Faithlife Sermons

HG153-155 Matthew 26:47-57, 59-68, Mark 14:43-52, 55-65, Luke 22:47-53, 63-65, John 18:2-14, 19-24

Harmony of the Gospels  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  24:35
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John 18:2–14 NKJV
2 And Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with His disciples. 3 Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. 4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, “Whom are you seeking?” 5 They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. 6 Now when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 Then He asked them again, “Whom are you seeking?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8 Jesus answered, “I have told you that I am He. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these go their way,” 9 that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, “Of those whom You gave Me I have lost none.” 10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?” 12 Then the detachment of troops and the captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him. 13 And they led Him away to Annas first, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas who was high priest that year. 14 Now it was Caiaphas who advised the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.
John 18:19–24 NKJV
19 The high priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine. 20 Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing. 21 Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them. Indeed they know what I said.” 22 And when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, “Do You answer the high priest like that?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?” 24 Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
Now we come to one of the saddest moments in history. Betrayal is not new. And it happens more often than we think or like. People are always scheming and at its root is normally a thirst for power or money. It is about keeping it or gaining it. Perhaps it is all the more amazing that somehow Judas was Jesus’ friend. How did Jesus allow Him so close when, as He says elsewhere, He knows what is in a man? The part that Jesus played was absolutely genuine, loving Judas as a true friend, whilst knowing he would eventually be used to set in motion the trials and His crucifixion. Frankly, Judas needn’t have got involved. I’m sure that in due course Jesus would have been arrested anyway such was the animosity against Jesus. And indeed it was for this very moment that Jesus had come.
All that happens now is of the utmost importance for this is where all the promises made by God and His Christ are made possible. Promises such as eternal life, the sending of the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ return to take us to be with Him to a place He has prepared for us, and all the other graces and blessings. Without the things that were about to happen there could be no salvation. John ends his Gospel with:
John 20:31 NKJV
31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
And we shall see that Jesus was determined to have these things happen and exercise His Lordship in the situation He had foretold would come. He was pressing towards the cross and nothing could prevent it.
1
In verse one of this chapter the disciples and Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley. And this would have been very symbolic for this was the very place that King David was also betrayed by his friend Ahithophel in
2 Samuel 15:23 NKJV
23 And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people crossed over. The king himself also crossed over the Brook Kidron, and all the people crossed over toward the way of the wilderness.
2 Samuel 15:30–31 NKJV
30 So David went up by the Ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went up; and he had his head covered and went barefoot. And all the people who were with him covered their heads and went up, weeping as they went up. 31 Then someone told David, saying, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “O Lord, I pray, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness!”
It was here, then, that Jesus was also to be betrayed by His friend, Judas, while crossing the Kidron going to the Mount of Olives. Kidron was also symbolic for another reason for it was here that a drain from the temple went down the ravine to drain the blood of sacrifices. During the week of Passover over 200,000 lambs were slain. It was already red with the blood of sacrifice.
2
Before verse 2 came the prayer of Jesus, which we looked at last week, where He was in great distress but said; ‘not my will but yours be done’. The stress was so much, we were told by Luke:
Luke 22:44 NKJV
44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Jesus knew exactly what was going to befall Him and it was not the horror of torture, nor His disciples desertion, nor anything else but the knowledge He was going to pay the penalty for our sins. And we can really personalise it: for my sins. MY sins.
How despicable is Judas! The Garden was a regular meeting place for Jesus and the disciples though we have no record of such meetings. We really are not told everything about the life of Jesus and His disciples. But the place held special and precious memories for them and yet it was defiled by one of their own.
3
So, here he comes, the treacherous one! A detachment of soldiers known as a cohort, would have been 600 men who thought they were after some insurrectionist trying to raise an army. And they would all be carrying swords. With them were the temple guards with their clubs. They came to arrest Jesus away from the people so there’d be no riot but ‘be prepared' was their motto. And then Judas stepped forward, according to Mark, to kiss the Master in his sign of betrayal.
4-6
There was no cowering from Jesus for He had already decided He was doing the Father’s will and He stepped forward to meet this crowd without fear and clearly identifying Himself. Jesus was not the victim of circumstance but was proactive in the plan of God. He is, after all, the One in control, the King of history. And when He did identify Himself they all fell to the ground backwards. Now why did that happen? How did that happen? Again this is a clear demonstration of Who He is. When they asked for Him He replied ‘ I AM’. Not ‘I am He’ as translated here. But simply ‘I AM’. Just two words in English and in Greek but hearkens back to the burning bush:
Exodus 3:14 NKJV
14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”
