JOHN - Chapter 18 - I AM HE Print E-mail

JOHN – Chapter 18 – I Am He

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

August 22, 2017, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


Chapter 18 opens with the King of Truth calm in the majesty of triumph.  He silences the father of lies with no other weapon but the Word of God, saying, it is written.

The Kidron valley lies between the Temple hill and the Mount of Olives.  On the further side, Jesus entered Gethsemane.  John does not record the agony of the Garden.  He does record a similar agony to which Jesus gave expression in 12: 27-33: Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour; but for this cause I came unto this hour.  Father glorify you name…Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out.


John takes us into the deeper mysteries of the scene in the Garden of Gethsemane. 


It is manifest that the struggle in the garden was one Jesus had been anticipating with profound emotion.  I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I to be held together until it be accomplished.


In the wilderness when the devil found himself defeated, he left him for a season.  He went back beaten and panic-stricken to the place of darkness to concoct with his minions one other grand assault against the Incarnate Redeemer.  The season---the time for this great struggle had arrived.  With newly forged weapons, Satan comes forth with burning revenge. 


 Now is the hour and the power of darkness. (Lk. 22:53).  Where are your trusted disciples when they are most needed?  One of them is a traitor plotting your death; some are asleep; all the rest will prove cowardly and be scattered like sheep upon the mountains. Where is your Father?  Where is the answer to your prayers? 


The Prince of this world/kosmos comes and has nothing in me.  Christian does Satan have anything in you?  Wherever he has a hold on you, he has power over you.  Three times Jesus warned His disciples to watch and pray that they would not enter into temptation.  The presence and power of Satan was one awful element in these moments of suffering. 


Col. 1:13: (The Father) has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.


The agony of Gethsemane was not caused by the fear of Death.


 Heb. 2:14:  Jesus became flesh that through death, he might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil. Satan has no power over death of a Christian.  Christ conquered death, hell and the grave (Rev. 1:18).


Jesus was without sin.  Here was a tongue that knew no deceit---an eye that never cast a guilty look---a soul that never harbored an unholy thought.  His meat had been to do the will of His Father in Heaven.  Even devils had been forced to attest, we know you, who you are, the Holy One of God. 


In order to abolish death, His flesh had to descend into the grave before he came forth as the abolisher of death and the resurrection and life. 


Christian it was your sins and mine that were filling that cup and extorting that wall of sorrow.  Jesus was there as our Substitute and Surety.  He was standing at the bar of Justice---The Lord laid upon Him the iniquities of us all.  Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.


Now is my soul troubled---My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death.  That cup was filled to the brim with curses.  The wrath of God---the terrible manifestations of His displeasure at iniquity was upon Jesus.  He was the true anti-type of the Red Heifer.  He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. 


Christ our Sin-bearer, bearing not merely the punishment for sin, but sin itself.  Literally Deep calleth unto deep.  Need we wonder that Christ in his humanity would stagger and tremble in an hour like this? 


I have had the blessing in my life of the LORD asking me to drink from his cup.  My first response was, No!  I had read the Book!  Then after the proverbial three days of prayer and fasting, my faith was strengthened that I could say, Yes LORD, your will be done.  I knew He would carry me through it.  It was a battle with Satan who had come to destroy me and my family that in obedience to the LORD I had to drink from His cup in order to overcome the evil one.   I have no glory from that time.  Just an incredible, awesome, reverence, and love for MY SAVIOR, who when He drank from the cup also took my cup.  Oh My God, none of us comprehend the powerful work of Gethsemane and the Cross.  Oh My God, what a blessed privilege to participate in your suffering.  I count it all joy!!!  When the battle was over, the Lord Himself appeared to me in red robes and served me communion.


Let the hosts of heaven tune their harps and sing the glorious answer---God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world, but that through Him might be saved!


The hour is now come and the disciples will be awakening from their slumbers.  Oh, are we not reminded from the case of the disciples of our own similar often and cruel defections? ---opportunities of watching with Christ and glorifying His name. 


The trumpet again sounds for battle---Rise, let us be going; behold, he is at hand that does betray me. 


The hand of man is now indeed upon Christ; the gleam of the lanterns---the midnight torch and the flash of the traitors’ swords coming forth and Judas is with them. 


