John 18: Jesus is in Control PDF Print E-mail
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After saying his prayer, Jesus and his disciples went to a garden. Judas also came with soldiers and officers and they brought lanterns, torches and weapons. This is quite interesting because Adam and Eve were in a garden and the serpent also came to the garden. Jesus is the true Light and John mentioned about the soldiers and officers coming with some light.

Another translation (Young's Literal Translation) says Judas “delivered” Jesus to the soldiers and officers. It was as if Judas had possession of Jesus and he brought Jesus to them.

When Jesus saw the mob coming, he confronted them. He asked them who they were looking for. When they answered they were looking for “Jesus of Nazareth”, Jesus replied, “I am he.” His response, although translated as “I am he” was actually, “I AM”. Jesus told them who he was, he was God! Because of this, the mob stepped backward and fell to the ground.

In the Garden of Eden, Adam was with Eve and he let her confront the serpent on her own. In this garden, Jesus, the new Adam, was there to confront evil. When he faced evil, he did not hide in fear. Instead, he faced it squarely and boldly - showing he was in control.

 Lord, when I am confronted by evil, be with me to defend me for I am weak. Let me not trust in my own power. Instead, let me confront them with you.

He asked them a second time, and they replied the same. Jesus told them they were looking for him and he told them to let the others go. In the garden, Adam left Eve by herself with the serpent. Even when Eve ate the fruit, he did not confront her. He even gave in to her. But here, Jesus confronted evil and sought to protect those that were his so none would be lost.

The Battle Begins

Peter saw this as the “sign” to start to fight. Peter drew his sword and struck the high priest's servant, Malchus. Malchus is a Hebrew name taken from the word Melek which means King.

This king turned out to be a servant, a pretender. Peter struck their “king”. The Prince of the Apostles was waging a war against the 'pretender-king'. But Jesus told him to put the sword down because this was his battle. When confronted by evil, the battle we fight is not our own. We are soldiers, waiting for Jesus to fight. Jesus fights for us. He is always there to confront evil. We fight evil based on how Jesus would want to. We listen to our commander.

With this, the soldiers, officers and commanding officer seized Jesus and bound him. The commanding officer was not just a commanding officer. Literally, he was the commander of a thousand soldiers.

The root word for commanding officer meant a thousand, thousands. With this, John drew a picture of Jesus against a thousand soldiers - and still, Jesus was in control. God faced the thousand, thousands of the army of evil.

In this, God seemed to lose. They had him. They bound him and had control of him.

In our difficulties, when we are overwhelmed, when we feel evil has triumphed, we look back to this scene. Thousands and thousands bound God, yet God was in control!

God is always in control of our situation! In the end, we shall overcome, we shall be victorious.

Yes Lord. In the midst of difficulties and sifferings, let me remember you are in control.Jesus, you alone faceda thousand, thousands, yet you were still in control. It may look like they have won. But in the end, you shall prove victorious.

The Trial of Jesus

They brought Jesus to Annas. His name comes from the Hebrew Hananaiah, which means God has favored. This is interesting because Satan used to be Lucifer, God's favorite angel before he rebelled against God. Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas. The name Caiaphas means a dell - a secluded hollow or small valley usually covered with trees or turf (Merriam-Webster dictionary).

A disciple known to the high priest entered the court with Jesus. Peter was outside and the disciple went out and told the woman at the door to let Peter in. The woman asked Peter if he was a disciple of Jesus. Peter denied it.

At this point, Jesus, the disciple and Peter were in the court. The soldiers were in the court warming themselves at the fire. Peter stood with them, warming himself.

Now, the trial begins.

God Reveals Himself

Jesus was presented to Annas, God's favored. God was before Satan himself. Annas asked Jesus about his disciples and his teachings. Jesus said he taught openly, he did not say anything in secret.

When God speaks, he says nothing in secret. Jesus speaks the truth openly. God reveals himself truthfully and openly. He does not speak in riddles. He reveals and speaks plainly. There is no reason not to believe him.

Lord, may I see you as you reveal yourself to me. May my perceptions and preconceived ideas not cloud your revelation. May I accept you as you are.

The officer did not like what he heard so he slapped Jesus. Jesus responded that he spoke no evil so therefore, did not deserve it. The discussion ended there and Annas sent Jesus to Caiaphas. Jesus was still bound.

