Summary of passages: Matthew 26:47-56: Judas arrives as Jesus is with the other disciples in Gethsemane. There is a large crowd armed with swords and clubs with him. Judas kissed Jesus, his sign to the guards as to which one was Jesus. Jesus was seized and one of the disciples cut off a servant’s ear. Jesus chastised him, saying to put his sword back for all who draw the sword die by the sword. Jesus said he could easily escape if he wanted to but instead must fulfill Scripture.
Jesus spoke to the crowd, wondering why they are armed. The disciples all abandoned Jesus.
John 18:1-11: Jesus left the Kidron Valley and went over to an olive grove. Judas familiar with the place came and brought soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns, and weapons.
Jesus met them and asked who they were seeking. They answered, “Jesus of Nazarth.” Jesus said, “I am he” and they drew back and fell to the ground. He asked they let his disciples go. Simon Peter drew his sword and cut off Malchus’s, the servant of the high priest, ear. Jesus told him to put his sword away so he could drink the cup the Father has given him.
3a) Simon Peter
b) The soldiers could have attacked and killed all of them including Jesus who would then not have been able to die on the cross for our sins as well as killing the disciples who spread the Good News to the world.
c) He still didn’t understand that this was Jesus’ destiny and God’s plan because he tried to prevent it.
d) Personal Question. My answer: I can’t answer this. I’m not for sure. I believe all things have a purpose and in my adult life I believe I have been following God. Even if it’s turns out to be wrong because I misinterpreted Him or heard wrongly, it is still His purpose for my life.
4a) Matthew 26:56: “Then all the disciples deserted him.”
Mark 14:50: “Then everyone deserted him and fled.”
[Side Note: Several sources I read said Jesus was humiliated by his arrest. As I note below, Jesus willingly gave himself up to the soldiers. I don’t see how he would be humiliated because of this. However, I believe the fact that his brothers in arms (the disciples) fled would have brought shame and grief to Jesus’ soul more so than being tied up and led to his destiny.]
b) John 18:6: “When Jesus said, ‘I am he,’ they drew back and fell to the ground.”
c) He tells them immediately who he is and asks for his disciples to be freed (John 18:8).
Luke 22:51: “No more of this!” and Jesus touched the man’s ear and healed him.
d) John 18:9: “This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: ‘I have not lost one of those you gave me’”.
John 18:11: “Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”
Matthew 26:54: “But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen this way?”
Matthew 26:56: “But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.”
Mark 14:49: “But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.”
Luke 22:53: “But this is your hour–when darkness reigns.”
Conclusions: Loved this lesson except for the personal question that was a bit of a stretch as it assumes we know God’s mind in our lives. Loved how we read all the passages of this scene in the Bible. Great comparison study!
End Notes: Again, it’s important to note that Jesus did not hide from Judas. He could have gone somewhere Judas would not have known where to find him; but, instead, it was not God’s plan.
We never think of the disciples as carrying swords but at various times (as shown here) they did. Probably for personal safety especially while traveling to ward off robbers and thieves. Most men owned and knew how to use a sword in first century AD.
The number of soldiers in a legion varied over time. This could have been anywhere between 5400 to 6000 fighting men. Imagine 12 of these legions of angels, fighting for Jesus. What an awesome sight to behold!
How quickly do the disciples abandon Jesus after saying they never would at the Last Supper. Yet Jesus knew (Matthew 26:31). Imagine his heart-break, seeing his staunchest believers blanch in the face of cowardice.
Arrested is not the right verb here. Jesus willingly gave himself up. The verb here is describing the actions of man, not of God.
Map of Garden of Gethsemane: HERE
Curiosity: Anyone else wonder how Gethsemane became a “garden”? Matthew and Mark just describe it as a “place.” Luke describes it as the place Jesus customarily went on the Mount of Olives. John describes it as “across the Kidron Valley in an olive grove”. Somehow it is now known as the “Garden of Gethsemane” where Jesus was arrested. Probably lost in translation somewhere along down the line. Either way it’s a secluded place, calm and peaceful, where Jesus retreated and was arrested that fateful night.
Scholars say it was in fact a garden as it is the second time God fights for mankind with the devil. The first was in the Garden of Eden. The second is here–in the Garden of Gethsemane.
If you visit Israel today, you can visit a place where scholars believe may have been the Garden of Gethsemane. Click HERE to visit the official tourist website. The garden and the olive trees were destroyed by the Romans in the siege of 70 AD but scholars believe these trees today are descendants of those original ones. Click on the picture to enlarge the olive trees and you’ll get a sense of where Jesus stood.