When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” 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.) So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?” JOHN 18:1-11
In the midst of the chaos going on around Him, Jesus remains relaxed and calm. Even though He knows what awaits Him in a few short days, Jesus is at peace. Nothing catches Jesus by surprise. He knows everything that is going to unfold. Jesus realizes His purpose for coming to Earth is the cross. This is why He willingly laid down His own life (John 10:17-18).
John is very deliberate about the picture he paints of Jesus. John wants his readers not to see a victim, pushover or a coward. He doesn’t want you to feel sorry for Jesus as if Jesus had been defeated or that His hopes and dreams had been thwarted. John makes it very clear: Jesus is in complete control.
Take for instance verse 4.
Jesus’ response to the guards approaching Him seems to mimic other things we see throughout John’s gospel. Time and time again, Jesus gives hints to the foreknowledge He possessed (John 7:6, John 8:28, John 17:1). Jesus knew Judas would betray Him (John 6:70-71) and that Peter would deny Him (John 13:38)
In the midst of the chaos, God had a plan and this should bring us great comfort. Remember, the picture we hold of Jesus influences our actions and words more than we realize. No other picture has greater implications on the way we respond to this world than the way we view Jesus. If we hold a proper understanding of who God is, we are capable of responding with hope and confidence to any difficult circumstance we face.
But, it comes down to belief and submitting our ways to Him.
Do we believe God not only knows our future plans and has control over them, but that He has our best interest at heart?
Do we believe that even though we might be surprised with the situation we are facing right now that God is not?
Do we believe that God has the power to use that situation, including all the pain, mistakes, confusion, hurt and sin, to transform our character and give Himself glory?
There is hope in whatever situation or circumstance you currently find yourself in. You might think it is hopeless, but God wants you to know it isn’t. He’s in control and all He wants you to do is lay down your will for His.
- Think of a situation where you are struggling to see how God is working in the midst of it. Do you believe that God has the power to use that situation, including all the pain, mistakes, confusion, hurt and sin, to transform your character and give Himself glory? Why or why not?
- How does your answer to the previous question influence your approach to this situation?
God, help me to believe that You are in control even in the midst of the chaos. May this belief enable me to trust You with its’ outcome. Give me the confidence to lay down my will for Your own. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.