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John 18:1-11

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Opening- God’s sovereignty in Expository preaching.

John 18:1 NASB95
When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the ravine of the Kidron, where there was a garden, in which He entered with His disciples.
Jesus has finished with his words of preparation.
He has finished his prayer where he prays for his glory and the disciple and us
and He now, does what he has done many times before, and Jesus, along with His disciple go to the garden.
But this time, its different.
This time, theres a disciple missing from the group, Judas Iscariot.
But he will be there soon as well, with a pocket full of silver and with armed men.
Look in verse 2
John 18:2 NASB95
Now Judas also, who was betraying Him, knew the place, for Jesus had often met there with His disciples.
The wording here is that Judas is in the process of betraying Him.
He was familiar with the place, that he was sure Jesus would be with the rest of the disciples.
When you think about it, Verse 2 is heart breaking really while at the same time, it reveals the love of Christ and His commitment to the mission of God.
Two things I want you to see from verse 2
1. Judas knew the place, for Jesus had often met there with His disciples. This was their spot. Their place.
Just think of the wisdom that Jesus had imparted to them while they were. Think of the discussions they would have had.
2. Jesus isn’t running. Jesus knows all things. If he were hiding or running, surely he would have changed up his patterns. That’s not what he does. He goes to the same place, a place they were all familiar with including Judas and he prepares for the atonement.
-Jesus is in complete control of the situation.
-He knows it is his hour.
Look in verse 3
John 18:3 NASB95
Judas then, having received the Roman cohort and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns and torches and weapons.
Three types or groups of people we see in verse 3 all against Jesus .
Judas- One of Jesus’s own, has turned against Him.
The Roman Cohort- soldiers. Scholars say the tradition Roman cohort would have number anywhere from 700-1000 men.
They had all these soldiers, not because Jesus was violent, but because of the popularity of Jesus. Remember, just days ago the people were welcoming him and shouting Hosanna to them. They didn’t want a riot.
The Chief Priest and Pharisees.
Another group of Jesus’s own.
I mention that because what we see is that the whole world has turned against Christ at this point.
His closest follower, his own countrymen, and even the Romans are
One of His closest followers Judas , his own countrymen and the Jews, and even the Romans are teamed up with one goal in mind and thats to find him, arrest him, and eventually kill him.
And they come at night, requiring lanterns, and verse 3 also tells us that they come with torches and weapons.
It appears that they are expecting a fight. Jesus wasn’t there to fight, He had never fought anyone.
Jesus isn’t there to fight them. He is there to fight for them. He is there to fight for us.
Verse 4
John 18:4 NASB95
So Jesus, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth and said to them, “Whom do you seek?”
He knew it all. He knew this moment was coming. He knew the precise place that Judas would come.
He knew the timing. He knew every one there, present in Judas’s possy. He had known it from eternity past.
He knew everything that was coming upon him.
He knows that Judas has betrayed Him.
He knows that he is about to face an unjust trial.
He knows that he is about to go to the cross.
And at this point, we look at amazement at Christ. Knowing everything, He went forth.
This is the second time we see he went forth. Verse 1. He went forth. Verse 4, He went forth. Jesus is unwaveringly moving his way to the cross. This is why he came. He went forth.
And he asks them a question:
Whom do you seek?
He knows. This question I believe is more to move this process along than anything. He knows they are there for him, and they tell him they are there for him.
John 18:5 NASB95
They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He said to them, “I am He.” And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them.
Imagine this scene for a moment.
You have Jesus and the 11. They are in a place that they have peacefully met time and time again. and here comes around 1000 people there to arrest Jesus.
Jesus steps forward peacefully.
John seems to make the point clear here who it is that was betraying Jesus.
John makes the point clear as to whom it is that is against Jesus.
This is the second time in this passage that John has mentioned the betrayal.
Verse 2 “Judas, who was betraying Him” Now again verse 5, “Judas also who was betraying him.”
It seems John is making the point clear. Judas is WITH them. He has betrayed Jesus.
He has faked long enough. Time reveals where his heart always was.
This is a point you and I should learn I believe from this passage. There is no fence riding when it comes to the Lord Jesus.
At some point, it will be revealed as to what side of Christ we are.
And hear me out church, Judas would have looked exactly like the rest of the eleven, but he was not.
they would have attended the same events, took part in the same ministry, followed physically the same Jesus.
But eventually, the fruit bears forth what he is.
Time will tell if someone is a genuine believer or not.
This doesn’t mean that a genuine believer never sins, but it does mean that a genuine believer will recognize their wrong and repent. Peter messed up, Peter denied Jesus three times, but he is repentant, and Jesus restores him.
False believers never repent. They continue in their sin. This is why it is so important that we run from sin.
If you are aware of sin in your life, repent of it.
Genesis 4:7 NASB95
“If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”
For a believer, sin can find no rest in our hearts.
When someone can live in peace in their sin, its a clear indication that they are not indwelled by the spirit of Christ.
1 John 1:6 NASB95
If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;
Judas is a liar. He is a hypocrite. He said he had fellowship, but he was walking in darkness.
This is my fear for many in the church today. We say all the right things, but if we are living comfortably in sin in our lives, we look just like Judas. and one day this will be revealed.
Sorry to belabor that point. Lets move on.
John 18:5–6 NASB95
They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He said to them, “I am He.” And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them. So when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
