John 18

After praying, probably near or in the temple, they leave the city, cross the Kidron valley, returning to Olive Mountain and an olive grove (and press?) named Gethsemane where they often go.  Judas knows the place and leads temple guards there to arrest Him.  Jesus' words show His power to resist arrest.  See 2 Kings 1:9-16 for a similar event.  Jesus does this to protect and free the disciples.  Peter starts to fight, but Jesus stops him.

He is arrested and taken to Caiaphas.  Peter and John follow a ways away.  John knows the courtyard servants and can get in - he gets Peter in, too, but Peter denies knowing Jesus to the girl keeping the door.

When they question Jesus, He asks why they do it, revealing their sinful motives.  They resort to violence and appeal to rank.

Peter denies Jesus twice more and then a rooster crows.

The Sanhedrin take Him to Pilate for the death sentence, which they aren't allowed to give.  They have a hard time convincing him Jesus is worthy of death.  Jesus says He is a king, but not of an earthly kingdom that will fight him.  All truth leads to Him, but Pilate's cynicism and despair keeps the truth far from him.

He declares Jesus innocent, and offers to release Him or Barabbas, an assassin or terrorist.  They ask for Barabbas!  They would rather have to deal with a zealot who fights them as much as Rome, than have to deal with Jesus.

Jesus shows that He has power to stop His arrest, but then lets them.  In the same way, He has power to end any of our difficulties immediately, but there is a greater purpose for them.  Even in the midst of such difficulties, He is truly protecting us.

There are moments we like Peter will be "cool-shamed:" offered a spot with the cool and with-it people in exchange for denying we follow Jesus or holding to the truth.  "You're not one of those weirdos who believes x, are you?"  What will you say?

What are you using right now as an excuse to not deal with Jesus' demands on your life?  What other good cause is occupying your time and energy so much that it replaces your loyalty to Jesus?  For many Jews, it was Barabbas' pursuit of political liberty from oppressors.

No comments:

Post a Comment