THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
LESSON FORTY-FOUR

John 18:1
    1.   When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a
          garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.

    [A] T
he brook Cedron;
            [1] The brook Cedron was a small stream that flowed to the east of Jerusalem, through the valley of
                    Jehoshaphat, and divided the city from the Mount of Olives.
                    [a] It was also Kidron and Kedron.
                    [b] This location is often referred to as the Kedron Valley
            [2] In the summer the stream was almost dry but in spring it ran full of water from the melting snow.  

    [B]
Where was a garden.
            [1] On the west side of the Mount of Olives there was a garden.
            [2] This garden was called Gethsemane.
                    [a] This was a garden that Jesus often went to
                    [b] It was accessible to everyone yet is was a suitable place for him to have a quiet place to pray and
                            have time alone with God.

John 18:2-4
    2.   And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.
    3.   Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh
          thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.
    4.  Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek
         ye?

    [A]
Verse two
            [1] The Garden of Gethsemane was apparently a place that Jesus went often with his disciples.
                    [a] Jesus had no home in the City of Jerusalem in which to stay
                    [b] He was basically an outcast because of his teachings
                    [c] Even those who believed in him would not have allowed themselves to offer him a place to stay for
                            fear of becoming rebuked or punished by the Pharisees          
                            [1-a] If you remember, anyone who opening confessed Jesus was kicked out of the temple –
                                    making them an outcast just like Jesus
                    [d] It is likely that Jesus and the disciples went to the garden to pray and possibly even to spend the
                            night when they were in Jerusalem
            [2] Judas knew of the place
                    [a] Whatever the reason Jesus went there, Judas knew of it, and was sure that was where Jesus
                            would be
                            [1-a] Again this makes me wonder if this is where Jesus and the disciples camped out when at
                                    Jerusalem
                    [b] Judas, if you remember, sold Jesus out to the Pharisees when he arose from the table after
                            eating the last supper with Jesus
                            [1-a] How much did he receive for betraying Jesus?
                    [c] It seems to me that there are times when we betray Jesus for a whole lot less than thirty pieces of
                            Silver.        
                            [1-a] What are some of the ways we betray Jesus?
                            [2-a] Why do we choose sometimes to do these things?
                            [3-a] Why do you think that Judas betrayed him?

    [B]
Verse three - Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and
            Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.
            [1] There is something here in this verse that I never noticed before. It would appear by what John wrote
                    that Judas not only betrayed Jesus, but he was the leader of the band who went out to arrest him.
                    [a] Verse three begins, Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests
                    [b] It would appear that he not only betrayed Jesus, but from what John wrote he was the man in
                            charge of the officers and men who went out to arrest Jesus, would it not?
            [2] Who were they going out to arrest?
            [3] Why did they need an army of men, armed with weapons?
            [4] Did they really believe that Jesus was going to put up a struggle with them?
            [5] Would Judas not have known enough about Jesus to know that he would not allow his followers to put
                    up a fight?
                    [a] Possibly Judas was still with Jesus when He told the disciples to arm themselves
                           
 Luke 22:35-38
                            35. And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any
                                    thing? And they said, Nothing.
                            36. Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip:
                                    and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
                            37. For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was
                                    reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.
                            38. And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.
            [6] Possibly they were really scarred of Jesus and feared going after him without a mob of men and plenty
                    of weapons.

    [C]
Verse four - Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto
            them, Whom seek ye?
            [1] I wonder what it would have been like to know everything that was going happen like Jesus did
            [2] If God revealed to you something devastating that was going to happen to you, what would you do?
            [3] Why gave Jesus the strength and determination to go through with all the suffering he had to
                    endure?        
            [4] What kept him from running away and hiding from the soldiers, and trying to stay away from the
                    suffering he was going to face?
            [5] When Judas and the soldiers came out to the Garden, John says Jesus stepped forward and asked
                    Who seek ye?
                    [a] He knew who they wanted, and he knew what was going to happen, Why did he ask who they
                            sought?
                    [b] Why did he step forward and ask the question, Why not stand there and allow them to ask for
                            him?
                            [1-a]Even in the preparation for his death, Jesus was still in control and this was one of the
                                    many acts he performed that proved it.
                            [2-a] One must always keep in mind that Jesus gave his life freely. He could have stopped the
                                    suffering any time he desired to stop it.
                            [3-a] Why didn’t he stop it?

