I Am He

by Esther Griggs

As we return to the Book of John, the betrayal confronts us. Jesus has crossed over the Brook Kidron and entered a garden. He knows what is ahead and is in complete control. It is however dark, and His disciples don’t have foreknowledge. They, in contrast, are sad, feeling lost and afraid, trying to comprehend all that He has been telling them. Jesus, however, faces the situation and does not lose sight of His identity, His purpose, or from where it came.

His Identity

Jesus knew His identity. Not only was He Jesus of Nazareth, He was the Son of God. He also knew He was standing before the one who had already betrayed Him and the power behind his actions. Only now, it was the working out of the betrayal. Judas came with a detachment of troops, officers from the religious leaders, lanterns, torches and weapons. Enough to scare anyone! What did Judas fear? Jesus in contrast came to him in absolute confidence and asked, ‘Whom are you seeking?’ Whether it was the darkness of the night or of the soul, they didn’t recognize Him, even though Judas stood among them. When they said, ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ He answered boldly, ‘I am He.’ The power of the Living Word caused them to pull back and fall to the ground.

His Purpose

Knowing His purpose, Jesus asked them again. ‘Whom do you seek?’ When asked again, He tells them, ‘I am He.’ This time, intent on fulfilling the scripture, He asks them to let the disciples go. Then, there is Peter in the flesh, thinking he needs to protect Jesus. He takes on the fight and cuts off the ear of the high priest’s servant. Jesus knows the cup of adversity which lies ahead of Him. It is the fulfillment of His purpose, and He brings Peter back to the purpose.

From Where it Came

“Put your sword into the sheath,” Jesus tells Peter. The soon to be Saviour of the world, had already hashed it out with His Father in prayer. He had asked for the cup to be removed. Nevertheless, He surrendered Himself to the will of the Father and could now say to Peter, “Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?” In the middle of chaos, Jesus does not lose site of His identity, His purpose, or from where it came.

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