Jesus is betrayed but He is not a victim. In this story where Jesus is being arrested, the only one that is fully in control of situation and is exercising authority is Jesus! There is this young girl at our church that has a wild imagination and exercises her “authority” over people when we don’t do as she says. I remember one night that a couple of us were playing around with her and she got upset to the point that she threatened to put us in a “real cage!” Now I don’t know what the difference between a real and fake cage is but we played along as we stood still in the place she directed us to go. Was I really in a cage? Was I not in control of my own situation and a victim of the imaginations of a child? Far from it! We played along with her because it was not necessary and if not cruel of us to try and smack reality into her mind but allowed her to express herself in this moment. Granted later in life she will learn self-control and how to properly manage her emotions but that was not the point at that moment because for us to stifle her with our adult knowledge would only in my still developing opinion on child development, hinder her growth. We allowed ourselves to be caged because we wanted to build connection with her by playing along and it is that voluntary action of submission that shows true power and security.
Jesus is not a victim here where he is not in control and is allowing things to happen to him. He sees a bigger picture and knows the purpose beyond the circumstance so therefore allows Himself to be put in a “real cage” as it were. Jesus’ life was not taken from Him but He gave it up freely and today let us remind our self the simple truth as we go into Good Friday that God is ALWAYS in full control.
Stress is only a reflection that we have forgotten the truth that God is in control so therefore let us not stress but trust in God’s control over all situations.
NOTES ON THE TEXT
48 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” 49 And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. 50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.”[a] Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him.
Judas comes with false actions of friendship and intimacy when he greeted Jesus with a kiss. In the NASB, Jesus asks him, “Why are you here?” Jesus is asking a question not because He lacks knowledge but that He is addressing the intention of Judas’ action. The Lord is in full control of the situation and in this moment is asking a question that probes Judas’ heart as to what he is doing! This is a question more for Judas than Jesus as Jesus allows Himself to be arrested to momentarily give up His freedom for the greater purpose of setting people free from their sin.
JESUS IS IN CONTROL!
51 And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant[b] of the high priest and cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?
In John, we see that the disciple that uses the sword is Peter. The point of this circumstance is not for Jesus to physically defend Himself but Peter and the rest of the disciples fail miserably in responding to this situation by acting differently than Jesus. The disciples respond the way they do because they have not prepared themselves in prayer for this situation but slept it off. The disciples acted in accordance to their knowledge and understanding when they should have been looking at Jesus to see how they should be acting. When in stressful situations and you are at a loss as to what to do, seek the Lord and see what He is doing through prayer!
Jesus thus rebukes Peter for his foolish actions and says, “For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” Jesus was rebuking Peter’s action by pointing out that if using a sword with the intent to kill is your response to situations then this lifestyle will only bring about death for you in the end. Peter’s action also unveils his ignorance to understand that Jesus is not a victim and is not defenseless because in any moment He can bring hundreds of thousands of angels to come and deal with the situation. The reason that Jesus doesn’t handle his oppressors is because He prayed. He prayed before the Father and in that moment of seeking the will of the Father, was able to set aside His will of self-preservation for the sake of preserving all mankind through His sacrifice. Jesus saw the bigger picture and was in full control!
If you didn’t get the theme of today’s devotional yet, here it is…
JESUS IS IN CONTROL!!!
Why is this important? Because when life is out of control and we don’t believe in this truth, we will only add unto the chaos when we choose to take life into our own hands apart from God. The only reason that God messes up our plans is because our plans were most likely not as good as His and God wants to give you the best plan to tackle life for His glory! For Jesus to save His life would be a logical and sound plan in the eyes of many but if Jesus saved His life than no one will gain life through His sacrifice because there would not have been a sacrifice! Jesus submitted to the will of the Father when He chose to intimately seek the will of the Father before the crisis of the arrest happened. Today, let us live a lifestyle of seeking God’s presence so as to align our hearts, minds, and bodies to His will!