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6 When Jesus said, "I am he," they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 Again he asked them, "Who is it you want?" And they said, "Jesus of Nazareth." 8 "I told you that I am he," Jesus answered. "If you are looking for me, then let these men go."
account of Jesus' arrest includes a very important detail missing
from the other gospels. It also seems to be missing from most
contemporary recounts of the story. I've never seen this detail
depicted in any Passion play, movie, or painting. I've rarely heard it
talked about in sermons. Many Christians actually react with
surprise when I point out this detail in John's eyewitness account.
Judas led a detachment of soldiers and officials from the chief
priests and Pharisees to the garden to arrest Jesus, an amazing thing
happened. Jesus asked, "Who are you looking for?" They replied, "Jesus
the Nazarene." Then Jesus said, "I am he," and when he said those
words, Judas and all the soldiers and officials, with their swords and
lanterns and torches, fell to the ground.
incredible display of Jesus' authority and the power of his word!
Clearly, he would not have had to submit to their arrest. No wonder
Peter was so emboldened to strike out at a guard. Jesus had made his
point, and so asked for the release of his disciples, which was
granted, and only then submitted to arrest.
Response and Action:
clearly did not have to submit to arrest. This demonstrates his free
and selfless choice to suffer death on the cross for us and for our
salvation. Today, I will offer up my thanks to Christ Jesus who loved
me and gave himself for me. I will praise him for his selfless gift
of salvation. As a follower of Jesus, I will endeavor to live a
selfless life, and surrender myself to God in service to others.
Help me, O God, to have the same attitude that was in Christ Jesus. He emptied himself and was obedient to death—even death
on a cross. Help me to empty myself and freely choose to live for
you. Give me the grace and courage to serve others in the name and
spirit of Jesus. Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses:
Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to
the interests of others. 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of
Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider
equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became
obedient to death—even death on a cross!
40 Days Living the Jesus Creed
by Scot McKnight