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John 18:1-11, The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

Wednesday, March 28

Confrontation

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

 put down your sword

The time has come. Several times before, the chief priests sought to capture or silence Jesus, and he slipped away. But he had made too much noise. He had stirred things up. He could not continue to elude them. And he knew the time was ripe for his sacrifice and transformation. His disciples were ready. God's word had begun to percolate in the hearts of many. The time was now.

Even so, the event of Jesus' capture (surrender) could have gone many ways. Tensions were high, and no one knew just what to expect. Any act of aggression or reaction could have set the whole place on fire and many could have been lost. But Jesus kept it together. He calmed the arresting forces. He calmed the disciples. This night would not be about the eruption of violence. This night would be calm and quiet. Quite the opposite of what they had all prepared for. But it would all go down according to Jesus' plan. He would walk willingly and intentionally toward the cross.

Narrative Lectionary Text: John 18:1-11

After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus replied, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they stepped back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken, “I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me.” Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?”