2017-01-08 – John 18.1-11 – ARRESTING JESUS

2017-01-08 – John 18:1-11 – ARRESTING JESUS

18 After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus replied, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they stepped back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken, “I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me.” 10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. 11 Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

Good morning everyone – Thank you all for joining us today (guests). It sure feels like January out there lately doesn’t it, lol. Last week’s service here being New Year’s Day, was a real blessing. We talked a little about the coming year and resolutions that we might consider, and I hope you took the time to consider what positive changes you might make to your Born-Again lifestyle going forward.

Someone once said, “I made 6 resolutions last year and I kept them all year long, they are still in an envelope on the top of my file cabinet.”

The salutation for last week’s message was this: Think on things that are pure, beneficial and build up your soul. Everything you do now has meaning.. it has impact. Make this new year of our Lord 2017 your best year ever.

Now would you please turn in your Bible for todays message to John 18.1-11 – ARRESTING JESUS, Page 112 in the Pew Bible.  Which is the Inspired, Infallible, and Living Word of God     [PRAYER]

We are continuing in this Book of John, but starting in these verses today we will see a radical change. Up to this point in Jesus’ Ministry Jesus was doing onto others, saving them, healing them, comforting them. Now the Jews and the Romans are going to do onto Jesus. The last sermon we heard on this, Jesus knew that His time was short, and so He took those last precious minutes and gave a very heartwarming intentional Prayer, not for Himself, but instead for the Disciples and for us. Now we will read here in chapter 18..

The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

18 After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered.

Photo –  Garden of Gethsemane, 1914

According to the gospel books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, after the Last Supper, Jesus and His disciples went out to Gethsemane, a garden located at the edge of the Kidron Valley, thought by scholars to probably have been an olive grove. Once there, Jesus is described as leaving the group for a while so that he could pray privately.

It might interest you to know that although we are reading today from the book of John, this event is also written about in the books of Matthew, Mark and Luke as well. These other three books are referred to as the synoptic gospels because they tell many of same events of Christ’s mission and history. Although each author provides separate details, they are mostly the same stories. The synoptics add that Jesus asked God if there was any other way to accomplish this without going to the cross. In Matthew 26:38 Jesus says to the disciples, “My soul is consumed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me.” Going a little farther, He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” Then Jesus returned to the disciples and found them sleeping. “Were you not able to keep watch with Me for one hour?”

Each of the synoptics state that the disciples that were with Jesus had fallen asleep while Jesus was out by himself praying and taking on all the sin of man in preparation for His crucifixion. Jesus had criticized them for sleeping as He pleaded for them to remain in prayer while He was away. The book of Luke also states that an angel appeared and strengthened Jesus before He returned to the disciples. You might be blessed to read each of these other books to get a good feel of what all took place during this time we refer to as the Passion of Christ.

At this point, Judas then approached and gave Jesus a kiss, which was a pre-arranged sign to the soldiers that had accompanied Judas as to identify who Jesus was. Our story then continues here in John, verse two says:

Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons.

This garden was a familiar spot, the disciples had met there on several occasions. It was intentional that Jesus went there. He knew that Judas would find Him that and that He would be taken prisoner. Judas is known now as the betrayer, and this is the betrayal in action.

Judas is now on the opposing team, the side of the Sanhedrim, the dark side. Reminds me of the movie Star Wars where Darth Vader and his successor Kylo Ren switched from the good side to the bad dark side of the force. Except in this case it wasn’t make believe, this was a real and tragic circumstance.

There was estimated to be 600 to 1,000 Roman soldiers that came to the garden that very early Good Friday morning. Not a small band of officers, but a cohort of men, along with a group of Hebrew officers armed and ready to confront the disciples. Romans frequently used the tactics of Shock and Awe, as they wanted to make a powerful statement to the Jews, and they also were prepared to go house to house to find Jesus if necessary. And it says in our verse here that they came with lanterns and torches and weapons. I am sure it was quite the site to see so many soldiers in pursuit. Like they were hunting for Frankenstein, but instead a sinless savior. What a travesty it was.

Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus replied, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they stepped back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he.

Three times here Jesus says “I am He”. The same overt sentiment is what got Jesus in trouble in the first place. In the previous chapters of John Jesus exclaimed I am the bread of life; I am the light of the world; Before Abraham was, I am; I am the door; I am the good shepherd; I am the resurrection and the life; I am the way, the truth, and the life; I am the true vine. All of these statements refer to Jesus being God, and now He tells them very boldly that “I am He”.

I am sure the Jewish and Roman officials there were just furious at how Jesus takes charge and makes such bold claims. And look at what happened, they fell to the ground at His proclamation.

