1After saying these things, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples and entered a grove of olive trees.2Judas, the betrayer, knew this place, because Jesus had often gone there with his disciples.3The 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.
4Jesus 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.)6As Jesus said “I AM he,” they all drew back and fell to the ground!7Once 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.”9He did this to fulfill his own statement: “I did not lose a single one of those you have given me.”
10Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest’s slave.11But 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?”
12So the soldiers, their commanding officer, and the Temple guards arrested Jesus and tied him up.
The I AM is capitalized here because Jesus used the same Hebrew word that God told Moses was his name when he appeared to him at the burning bush. Jesus publicly proclaimed himself to be God and his enemies fell down before him. In the end, this will be the case throughout all the universe and for all time. This is just a glimpse into the future.
So the clear Son of God is taken by sinful men to face a tortured death. Obviously if the simple mention of his true name causes his captors to fall, Jesus could have escaped. Captors isn’t the right word at all. Perhaps we should call them receivers or escorts because they certainly were not the ones in charge. Jesus was not dragged to his death, or even carried to it by the tide of circumstance. No Jesus powerfully marched toward it and actively brought it about.
Can we so willingly accept such a fate? Do we willingly accept the little troubles that come our way every day? And can we accept them not as if being dragged along, but as if we are empowered by God as his children to choose those troubles and problems so we can fulfill God’s will for us?
Father, help me to powerfully pursue your will for me, even when I know its hardships and pain. Change me Father, change me. *obbs*