John 18:8-14 ESV
John 6:39 ESV
John 17:12 ESV
I remember as a child knowing Jesus came for me. I know that probably seems crazy, but it made perfect sense to me at the time.
After all, we sang the song, “Jesus Loves Me, this I know for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong.”
Looking back, the theology of a four year old is wonderful.
Jesus Loves Me.
I know it.
The Bible says it’s true.
I am little and I belong to Him.
I am weak (because I am little).
He is strong.
I think Jesus Loves Me is the first song I sang to my children. We sang it a lot. I don’t recall my older children making fun of their little brother when He sang it. I consider that a miracle because there was a bit of an age difference between my older sons and my youngest son.
Nobody made fun of that song.
Now I remember singing that same song to my oldest grandchildren (who are now in college) and I’ve heard my five year old grandson sing it.
At some point (probably in the 70’s) my kids sang a rock version of it. The words didn’t change and the melody was almost the same but the instruments and tempo were different.
I’m okay with that if it helps children remember the song and the theology behind the song.
The scripture passage from the night Jesus was arrested is so perfectly written we can see all of the characters and the setting.
In John 18:8-14 we read, “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?” So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.”
Jesus was cooperative in the Garden when the men came for Him. Judas had been with Him and the disciples in the garden many times so it’s no surprise that Judas was able to find Him.
From the first moment, Jesus made it clear to the soldiers, the officers of the chief priests, the Pharisees, and Judas that He was the one they were looking for. He was the only one they were looking for that night. This scripture tells us that was intentional. It was to fulfill scripture that none of Jesus’ disciples were arrested with Him. Jesus was the one they were looking for.
That scripture fulfilled what Jesus had already promised in John 6:39, “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.”
And also to fulfill what Jesus said in John 17:12, “While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.”
Jesus spoke the truth. He came to fulfill the purpose God the Father had for Him.
Jesus protected His disciples…that includes us today. We are His disciples.
In John 18:10 Simon Peter was being normal Peter when he reacted to the Soldiers. It’s interesting that Peter just happened to have a sword and he took a swipe at one of the High Priest’s Servants and sliced off his ear.
At that point Jesus turned to Peter and told him to holster his weapon because this moment had been planned by God the Father. Specifically Jesus said, “Shall I not drink of the cup” chosen by the Father?
Then the soldiers, the captain, and the officers of the Jews arrested and bound Jesus and led Him away. I’m not sure I previously noticed that the soldiers, the captain, and the officers all directly reported to the Jews.
Jesus was Hebrew born of the tribe of Judah. Jesus’ mother Mary and her husband Joseph were of the tribe of Judah. Judah was the Hebrew tribe of kings, like King David and King Solomon. Jesus WAS a Jew.
He was arrested that night by His own Hebrew brothers.
They took Jesus out of the Garden, took Him to appear before Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas the Hebrew High Priest.
At this point, nothing is mentioned about the Romans caring anything at all about arresting Jesus the Hebrew. They were there but they didn’t seem to be running the show. As a matter of fact, Caiaphas the High Priest was the one who felt like “it would be expedient” that one man should die.
And what was the purpose of having one man die?
It was so their cushy life-style would not change. Jesus’ love and healing and the changes He had preached about were endangering their way of life.
Jesus was the revolutionary who preached love and grace.
And He HAD to be silenced.
Still, Jesus Loved Them.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Jesus Loves
You. Believe it. Embrace it.
In God, Deborah