The Jews and the Romans thought this was going to be their moment, they had the force of the Romans, they had the testimony of Judas, they were cocked and ready.. Then Jesus steps forward and knocks them down like dominos with his words.

The only one that night that was not afraid was the one that was being arrested Jesus Christ. And that same Jesus could have called the host of angels to take the soldiers and officers out, but He didn’t because it was His purpose to die for my sin. Thank You Jesus!

In the next verses, Jesus tells them here:

So if you are looking for me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken, “I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me.” 

Back a few chapters, in John 6:39 Jesus says, And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I shall lose none of all those He has given Me, but raise them up at the last day.

And in chapter 17, when Jesus prayed, He said, “Holy Father, protect them by Your name, the name You gave Me, so that they may be one as We are one. While I was with them, I protected them and guarded them by Your name, the name You gave Me. Not one of them has been lost, except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.”

Jesus was the one being persecuted as a criminal yet He was innocent and sinless. He had all rights to say “You got the wrong guy, I have been framed”, but instead the only thing He says in His defense is “let these men go”. He said that to the persecutors that day, and He will say that again to the judge in Heaven about us. And I know I am so not worthy of His stripes. Thank you Lord!

In verse 10 it says, 10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. 11 Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

You may know that Peter frequently suffered from foot and mouth disease; as several times he open his mouth and put his foot in it. And now this same Peter had a sword. Peter reacted without thinking. Despite Jesus telling them repeatedly what was going to happen and what He was intending to do. Peter finds himself in the wrong place and doing the wrong thing. Peter cuts off the soldiers ear. Ouch! John even mentions the soldiers name, perhaps so people who might have doubted the story could go check with the soldier to confirm or deny what had happened. I believe this story, it is His-story. Do you believe?

This sword that Peter had is understood to be a little sword. Not one to fight an Army, but one for personal defense, maybe to kill a snake. Peter cut off the ear of one of the arresting officers. I can hardly imagine what it must have been like to witness these events unfold. First to watch your savior being betrayed by one of your closest friends, then taken by force by a small Army even though He was innocent. Dr. Luke in the book of Luke adds that Jesus subsequently touched the man’s ear and healed him. I’ve got to think that had to get their attention. Jesus performs this one last miracle and look who it was given to, and enemy. A soldier that was in the front of the company of men, who cared less about Jesus Christ of Nazareth. That is who Jesus bestows the final miraculous gift prior to His being persecuted and hung on a cross.

This last act here today by Jesus shows again He is a man of His Word, a man of Mercy.  Mercy..
You may know that I posted on Facebook this week what Jesus had said in Luke 6 about Mercy, “Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

Yes Jesus is a man of His Word.  Of this Word [Hold up the Bible].

He demonstrated what He spoke of. Mercy, Jesus didn’t only talk that talk, he walked the talk.

What we ready today is an eye witness account by John of a tragic situation. ARRESTING JESUS as is our title is morning.

I once was arrested – It was a traffic ticket for speeding when I was young. Like Jesus it was a tragic circumstance, but to a much smaller degree. I was speeding, but after I got my ticket, I felt I was wrongly accused of going much faster that I was. I got a lawyer and the lawyer decided to delay the court date until right before I was to leave for Germany, therefore if I lost my license, it wouldn’t be so impactful on me. Unfortunately, they never delayed the court date, so the court had me arrested. The police came to my workplace, put me in handcuffs and threw me in a prison cell with about a dozen other guys awaiting court. I appeared before the Judge, my lawyer explained it was his fault, and the judge let me go.

One day we will all have to go before the judge in Heaven. But in this case, we know we are guilty. However, Jesus told us that He is the good Shepherd, and He gave up His own life for His sheep. He came to the garden in our verses today to be captured as a criminal, as a sinner, so we can be let go. Let go of sin, let go of persecution, let go of eternal death. And the judge will give us a verdict, Sinless. And we will be set free. Heaven bound, because of Jesus.

[Alter Call]

[Lords Supper]

This is a time of reflection about our spiritual condition and fellowship with each other, and more importantly that with Christ Jesus.

We observe Open Communion at First Congregational Church – As long as you have Accepted Jesus Christ as your savior and have been baptized then we welcome you to join us in this Communion Service..

Baptist Faith & Message: “The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.”

Luke 22:19 And He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.”  

Luke 22:20 In the same way He also took the cup after supper and said, “This cup is the new covenant established by My blood; it is shed for you.”

1 Cor 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

“As we participate today in this “The Lord’s Supper” I ask you to consider your position with Jesus Christ. Have you asked Him to forgive you of your sin? Have you forgiven one another and how are you honoring Him by loving your neighbor”

PRAYER: