In chapter 18, the Gospel of John recounts the events surrounding the betrayal and arrest of Jesus. Judas arrived at the garden, bringing armed soldiers and officers of the chief priests. Rather than hiding or waiting to be discovered, Jesus approached them forthrightly, asking whom they were seeking. They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
What happened next is easily overlooked in the reading of this familiar passage. We find in verse six that when Jesus said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground. Whether they believed in Him or not, the armed throng was in God’s presence. Their resolve was shaken, but Jesus was in total control of the situation.
Knowing that it was for Him to drink of the cup that the Father had given Him, Jesus gave the trembling soldiers another opportunity, asking again whom they were seeking. This time they carried through with their orders and made the arrest, binding Him and marching Him away to face his accusers.
Jesus knew that He was facing a horrible death on the cross, but He was careful to see to it that nothing would impede the carrying out of the Father’s will, even when those sent to arrest Him temporarily lost their nerve! He even rebuked Peter, when the disciple drew his sword and struck one of the servants of the high priest.
The absolute determination of Jesus to see God’s plan through to completion is an example to us of how He will see us through life and in due course land us safely on heaven’s shore. No matter the obstacles that may come our way, we can trust Jesus to see us through. He doesn’t promise us a perfumed path all along life’s journey, but He does promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us.
“I am sure of this,” Paul wrote to the Philippians, “that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion (or perfect it) at the day of Jesus Christ.” Ph 1:6 If Jesus could remain steadfast to see God’s perfect work completed on the cross, even at the cost of so much personal pain and suffering, how much more will He stand with us, and help us stay in the will of
God when our own road is troubling, and we are naturally feeling shaky! He will do it!
Let’s enter this Sabbath remembering that Jesus is right here with us, to walk with us, to comfort us and help us, and to complete and perfect the work that He began in our lives when we first placed our faith in Him. May that confidence bring peace and reassurance to each one of us.