Saturday, July 27, 2013

Jesus was Arrested (Jn. 18:5-14)

This is my personal summary of Rev Dr Stephen Tong's sermon on 15 July 2013 in STEMI Expository Preaching at True Way Presbyterian Church Singapore. It was preached in Chinese with English translation

Passage: John 18:5-14

“So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.” (Jn. 18:3)

In contrast, Jesus was weaponless, without religious power backing, without political power and and without wealth.  What was Judas thinking about?  He had followed Jesus for 3 years.  What had he learned?  The Lord Jesus had no defence.  He asked His disciples if they had swords.  They had two and Jesus said that was enough.  In reality that was hardly enough if they were to fight against the soldiers.  Jesus did not rely on human might but God’s Spirit.

Our Lord is the greatest among all.  He asked, “Who is it you want” (v.4) so that He could be delivered.  When they said, “Jesus of Nazareth”, He said, “I am he”.  He did not seek after profit.  His heart was for the truth, for the glory of God.

Judah betrayed Jesus for money.  Jesus did not escape danger for the truth.  They all drew back and fell to the ground when Jesus said He was “I am he.” (v.6)  Why did they fall backward? It was because of the greatness of His character.  The power of His character is greater than all those who came with weapons.  He is the Lion of Judah.  The Lord is our example. 

He asked them the second time.  When they said again “Jesus of Nazareth”, Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.”  (v.8)  And the Scripture recorded, “This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.” (v.9)

A great leader does not care for his own safety but care for others.  Where are great spiritual leaders in the church today?

At this point, in his passion Peter drew his sword and cut of the right ear of the high priest’s servant (v.10).  Why would the Jews be allowed to carry a sword?  He could be a well-respected person in the community. 

Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” (v.11)  Here Jesus gave us an important principle.  Hatred cannot be solved with hatred.  Those who use sword will die by the sword.  We can only use love to overcome hate.  Our impulsiveness will bring us greater danger.

We need to learn that the last Judge is God.  There is no need to defend ourselves.  God did not call us to defend ourselves but to preach the gospel.  Jesus submitted to the Father and trust God to judge.

If you suffer for your own sin there is no value.  But if you are persecuted because of the will of God, it is of great worth.  Jesus said He would drink that cup the Father had given Him to drink.

Before He was crucified, the last miracle He performed was to heal the ear of the high priest’s servant.  This is His great spirituality.


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