WHO ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
Pr: WE FOLLOW A DELIBERATE SAVIOR.
TS: In John 18.1-14, we will begin to follow the steps of Jesus as they lead to the cross.
The ____ step is the…
I. GARDEN (1)
II. TREACHERY (2-3)
III. MAJESTY (4-9)
IV. SWORD (10-11)
V. SUBMISSION (11)
VI. “AUTHORITY” (12-14)
PA: How is the change to be observed?
• Follow deliberately in His steps.
RMBC 04 March 07 AM
ILL Decision (H)
In case you have any doubt, Dondra and I have an outstandingly happy and successful marriage, and I have been asked to what I attribute this remarkable situation.
The answer to that is simple. It is called the “Division of labor.” Dondra makes all the small, routine decisions. She decides what house we buy, where we go on vacation, where the kids go to college, if I should change my job, and so on.
I, on the other hand, make the big, fundamental decisions. I decide if the United States should declare war, if Congress should appropriate money for a manned expedition to Mars, what trade treaties should be signed, what areas should be declared disaster areas, and so on.
So, how about you…
1. Are you able to keep moving on your decisions?
Last month, we returned to our study of the gospel of John.
The gospels, all four of them, are very clear about Jesus and His decision-making process.
He acts decisively.
Jesus never wonders what to do.
He is never confused about the next course of action.
2. Jesus is following the plan.
Last week, we finished the 17th chapter of John, where we studied Jesus’ prayer for believers for all ages, including you and me.
The 17th chapter is the end of a longer section beginning in chapter 13, where Jesus shares His last words to His disciples before going to the cross.
As we begin the 18th chapter, the narrative returns, and now the events that Jesus spoke of begin to tragically unfold.
Before we delve into the text, I do want us to note that these events, though tragic, are not a mistake.
Through the years, people have concluded that Jesus was caught up in the events, that He was a victim of challenging the establishment.
But the gospels are clear – Jesus was not a mistaken idealist.
Jesus was not a helpless victim.
And He did not die in confusion and despair.
He was following the plan.
3. In John 18.1-14, we will begin to follow the steps of Jesus as they lead to the cross.
I. The first step is the GARDEN (1).
When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron Valley, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered.
Before the events unfold, let us note that…
4. Gethsemane stands in contrast to Eden.
The events that are about to transpire are on purpose.
The setting at the garden was to make us think of the original garden of Eden.
The first Adam began life in a garden.
Christ, the second Adam, came at the end of his life in this garden.
In Eden, Adam sinned.
In Gethsemane, the Savior overcame sin.
In Eden, Adam fell.
In Gethsemane, Jesus conquered.
In Eden, Adam hid himself.
In Gethsemane, our Lord boldly presented himself.
In Eden, the sword was drawn.
In Gethsemane, it was sheathed.
(Hughes is source for comparisons)
The other interesting matter to note about the setting is that Jesus and His disciples crossed the Kidron.
This was more than John giving us a location to figure out the path that they took.
The Kidron would have been red with the blood of sacrifice as the 200,000 lambs were slain that day in preparation for the Passover meal people would be eating the next day.
It surely is meant to remind us that Jesus was the lamb that was going to take away the sin of the world.
II. The second step is the TREACHERY (2-3).
Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons.
The treachery of Judas Iscariot is now known to all.
What makes this event so disturbing is that Judas was a pupil and friend of Jesus.
He had been specially chosen by Jesus.
He traveled with Him, ate with Him, slept in the same room with him.
He was part of the daily class.
He had even been made the treasurer of the group.
Judas had also had great experiences with Jesus.
Judas saw Jesus calm the storm.
He carried the bread around and watched over 5000 people get enough to eat from five loaves and two fish.
Judas saw Lazarus walk out of the tomb.
Yet, this same Judas, was betraying Jesus and the rest of his friends.
With every step he takes, he continues to betray them.
It is clear that…
5. Judas was expecting trouble.
When he betrayed Jesus, he was given a band of men, an improbable combination of Romans and Jews, united in the common cause to arrest this man.
They were armed, prepared and equipped for conflict.
It was logical to do this at night.
They wanted to arrest Jesus away from the crowds of people, where a riot would certainly have ensued because of the popularity of Jesus.
They wanted to keep the conflict to a minimum.
For as Judas was well aware, Jesus had a way of disappearing in a crowd.
John does not choose to tell us about Judas’ kiss.
