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Friday, September 27, 2019

2019.09.27 Hopewell @Home ▫ John 18:1-11

Questions from the Scripture text: When does John 18:1 occur? Where does Jesus go? With whom? Who also knew the place (John 18:2)? What had he received (John 18:3)? With what did they come? What did Jesus know (John 18:4)? What did Jesus do in that knowledge? What does He ask them? What does Jesus say in John 18:5? What happens to them when He says this (John 18:6)? What is repeated in John 18:7? What does Jesus now ask them to do in John 18:8? Whose Word must be fulfilled (John 18:9)? Who (of course!) doesn’t track with Jesus’s plan from John 18:8-9 (John 18:10)? What does he do? What does Jesus tell him to do in John 18:11? Whose agenda is Jesus following?
Jesus is in complete control. He knows where Judas might look for Him to betray Him and goes there. It was Jesus who had identified the betrayer by dipping the bread and handing it to Judas. It was Jesus who had told Judas to hurry up and do what he was going to do. Now, it’s Jesus who selects the location for his betrayal.

Judas is not in control. The Scripture, in fact, tells us that Satan had entered him for the purpose of this betrayal. But we can also see it with the long list in John 18:3: a detachment of troops, officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, lanterns, torches, weapons.

To apprehend an itinerant religious teacher from the low country.

Overcompensate much? Of course, they knew that they were up against far more. You almost get the idea that if they could have mustered more power, they would have. And we know that it still wouldn’t have mattered.

Matthew records Jesus’s admonishment to Peter that He could have summoned instantly twelve legions of angels. John, here, records something much more powerful.

Again, Jesus is in control of it. He puts the question: Whom are you seeking? But it is not so much to get from them their answer as it is to give them His own answer. Twice, He says, “I AM.” The text records it a third time. He literally knocks them to the ground with two words. He is the God who revealed Himself to Moses at the bush. He is the One who is so far above all creatures that there is truly no title by which they are able to narrow down His identity. All that He is, is what He is.

Indeed, He is the One whose Words must always be fulfilled (cf. John 18:9)—a distinction that belongs only to the Lord.

And all of this emphasis on Jesus’s being in complete control only makes more remarkable the conclusion in John 18:11. The Lord Himself has taken upon Himself the form of a slave, becoming a Man, putting Himself into a position of submission. Peter (John 18:10) may not be onboard with Jesus’s plan to spare His people at His own expense (John 18:8-9), but in His humanity, the Lord Jesus is perfectly submitted to His Father in heaven (John 18:11). Here is the active obedience of Jesus in stark contrast to the failure of Peter—a failure that Jesus is in the midst of atoning for by His betrayal, arrest, trial, suffering, and death… all under the curse of God on our behalf. What does He do with His control? Submit Himself unto the suffering of Hell and death. What a Savior!
In what current situation do you need to remember that Jesus is savingly in control?
Suggested songs: ARP110 “The Lord Has Spoken to My Lord” or TPH375 “All Hail the Power”

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