This week as I have been thinking about communion my mind kept on returning the arrest of Jesus before His trial and crucifixion. This can be found in both John 18 and the parallel passed in Luke 22. As I read I saw some examples of Jesus’ power when He was arrested. Normally we think of the power of Jesus’ miracles and the power of the resurrection, but today I want to focus on the power at His arrest.
The power when He declared
John 18:3-6 – The leading priests and Pharisees had given Judas a contingent of Roman soldiers and Temple guards to accompany him. Now with blazing torches, lanterns, and weapons, they arrived at the olive grove. 4 Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to Him, so He stepped forward to meet them. “Who are you looking for?” He asked. 5 “Jesus the Nazarene,” they replied. “I AM He,” Jesus said. (Judas, who betrayed Him, was standing with them.) 6 As Jesus said, “I AM He,” they all drew back and fell to the ground!
Verse 6 tells us that at His words those around Him fell backwards to the ground. The power of His declaration knocked them over. In this declaration He identified Himself as the Great I AM from the Old Testament.
The power when He healed the servant
Luke 22:49-51 – When the other disciples saw what was about to happen, they exclaimed, “Lord, should we fight? We brought the swords!” 50 And one of them struck at the high priest’s slave, slashing off his right ear. 51 But Jesus said, “No more of this.” And He touched the man’s ear and healed him.
The next display of His power is in the healing of the servant’s ear. Peter tried to stop the soldiers arresting Jesus by striking the servant with a sword and cutting off His ear. Jesus rebuked Peter and healed the man’s ear (Luke 22:51).
The power of His love
Luke 22:41-44 – He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if You are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine.” 43 Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened Him. 44 He prayed more fervently, and He was in such agony of spirit that His sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.
The final display is the incredible love of Jesus. Moments before His arrest He was praying and drops of blood sweated from His forehead (Luke 22:41-44). He knew what was coming and His love kept Him on task – from arrest, to trial, to crucifixion.
Jesus displayed great power at His arrest and immediately afterwards. By His words of declaration, by His healing of the servant and by His great love for you and I – we see His great power.