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Jesus Arrested October 12, 2018

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Matthew 26:47-56.

Summary: In this passage, Judas appears at the Garden of Gethsemane; he is joined by a great multitude carrying daggers and nightsticks. As they need to identify Jesus in order to arrest Him, Judas affectionately kisses Him.

Jesus responds by addressing him as “fellow” and telling him to carry out his act of betrayal. He is then seized by the great multitude.

Peter responds by using his dagger to slice off the ear of Malchus, a servant of Caiaphas.

Jesus responds by:

  • commanding Peter to put away his dagger, as those who kill others will be executed
  • stating that He has actually refrained from calling on His Father for more than 72000 angels – as He must allow Himself to be arrested in order to fulfill the Scriptures
  • asserting that since He was not arrested while He taught in the temple, the chief priests and the elders are now guilty of wrongful arrest – thereby fulfilling the Scriptures.

His disciples respond by fleeing.

Thoughts: Here, Jesus resists the temptation to call on His Father to rescue Him from His enemies. Ryle offers some insights on this point:

He was not taken captive because he could not escape: it would have been easy for him to scatter his enemies to the winds if he had thought fit…He came on purpose to fulfill the patterns and promises of Old Testament Scriptures and, by fulfilling them, to provide salvation for the world. He came intentionally to be the true Lamb of God, the Passover Lamb.

When I strolled through this passage, I pondered the possibility of Jesus actually calling on His Father for assistance – and then working with a plethora of angels to defeat His enemies. This spurred me to ponder the following questions:

  • is this passage similar to Matthew 4:1-11, since both passages caused me to ponder the fact that Jesus is both divine and human?
  • if Jesus had actually disobeyed His Father in this instance, what would have been the effect on the intimacy of the Trinity?
  • if Jesus had actually disobeyed His Father in this instance, did God have an alternate plan for saving sinful humanity?

These questions do not have simple answers; even pondering them is unpleasant. Thus, as believers, we should be eternally grateful to Jesus that He chose the immeasurably difficult path of obedience in this instance. Indeed, He sought long-term rewards and eschewed short-term benefits; we must pray that we can hew to His example in this regard.