Summary: Jesus crossed over the valley Kedron, between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives, now called the Valley of Jehoshaphat. Jesus crossed this valley after Judas had made his agreement to betray Him. Jesus is the Lamb of God, led to slaughter.
John chapter 18
Read verses 1-11
In this section we find a blending of the majesty and the meekness of Christ.
Jesus crossed over the brook Kedron after Judas had made his agreement to betray Him.
Perhaps you remember another person who crossed over the brook Kedron.
When King David’s son, Absalom led a rebellion and Ahithophel, his friend and counselor betrayed him.
As far as we know, Jesus never spent a single night in the city of Jeruselem.
The last week of His life, Jesus went to Bethany and stayed with His friends.
Even on this last night, He left the walled city of Jerusalem to go to the place we know of as the Garden of Gethsemane, a place of quietness, in order to give His enemies an opportunity to take Him.
John does not include the agony Jesus suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane.
John speaks of Jesus’ glory and he places great emphasis upon the deity of Christ, while the other Gospels emphasize Jesus’ humanity.
Jesus will not resist arrest, for He is the Lamb of God who offers no resistance “led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7).
The dignity of Christ is absolutely overwhelming, and I think this is very important for us to note.
A band of men came out.
A band of men is a tenth part of a legion and would consist of approximately 500 men.
Matthew says that a great multitude came with Judas.
Why would they come with such a great number of men and with swords and clubs?
That feeding frenzy crowd knew that Jesus had performed many miracles, and they believed that if they would bring along with them enough armed men, they could capture Jesus.
Oh, let me tell you folks, if Jesus had not yielded Himself to the them, all the weapons in the world would have been absolutely worthless.
Notice they called Him “Jesus the Nazarene” and they refuse to call Him the Christ.
Well, that’s all right, because today Jesus is a name that is above every name.
The day is coming when those on earth and even those in hell will bow his or her knee to the name of Jesus.
The thing that is strange is that Judas didn’t know Him.
Why do you suppose Judas didn’t know Jesus?
Paul says, “…even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ…” (II Cor. 4:3,4).
Judas didn’t know Jesus because Jesus stood there as the Lord of Glory.
Even in this dark hour when Jesus was yielding Himself as the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world, He revealed His deity, His glory, and verse 6 says “they all fell on the ground.”
Jesus revealed to these men that He was absolutely in charge, and they could not arrest Him without His permission.
Notice they didn’t fall forward to worship Him, but they fell backward on the ground in fear and dismay.
There was utter confusion for a moment because they were getting a glimpse of the Lord of Glory.
Listen to Psalm 40:14 which predicts this scene: “May all who seek to take my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace.”
The unsaved person does not know Christ.
People can read the Bible, be very religious, and very moral, and not see Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
In verse 10, we see Peter cutting off the right ear of the high priest’s servant.
Why didn’t they arrest Peter for this?
Again, there is Old Testament prophecy stating that the Shepherd would be taken and the sheep scattered.
Jesus said He had lost none of those God the Father had given Him, so the disciples would not be captured.
Luke tells us that Jesus touched the servant’s ear and healed him.
Peter was a good fisherman but he was a lousy swordsman.
He cut off an ear when he meant to cut off a head.
Read verses 12-14
The religious rulers were the ones who had plotted all this, and Jesus went outside the city of Jerusalem to give them the opportunity to arrest Him.
They bound Him, which wasn’t necessary because Jesus is the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world.
They led Jesus away to Annas first.
Only John’s Gospel gives us that detail.
Annas had been the high priest and was probably still in the living quarters of the palace of the high priest.