Now your Bible has translated this I am He.
The Greek here is better translated, “I am.”
Now thats significant, right?
I am. We are looking for Jesus the Nazarene.
and he says, I am.
I Am is the Yahweh of the Old Testament.
Jesus is God, and he is saying it again here, and the power that he exhibits in simply saying his name, drops them to the ground. They can’t stand up. Can you imagine when Jesus speaks, and all 700 of them fall.
Psalm 27:2 NASB95
When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
Two important things we learn from this.
Jesus is in control. They can bring all the men they won’t, but Jesus is the Lord of their ability to stand. This is the God we serve.
It also I think does give us a glimpse into the future.
Paul highlights this in
Philippians 2:10 NASB95
so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
These men, who oppose Jesus at the name of Jesus are forced to their backs. One day at the name of Jesus, every one who opposes him will be forced to their knees.
No amount of struggle or intellect or power will be able to overcome the Lordship of Christ. He is sovereign and all will know it.
I believe this took them off guard. They all fall down. And here is where I wonder, at what point are they going to realize that this one is different. That Jesus is who he says he is. But their wretched hearts take over and they do what they want to do.
But Jesus is in control. He moves this along again
Look in verse 7
John 18:7 NASB95
Therefore He again asked them, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus the Nazarene.”
This whole process repeats again. Apparently, 700 men fall to their backs when Jesus speaks gave them pause.
Look at verse 8
John 18:8 NASB95
Jesus answered, “I told you that I am He; so if you seek Me, let these go their way,”
Jesus here again reaffirm. He is the one whom they seek.
He is JESUS of Nazareth, and He is I am.
And the I am looks after those who are his.
If you seek me, let these go their way.
John 18:9 NASB95
to fulfill the word which He spoke, “Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one.”
Jesus is concerned about them. Of these, he lost not one.
Jesus protects His own. Jesus’s heart is for their protection.
He is the good shepherd.
John 10:11 NASB95
“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
He protects them immediately from being arrested with him.
He protects them ultimately from the wrath of God.
He protects them ultimately from the wrath of God.
Not one of Jesus’s true followers are lost.
And He is the only one who can protect them from it.
Peter doesn’t understand this. Peter steps outside the will of God in verse 10
John 18:10 NASB95
Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus.
Bless Peter’s heart. He can’t help it. This is multiple times now that Peter has tried to stand in the way of Christ and Christ doing the Father’s will.
Judas was a fake. A liar. A hypocrite.
What Peter doesn’t understand is that Christ is doing this for him!!! For us!!
But Peter wants to stay good to his promise.
Matthew 26:33–35 NASB95
But Peter said to Him, “Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away.” Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.” All the disciples said the same thing too.
Matt
I will die with you. Jesus doesn’t need Peter to die with Him. Jesus needs to die for Peter.
Everyone else was true and Jesus will never lose them.
But Peter doesn’t understand and apparently his memory is slipping too.
Peter has tried to prevent Jesus from dying before and Jesus rebuked him.
Matthew 16:21–23 NASB95
From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”
Matthew 16:22–23 NASB95
Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”
Peter has been told, but he mistakingly thinks he doesn’t need Christ to die for him. He doesn’t need to be served that way. This reminds us of another time where Peter refused to be served by Christ.
John 13:6–8 NASB95
So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.” Peter said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”
John 13:6–9 NASB95
So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.” Peter said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.”
Here we see again, Peter trying to PREVENT Christ from doing what Christ must do.
Jesus rebukes him again here in chapter 18
John 18:11 NASB95
So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?”
Jesus has come to take the cup of wrath for Peter, for me, for anyone who will believe and trust, and Peter wants to hold that process up.
Jesus will not allow even his good intended follower from stopping him from fulfilling the plan from before the foundation of the world.
and its here in the Garden we see this take place.
Its interesting. It really is the story of two Gardens.
Human history began in the Garden of Eden. Human is changed from the Garden of Gethsemane. In the Garden of Eden, Adam forsakes obedience and all of God’s goodness, to embrace and bring upon all sinfulness and death. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus forsakes all sinfulness, to bring us obedience and goodness and to ultimately usher us back into the Garden of blessing.
Warren Wiersbe beautifully writes,
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Nineteen: Guilt and Grace in the Garden (John 18:1–27)

Eden was the Garden of disobedience and sin; Gethsemane was the Garden of obedience and submission; and heaven shall be the eternal garden of delight and satisfaction, to the glory of God.

The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Nineteen: Guilt and Grace in the Garden (John 18:1–27)

Human history began in a Garden (Gen. 2:8ff), and the first sin of man was committed in that Garden. The first Adam disobeyed God and was cast out of the Garden, but the Last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45) was obedient as He went into the Garden of Gethsemane. In a Garden, the first Adam brought sin and death to mankind; but Jesus, by His obedience, brought righteousness and life to all who will trust Him. He was “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:8).

History will one day end in another garden, the heavenly city that John describes in Revelation 21 and 22. In that garden, there will be no more death and no more curse. The river of the water of life will flow ceaselessly and the tree of life will produce bountiful fruit. Eden was the Garden of disobedience and sin; Gethsemane was the Garden of obedience and submission; and heaven shall be the eternal garden of delight and satisfaction, to the glory of God.

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