This was the sign to identify Jesus to the soldiers.
The act was certainly evil, for a kiss was a symbol of affection and devotion, and in the case of a rabbi, devotion and obedience.
But this kiss…it was the kiss of death.
At this point, I would have leveled the traitor.
But not Jesus…
III. The third step is the MAJESTY (4-9).
Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.”
I think it is good to note again at this point that Jesus is in control.
In a real sense, He is not arrested.
It is Jesus that has the initiative.
He gives Himself up.
So, we come to the point that…
6. Jesus confronted the opposition.
He boldly goes out to meet them.
“Who are you looking for?”
When they answer they are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, I want you to note how Jesus answers them.
Jesus says, “I AM.”
More literally, He says, “I I AM.”
It was a very purposeful answer.
For in the answer, and in their reality…
7. They met Deity.
The biblical scholar, Leon Morris, puts it this way…
“The soldiers had come out secretly to arrest a fleeing peasant. In the gloom they find themselves confronted by a commanding figure, who ... comes out to meet them and speaks to them in the very language of deity.”
Jesus’ response was unexpected.
The solders were expecting a fight or a flight.
Instead, they got calm and surrender.
But the calm filled them with terror, for they retreated and fell at His response.
He made a declaration of Deity, and they knew it.
Then Jesus again shows control.
In referring to His disciples, He instructs the soldiers to let them go.
Their business is with Him.
You see, Jesus is a Shepherd that takes care of His sheep.
Jesus always has our best in mind!
IV. The fourth step is the SWORD (10-11).
Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath…”
Now granted, if I was Jesus, my response would have been different than His.
My response would have been, “Go get ‘em boys!”
It would have been a command that Peter would have responded to, for he was ready to fight.
This was a declaration of war as far as he was concerned.
8. Peter once again misinterprets his role.
Here we see that Peter is truly a fisherman, and not Zorro.
For Peter draws his sword and strikes at his nearest enemy.
There is a rule in a fight that is worth noting.
You make the first shot count, because you don’t know if you will get a second one.
But Peter misses, and slices off the ear of one of the servants.
You know, no one aims for the ear.
Jesus rebukes Peter, for He does not need his protection.
The swordplay is forbidden.
It is forbidden because He is fighting the wrong enemy.
He is using the wrong weapon.
He has the wrong motive.
And so, as a result, he is accomplishing the wrong result.
Peter is resisting the will of God.
He is hindering the work that Jesus came to accomplish.
And in this moment of confusion, Jesus is both powerful and gracious.
He acts in mercy and heals the ear of the servant Malchus.
V. The fifth step is the SUBMISSION (11).
So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”
9. Jesus was determined to bring glory to the Father.
His explanation is that the Father has prepared this for Him.
It is a drink that has been mixed by the Father.
It is a bitter cup, with a sour and unpleasant taste.
It is the cup of suffering.
And it is the plan.
Peter has not been able to get this from the very first time Jesus explained it to him.
At this point, the disciples run away.
And Jesus goes with the soldiers.
VI. The sixth step is the “AUTHORITY” (12-14).
So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.
Now the wheels of injustice are turning and…
10. The travesty is now in full gear.
This part of the story is only told in John as Jesus is brought before Annas.
This is an informal examination because from the Roman point of view, Annas is no longer in charge.
But from the Jewish standpoint, Annas was a high priest for life.
So, although the Romans had changed the rules, Annas exercised a good deal of authority.
He was wealthy and powerful, and perhaps the real power in the land, whatever the legal technicalities.
We are reminded that it was Annas’ son-in-law, Caiaphas the present high priest, was the one who determined that Jesus was to die.
It was not a matter of justice.
It was a matter of expedience and politics (11:49-53):
But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all. Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish." He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.
ILL Jesus (S)
A new preacher had just arrived on the scene.
He had a group of new stories, new sermons, and a dynamic new approach to all of the old problems.
A great number in the community were attracted to him.
It would be safe to say that he was singularly successful as an evangelist.
However, a group of the old guard became concerned, and they discussed him among themselves.
His teaching did not have the sound they were accustomed to hearing.
It sounded new and unorthodox to their ears.
In fact, he accused them in dramatic and damning terms of their own aggressively conservative position.
This disturbed them greatly.
Something had to be done!
It began as a matter of constant criticism.
They criticized him for the ones he accepted in fellowship, because of the people with whom he associated, and the fact that a great number of the people agreed with him, especially the younger generation.
