After saying these things, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples and entered a grove of olive trees. 2 Judas, the betrayer, knew this place, because Jesus had often gone there with his disciples. 3 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! 7 Once more he asked them, “Who are you looking for?” And again they replied, “Jesus the Nazarene.” 8 “I told you that I am he,” Jesus said. “And since I am the one you want, let these others go.” 9 He did this to fulfill is own statement: “I did not lose a single one of those you have given me.” 10 Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest’s slave. 11 But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given me?”
There are many sequences of the events taking place while Jesus is praying through the night and also when Judas arrives with Temple guards and Roman soldiers. All of it should reveal to us more of who God is.
One of the major details in this event is when Jesus makes one of several “I AM” statements. When they asked for Jesus the Nazarene, he replies, “I AM he,” and everyone who was there fell to the ground. The scriptures declare that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth” (Phil 2:10).
It is almost confounding that in the moment when Jesus says, “I AM” and EVERYONE falls before him, that they are still able to proceed and arrest him. However, it is a familiar sight because we all are guilty of turning our backs on Jesus every day even after encountering him.
Jesus, help me remain in you. May I bear much fruit as one of your disciples.
Kx. Ntshiab Suav
Senior Pastor of FHAC.