Walking in Truth Devotional Update, Jesus Betrayed and Taken
Jesus Betrayed and Taken
(Mat 26:47-56; Mk 14:43-54, 66-72; Lk 22:47-53; Jn 18:2-12)
As Jesus prayed in the Garden, the tragedy of the Cross came into focus more clearly, and we see Jesus as the hero getting ready to sacrifice Himself for the sins of mankind. But we also see Him becoming the victim in the greatest drama ever to take place on earth.
Jesus has been strengthened and prepared for the most terrible moment in history, His betrayal and crucifixion.
Jesus’ death was by his own choice. Jesus chose to die because He knew that it was the purpose of God. William Barclay writes, “He took this way [that is, not the way of violent revolt, but the way of sacrificial love] because it was the very thing that had been foretold by the prophets.”
Just as Jesus was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders. Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. The men seized Jesus and arrested him (Mark 14:43-46).
The word used for “kiss” here is not the usual word (phileo), but an intensive form (kataphileo), which the Greek lexicon defines as “to kiss fervently, kiss affectionately.” One commentator sees it as a prolonged kiss. The depth of Jesus’ hurt was given prophetic expression by King David: “If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of God” (Psalm 55:12-14). Jesus did not reject Judas, He said, “Friend, do what you came for” (Matthew 26:50). This was possible because Jesus had been prepared in the Garden for the betrayal. Jesus was demonstrating what He had taught about “loving your enemies.”
The men seized Jesus and arrested him. Then one of those standing near drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. “Am I leading a rebellion,” said Jesus, “that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” Then everyone deserted him and fled. (Mark 14:46-50)
Having healed Malchus, Jesus injected some spiritual reality into the situation. Matthew records his wisdom: “‘Put your sword back in its place,’ Jesus said to him, ‘or all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?’” (Matthew 26:52, 53). Since a Roman legion was composed of six thousand approx. Jesus could have called six thousand for each of the eleven disciples and six thousand for Himself.
Our text ends with Jesus’ arrest, His bowing to the word and will of God.. “Am I leading a rebellion,” said Jesus, “that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” Then everyone deserted him and fled. A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, he fled naked, leaving his garment behind (Mark 14:48-52).
The preparation of Jesus for His terrible trial paid off tremendously and is an important lesson for us regarding the power of prayer: Observe:
He went forth with resolute fearlessness to meet his end.
He received the terrible kiss of betrayal and responded with love.
He submitted to the arrest of the mob.
He refused the exercise of natural strength.
He depended upon the Father and his angels.
He did it all with the help of His Father and the Spirit.
We too can live in submission to our heavenly Father and our precious Lord who gave Himself for us by spending much time in prayer.