Jesus was demonstrating His power and authority just as when He calmed the seas, still winds, healed the sick, raised the dead. Jesus is God and at His name they all fell down and they were blessed, as it fitted the purposes of God, that they did not die as a result. He was showing that He was not being taken as an unwilling captive but that they had been arrested by Him. And we know this because earlier in this Gospel we are told:
John 10:17–18 NKJV
17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”
At the name of Jesus everyone will bow whether be choice or by force. The Romans, who were the world’s superpower, and the Jews and indeed everyone present fell down before Him.
7-9
Then, not only that, making it clear Who was really in charge He gave them an order. Do you see it here in verse 8? Here He was, on the verge of being arrested giving orders. If anyone wants to know whether Jesus was God or not only look to this. You cannot order a Roman Soldier not less to those who was there to arrest you. What authority! He spoke and they could not resist. What authority! For they listened and obeyed. What authority! He put them under arrest!
Clearly they had originally come to arrest Jesus and all that were in the Garden. And so after they fell to the ground and Jesus had identified Himself twice as the One whom they had come to arrest it must have seemed reasonable to let the others go. I do wonder how they explained this when they got back to the barracks!
In just the same way as Jesus controlled His own destiny He is in control of ours. Though it is not possible to see it in the midst of it but being reminded that despite how things seem God is at work. And God’s work is unfathomable. We only need to look at Job, that if you are reading the 3 year plan, you are presently in on this journey. Job was not told why these things happened to him and he was made to wish he’d never been born such was the pain and depression. He is not the only example for there is Joseph who was sold into slavery, falsely accused, jailed, forgotten by friends. How can anyone see God being in control through these things except the believing faith that will trust no matter what. And as it was with Job, with Joseph and with Jesus, people and the devil may intend evil, but God intends it for good.
All those who journey, soon or late,
Must pass within the garden’s gate;
Must kneel alone in darkness there,
And battle with some fierce despair.
God pity those who cannot say,
“Not mine but thine,” who only pray,
“Let this cup pass,” and cannot see
The purpose in Gethsemane.
10-11
Oh Peter! Peter still didn’t get it! Fearful and not realising that Jesus could call on a legion of angels to help Him, lashed out. Peter was loyal in a blind way which zeal without knowledge leads them to get the wrong end of the stick, or sword in this instance. He cut off the right ear of the High Priest’s servant, Malchus, and Luke tells us that Jesus heals him immediately showing again who is in control. Was this not love for His enemies? …to do good to those who seek to harm you?
Jesus knew that all the things that were coming upon Him was in God’s purposes and plan. He had come to do His will and now He has moved forward to meet it head on. He was going to drink the bitter cup which is ours to drink so that we do not have to. Instead we are cleared of our guilt and sin and forgiven in totality.
Now came the shoddy trials which were even against their own laws. The first of which is that a trial should not be held at night.
19-24
Adding to the historicity of the Gospel we are told in verse 13 that Caiaphas, who had accidentally prophesied that Jesus should die for the people, was High Priest. Yet in verse 19, when Jesus was standing before Annas, he is called the High Priest. And you cannot have two or can you?! Actually Annas was the real High Priest having become so in 6AD. To be High Priest was for life but the Roman Governor, Valerius Gratus, didn’t like so much power concentrated in only one person’s hand and so deposed Annas in 15AD. As far as the Jews were concerned this was irrelevant: Annas was High Priest until he died. But Valerius changed high priests every so often and so Annas was succeeded by his five sons and then by Caiaphas, his son-in-law, who we are told was High Priest THAT year. But Annas remained the power behind the throne.
So Annas questions Jesus and Jesus points to what He had said and done and to seek testimony among those were there present. As a result one of those at this mock trial slapped Jesus.
There is so much wrong and against the law it is amazing that these people were sitting in on judgement of Jesus. It was against the law to question in such a way that He would self-convict. It was against the law to hit an unconvicted person. Jesus said nothing wrong but to point out that there were many witnesses to Jesus’ teaching and it would be lawful to hear them.
It is always easier to silence the person speaking when they speak the truth. Those who oppose it cannot deny it but will do anything in their power to discredit you for they love darkness more than light.
This is reminiscent of what happens today. No one likes the truth to be told whether it is that something is a lie, or about homosexuality, or about marriage, or about transgenderism or about any number of things. The tolerant are not tolerant of beliefs in Christ or of morality. As it is not an argument that cannot be won they seek to silence us or call us names, like ‘bigot’ ‘homophobic’ and so on. This is nothing new. And if our silence cannot be achieved this way there is a way through no-platforming or banning, which is the in thing these days, or silence through the courts or, ultimately, with violence.
Jesus experienced this when He was hit, and worse, was crucified. Jesus is King of kings, the Creator, the One who shines like the noon-day sun, who is Almighty. Hit Him and surely you will be pulverised. If only they truly knew Who He was for then they would have fallen down before Him in homage and worship and fear. Yet, in all this, Jesus did not retaliate.
Conclusion
Jesus experienced all these things and in Him we find the example by which we are to live our lives. Remember that He is the Lord of history, He is in control, just as He was in His own life, He has ours in His hands. When the world seems to be falling apart we still have, even in the darkest of dark times, a promise:
Romans 8:28 NKJV
28 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.
Let us, then, trust Him completely and worship Him who went through all that for us.

