. 56 But all this has happened so that the words of the prophets would come true.” Then all the disciples left him and ran away.
This passage, read many times before, has made me stop and think about the clash of emotions going on here. The intimacy of a friends’ greeting – Jesus & Judas eye to eye & then betrayal. Anger & aggression as a slave looses his ear (Jesus’ compassion in Luke’s gospel healing the slave Lk 22:51). The power and supremacy of the arrestors – and Jesus calm yet assertive responses and his surrender to the fulfillment of scripture. What a hectic few minutes and lastly, fear as all the disciples desert.
Clubs and swords, aggression and fear – no one really knew how to respond in all of this except for Jesus. He had just spent a considerable time in prayer in the presence of the Father. What an amazing difference this made to Him, knowing from the scriptures – God’s Word – how to respond and walk His life as this hectic moment unfolded. Jesus is showing me how to walk through the things that are overwhelming to me at the moment. Prayer and staying in God’s word, staying in His presence.
Father, thank you for the amazing example of Jesus, that when I don’t know how to respond I can look to His example to me … spend time praying and spend time in your Word … spend time with You!
Written by Suzie Hodgson