When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it.
Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.
Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”
“Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.
“I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?”
“Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.
Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”
Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)
Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” – John 18:1-11
John doesn’t record the kiss of betrayal from Judas as it is seen in the other three gospels but the kiss marked a turning point for the disciples. Each one of their lives immediately changes: Judas hands Jesus over and the disciples run and are about to go through some difficult testing.
Trying to protect Jesus, Peter uses a sword and cuts off the ear of one of the servants of the high priests. But Jesus tells Peter to put away the sword and let what will happen happen. Jesus was destined to “drink of the cup”. The cup represents the suffering, isolation and death that Jesus would have to endure in order to atone for the sins of the world.
Questions to ponder:
- If you had been with Jesus the night He was arrested, how do you think you would have responded?
- How have you been betrayed by a friend? How have you betrayed a friend?
- How do we betray Jesus with our words and conduct?
- What would be helpful to remember about Jesus the next time someone lets you down?