They were afraid that his modernistic teaching would soon destroy the Bible.
They even considered him a liberal.
Someone suggested that he should die.
And so he did, at their hands, on Calvary.
Please understand this today, that…
11. WE FOLLOW A DELIBERATE SAVIOR.
As Jesus takes these steps to the cross, He is doing so deliberately.
He is doing so on purpose.
He is doing so, because He desired to demonstrate the power of His love for us, that while we were yet sinners, He died for us.
So, who are you looking for today?
The soldiers were looking for Jesus of Nazareth.
But they found Deity at work, a Savior deliberately going to the cross.
Who are you looking for today?
Are you looking for a Jesus who just gives you your desires and wants?
Or are you looking for a Jesus that tells you to take up your cross and follow Him?
Though the former sounds so much better, I suggest to you that the real joy and peace is found in the latter.
12. It is time to deliberately follow Jesus.
This statement truly reflects a burden I have for us as a church family.
It is one thing to say we are following Him, and it is another to deliberately do so.
The latter is a matter of daily decision.
We are always in danger of not deliberately following Jesus, no matter what our spiritual age or maturity.
At anytime, we can become frozen in time, failing to receive His truth.
We get disconnected, and then we blame everyone else but ourselves.
We blame the pastor and his staff, the leaders, the young people, the old people, the women, the men – did I leave anybody out?
But the real problem is our individual self, because we really are not following the Lord.
But let not that be your story today.
Let today be a day that you will follow.
Let today be a day that you will honor the cost to your Savior and Lord, and lovingly and deliberately follow Him.
For Further Study: Genesis 50.20; Exodus 3.14; Psalm 27.2, 41.9-10; Jeremiah 25.15-16; Matthew 26.36-68; John 10.17-18, 11.49-53; Romans 5.8; I Timothy 6.9-11
Why did it have to be a friend
Who chose to betray the Lord
Why did he use a kiss to show them
That’s not what a kiss is for
Only a friend can betray a friend
A stranger has nothing to gain
And only a friend comes close enough
To ever cause so much pain
And why did there have to be thorny
Crown pressed upon His head
It should have been the royal one
Made of jewels and gold instead
It had to be a crown of thorns
Because in this life that we live
For all who seek to love
A thorn is all the world has to give
And why did it have to be
A heavy cross He was made to bare
And why did they nail His feet and hands
His love would have held Him there
It was a cross for on a cross
A thief was supposed to pay
And Jesus had come into the world
To steal every heart away
Yes, Jesus had come into the world
To steal every heart away
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person — though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die — 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Those of us that know Jesus are invited to share in the elements of the table.
You do not have to be a member of this church to partake, but we do ask that you have a relationship with Jesus.
If you do not know Jesus, that is, you have not received Him as your Savior and Lord, you do not trust Him with your life, that is, you have not been changed by the message, just let the elements pass by.
Please wait until the time comes when you do have that personal relationship with the Lord Jesus.
We practice “communion” because we are to remember the death of the Lord Jesus.
We take the bread to remind us that it was by the body of our Savior that our salvation came.
He died in our place.
He became our substitute.
Being led in prayer by ____, let us take a moment and thank Him for being our sacrifice.
The apostle Paul writes, "The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me."
Let’s partake together.
We take the cup to remind us that it was by the blood of our Savior that our salvation came.
He died for our sins.
He became our sacrifice.
It is here we rejoice in the forgiveness we have received.
____ will now come and lead us in prayer.
Again, the apostle Paul writes, "In the same way, after supper he took the cup saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me."
Let’s partake together.
1 Corinthians 15:57-58
57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Goettsche, Bruce A Choice to Save Your Life
Shipman, Izak Who Are You Looking For?
Smith, Joseph Weeds in My Garden
Thompson, Larry The Deceptive Disciple
Tow, Richard Still LORD Even at His Arrest
Hughes, R. Kent. John: That You May Believe. Preaching the Word. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1999.
Keener, Craig S. The Ivp Bible Background Commentary: New Testament. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993.
Morris, Leon. The Gospel According to John. The New International Commentary on the New Testament, ed. F. F. Bruce. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1977.
Stern, David H. The Jewish New Testament Commentary. Clarksville, MD: Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc., 1992.
Wiersbe, Warren W. The Bible Exposition Commentary: New Testament. Colorado Springs: ChariotVictor Publishing, 1989.