Peter was standing with the soldiers and they asked him if he was one of Jesus' disciples. Peter again denied it. One of the relatives of Malchus asked Peter if he saw him in the garden with Jesus. Peter again denied it and the rooster crowed. After Peter denied Jesus, evening has past. Morning begins. The darkness will slowly be defeated.

Peter's denial of Jesus was the lowest point of his faith. Yet, it was after his denial that morning begins. In our life, when we are at our lowest, that is when God begins to lift up the darkness.

The Morning Begins

Caiaphas was with Pilate in the Praetorium very early in the morning. It is ironic the chief priests and leaders did not want to defile themselves but here they were, before God himself! They were abusing him and plotting to kill him. They wanted to be clean to eat the Passover Lamb, but they had no problem killing an innocent man. They had to kill the true Passover Lamb first before they could eat it. They had to kill God's Lamb before they could be saved from death.

Pilate came out and asked them on their charges against Jesus. They did not say anything except Jesus was an evil doer. Pilate did not want to deal with the issue but they persisted and said they wanted to crucify Jesus. They brought Jesus to Pilate so he could sentence Jesus to death, because only the Romans had authority to crucify anyone. The leaders wanted what was lawful, but not what was right.

Lord, let me do what is right. Let me see you and honor you.Guide me Jesus in all I do. Let me not be bound by human traditions. Instead, letme see you as you are. Remove whatever prevents me from seeing you Lord.

The King of the Jews

Pilate entered the Praetorium and asked Jesus, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Pilate probably heard of rumors about this man from Nazareth who entered Jerusalem a few days ago as a king. If he was the king of the Jews, then he should be crucified. Jesus' reply was interesting.

He did not answer Pilate's question, but he asked a question, “Do you say this by yourself or did others tell you?” In this trial, Pilate was supposed to be the judge. But Jesus was the one asking the questions. He was not asking the questions to clarify something. He was asking the question for Pilate to answer.

We too have to answer these questions: Is Jesus my King? Do I say this because others say so or is it based on my conviction? Who is Jesus? Do I know him because someone told me or do I know him because I really know him?

Lord, who are you to me? Let me answer that question truthfully. Remove whatever blinds me from seeing who you are. Lord, come; because I want to know who you are. I want to accept you as my King.

Pilate replied with two questions. “I’m not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered you to me. What have you done?”

Jesus said his kingdom was not from this world. If it was, his followers would fight and he would not have been delivered to the Jews. He did not say he was delivered to Pilate, but he was delivered to the Jews. Pilate then asked Jesus again, “Are you a king then?”

What is Truth?

Jesus told Pilate his mission: he did not come to rule the world. He came to testify to the truth. He added, anyone who is of the truth listens to his voice. Pilate was probably frustrated and said, “What is truth?” This is another question everyone has to answer. What truth was Jesus talking about?

Many people today claim to know the truth. There are issues on morality and ethics that conflict with God's original plan. We have our own truth. God has his own truth. In the end, whose truth really matters?

In John 7:18, Jesus said “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory, but he who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.” He also spoke of the Spirit, “for he will not speak from himself; but whatever he hears, he will speak. He will declare to you things that are coming” (John 16:13).

The truth is what comes from God. Jesus speaks whatever comes from the Father. He works for the glory of the one who sent him. Jesus is the truth. When Pilate asked, “What is truth?”, he was before Truth himself and he did not realize it.

How often have I come before you Lord, seeking your will, yet, right before me is your will? I would not accept it because it was not convenient and it was difficult. Your truth was not what I wanted to hear. It did not fit my wants. Lord, for those times, forgive me. Let me work for your glory. Let me accept your truth, no matter how difficult it is for me.

Pilate went out and told the leaders he found no basis for crucifying Jesus and would like to release him. Pilate gave them the choice on whether they wanted to release their Messiah or not.

They choose Barabbas (which meant, father's son). They wanted a pretender and not the Truth. They wanted a robber instead of God. This brings us back to Chapter 10. Jesus said, the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. They were given a choice, the true Son of the Father or the false one. The one who came to give them life or the one who came to steal, kill and destroy. This was a choice between God and Satan. And they choose Satan.

Who should we choose? Who do we choose?

Very often, I am confronted with this choice. Do I want my true King or do I want a lie? Who is more important, Jesus or something else? Very often, I choose other things. Lord, have mercy on me. Let me choose you always.
 

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My reflections on the Gospel According to St. John is available at Amazon.com (ISBN: 1440410097) or at CreateSpace.