The climax has been reached---the death of His death is over in that garden.  When we are dead to self and flesh, then the fear of death no longer has any power over us.    The confidence which characterized Christ when he stilled the waves and walked on their crested tops, who made devils crouch submissive at His Word, who made disease take wings and flee away, and plucked the very crown from the brow of death ; and knowing all things that should come upon Him, went forth and said to  the band of men, Whom seek you? (Jn. 18:4)  They answered, Jesus of Nazareth.  Jesus replied, I am He.


He emerges composed, resolute, self-possessed, invigorated, resuscitated.  Even with Calvary before Him, His Heavenly Father had already taken off His sackcloth and girded Him with gladness; joyfully the Good Shepherd goes forth.  The Hallel hymn may still be in the lips of the Great Victim on His way to the sacrificial altar on Mt. Zion---God is the Lord, which has shown us light; bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.  You are my God and I will praise you.  You are my God and I will exalt You.


When Jesus spoke to them, I am He, they were slain backwards by the Spirit of God.


18:6:  As soon as he had said to them, I am He., they went backward and fell to the ground.


He then made His noble, unselfish appeal to these murderers surrendering Himself and shielding His disciples ---If you seek Me, let these go their way (18:8).


18: 10-12:  Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear.  The servants name was Malchus.  Jesus said to Peter, Put up your sword into the sheath; the cup which My Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?  Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus and bound him.


Only John names the injured officer, as only Luke records Jesus restores the man’s ear healing it completely. 


18:13-18:  They led him away to Annas first; for he was the father in law of Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.  Caiaphas was he which gave counsel to the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.  Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple.  That disciple was known to the high priest, went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest.  But Peter stood at the door outside.  Then the other disciple went out who was known to the high priest, and spoke to her who kept the door, and brought in Peter.  Then said the damsel that kept the door to Peter, are you not also one of this man’s disciples? He said, I am not.  The servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold; and they armed themselves.  Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.


It is likely the “other disciple” was John since he knew the name of Malchus and was known by their household.  This disciple has entry into the audience chamber.


“Beware of Peter’s word

Nor confidently say,

I never will deny you, Lord;

But grant I never may.

Man’s wisdom is to seek

His strength in God alone;

And even an angel would be weak

Who trusted in his own.” (John Ross MacDuff)


18:25-27: Simon Peter stood and warmed himself.  They said to him, Are you one of His disciples?  He denied it, and said I am not. One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, said, did I not see you in the garden with Him?  Peter then denied again; and immediately the cock crew.


Luke 22:61:  The Lord turned and looked upon Peter.


O Peter, can it possibly be? Not know him!  Was it not Him for which you left all to follow?  To whom did you make that memorable confession before many witnesses, You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God?  To whom did you cry for help when sinking beneath the mighty waves, saying Lord, save me, or I perish?  With whom were you on mount Tabor, and whose countenance beamed in glory?  Ahh, for our poor frail humanity, so it was that Peter denied Christ three times. 


The servant maid was not accusing him only asking.  He could have boldly replied, Yes, I have been with him; and blessed be his name for ever, for granting me such a privilege, having often experienced his company which I would not part with if the wealth of worlds were placed at my feet.


While sad to think of Peter’s fall, it is most pleasing to reflect on his recovery.  The means whereby he was brought to repentance was the look of His gracious Savior against whom he had acted so deceitfully. 


Jesus uttered, no word, nor made any sign or motion.  He simply turned, and looked upon him.  Words could never do justice to that memorable look.  It was not reproof alone, nor sorrow, nor pity, but of unconditional love, compassion and forgiveness.  “I love thee still.”  Disown you I will not, though you have disowned me.  Peter,  Jesus  still loves you with an affection that no ingratitude could quench and no unworthiness could destroy, no vileness, or treachery could alienate it.


Good Christian do not think yourself better than those who have backslid.  Jesus loves them as much as He ever did.  He is still “the same Jesus.”  If our backslidings are many; if our consciences tell us that we have often denied him; yet in returning to the footstool of his mercy with contrition and self abasement, he will receive us graciously and love us freely.


Good Christian if you confide in your own strength that is the most egregious folly.  Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. 


Chapter 18 to be continued next week.


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

Scripture from K.J.V. – I entered into the labors of John Ross MacDuff, Memories of Olivet and Heavenly Aspirations.  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those who I entered into their labors.


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