The Arrest - Jesus Carries Out the Plan - John 18:3-4
March 15, 2022, 2:00 PM

John 18: 3-4    3 “So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons. 4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, "Who is it you want?" 

The pieces are all in their place and now the beginning of the end for Jesus’ final day has started. He prepared himself spiritually by spending time in prayer and wrestling with His temptations in Gethsemane. Since Messianic hopes ran very high at this time, Rome was very much on alert during this religious holiday. Pilate, who normally lived in Caesarea, would remain in Jerusalem, along with a sizeable army, lest a riot break out.               

But Jesus was in control, forcing His adversaries to act in a way that was contrary to their plan. v. 4 reminds us how much Jesus is really in charge. “Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them “Who is it you want?” He went to meet them. He didn’t run, hide, or even balk. He is like someone waiting for a preplanned event to occur.                

The detachments of the temple guard come along with some officials from the chief priest’s orders and some Pharisees. There is some discussion as to how many soldiers were involved. As the study notes in the NET Bible inform us, a “cohort” was normally a force of 600 men. But that name could apply to a group of around 200 men as well. So, if that is true to the term used here, we are not talking about 10 to 15 guys here, but well over 100. Possibly thinking back a week when the host of people were shouting His praises, coming into Jerusalem. They wanted to be prepared.  

Why the mob? What had He done? Had Christ killed someone? Had He sold secrets to the enemy? Was He a drug dealer? No. What had he done? He had showed compassion to the hurting. He had taught people about God in ways that was bringing a true revival of heart. He fed thousands. He loved the unlovely.              

Bessie McDonald was 6-months-old who contracted polio. Over 80 years in her attempts to walk, she suffered 16 fractures because of her falls. She broke her hip and had to spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair. As a Christian she was aware that God had a plan for her life and even for her infirmity.  

In her discouragement “God,” she prayed, “What can I do among so many people who somehow seem older than I?” Although it was hard, she saw no future, yet she was determined to be true to the Lord and as cheerful as possible.            

One day the Lord spoke to her heart. “Bessie, I want you to be my witness in this place.” She became busy for the Lord wheeling herself up and down the corridors speaking as tactfully as possible to other patients and visitors, telling them of God’s love. She found God’s plan being fulfilled even in her suffering.  

Will you trust God’s plan for your life today? Things may seem bleak but God is not done yet.               

And don’t forget, suffering is sometimes part of the plan. There is more to come where His victory is assured.  

Prayer:   Oh Lord, again I am reminded that you always have a plan for my good and the good of your Kingdom.  Oh, that I might serve like Bessie.   Forgetting my "self" and living for one purpose only, to proclaim you to those around me no matter what my circumstances.   

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