Benediction

Romans 11:33–36 CSB
33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments and untraceable his ways! 34 For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? 35 And who has ever given to God, that he should be repaid? 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen.

Bibliography

Hughes, R. K. (1999). John: that you may believe. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.
Kruse, C. G. (2003). John: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 4). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Paterson, A. (2010). Opening Up John’s Gospel. Leominster: Day One Publications.
Walvoord, J. F., & Zuck, R. B., Dallas Theological Seminary. (1985). The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Exported from Logos Bible Software, 19:50 29 February 2020.

Extra (not included in sermon)

John calls the Mount of Olives, known as Gethsemane, a garden which reminds us of another one at the beginning of Scripture, the Garden of Eden:
Preaching the Word: John—That You May Believe His Lordship in the Symbolismof the Surroundings (v. 1)

The symbolism is this:

• The first Adam began life in a garden. Christ, the second Adam, came at the end of his life to a garden.

• In Eden Adam sinned. In Gethsemane the Savior overcame sin.

• In Eden Adam fell. In Gethsemane Jesus conquered.

• In Eden Adam hid himself. In Gethsemane our Lord boldly presented himself.

• In Eden the sword was drawn. In Gethsemane it was sheathed.

When Peter tried to defend Jesus from Judas and the multitude to prevent the arrest Jesus told him to put away his sword. He has to drink the cup of God's wrath. We looked at this last week, too. The cup is Old Testament allegory for the anger of God:
Psalm 75:8 NKJV
8 For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, And the wine is red; It is fully mixed, and He pours it out; Surely its dregs shall all the wicked of the earth Drain and drink down.
Isaiah 51:17 NKJV
17 Awake, awake! Stand up, O Jerusalem, You who have drunk at the hand of the Lord The cup of His fury; You have drunk the dregs of the cup of trembling, And drained it out.
Jeremiah 25:15 NKJV
15 For thus says the Lord God of Israel to me: “Take this wine cup of fury from My hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send you, to drink it.
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