John 18: 5-9
    5. They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him,
            stood with them.
    6. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.
    7. Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.
    8. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:
    9. That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.

    [A]
Verse five - They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which
            betrayed him, stood with them.
            [1] After Jesus stepped forward and asked who they sought, they answered and said, Jesus of Nazareth.
            [2] Notice in verse five that Judas was with the men who were seeking Jesus.
                    
Matthew 26:46-50
                    46. Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.
                    47. And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with
                          swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.
                    48. Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he:
                          hold him fast.        
                    49. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.
                    50. And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on   
                          Jesus and took him.

                    Mark 14:43-46
                    43. And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great
                          multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.
                    44. And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is
                          he; take him, and lead him away safely.
                    45. And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed
                          him.
                    46. And they laid their hands on him, and took him

                    Luke 22:47-48
                    47. And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went
                          before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.
                    48. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?
                    
                    [a] What is the difference between the account in John and the accounts in the three other gospels
                            [1-a] In the book of John, it looks as though Judas was in charge of the group that came
                                    out to arrest Jesus, in the other accounts he just showed them where Jesus was
                            [2-a] In the other three gospels, Judas betrayed Jesus by kissing him – this was the sign
                                    he gave that would show who Jesus was
                            [3-a] In John Jesus stepped forward and asked who they were looking – when they said Jesus of
                                    Nazareth, he said I am he.
                   [b] The question has to be asked, which of the stories is accurate?
                            [1-a] While I am one to believe there are no mistakes in the bible, there is a slight discrepancy
                                    here.
                                    [a-1] Either Judas led them or he guided them
                                    [b-1] Either Judas kissed Jesus or Jesus asked who they were looking for and them said he
                                            was Jesus
                            [2-a] Does it matter which way this happened?
                                    [a-1] Not really – because there is nothing in the account that will affect our salvation in
                                            any way
                            [3-a] Personally, of the three stories, I tend to lean towards the story John told more so than the
                                    other ones, because John was so close to Jesus. He was an eyewitness to what took
                                    place, but then so was Matthew.
                            [4-a] John’s Gospel was written after the others were written. This is why it is believed that John
                                    did not speak of the torment Jesus went through in the garden while he prayed as the
                                    others did because they did such a good job he did not have to do it again. If that is the
                                    case, could it be that he was trying to set the record straight about the arrest of Jesus

    [B]
Verse six - As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.
            [1] I love this verse – Can you see this mob who has come out to arrest Jesus, and as soon as he says, it
                    is I, they all went backwards and fell on the ground?
            [2] The cause of this is not told us although several things might have produced it.
                    [a] When Jesus addressed them in a frank, open, and fearless manner it may have surprised them.
                    [b] His disclosure was sudden and unexpected; and while they might have been anticipating him
                            trying to escape, they were amazed at his open and bold profession.
                    [c] It might have been that their consciences reproved them for what they were doing and the mild
                            manner Jesus addressed them along with the power he possessed pricked their consciences,
                            making them know that they were in the presence of someone who was more than a mortal
                            man.  
                    [d] I can’t help but believe that the cause came simply from the power of Jesus, and from the power
                            of his spoken words. The bible tells us that demons tremble at the name of Jesus. Just saying
                            his name is powerful enough to cause the demons to flee, how much more powerful when Jesus
                            spoke himself, in the presence of these ungodly men.
                    [e] You may or man not be familiar with the Pentecostal Church’s being “Slayed in the Spirit”.  This is
                            something they claim happens when a person is filled with the Spirit. A pastor touches the
                            forehead of the person and they fall backwards on the floor, sometimes for a long period of time
                            sometimes for a short while. I asked a Pentecostal minister where that practice came from, and
                            he told me this instance here is where the bible talks about it. If that is the case, why did it not
                            happen to the disciples, or why is it not talked about in Acts? Also these men who fell backwards
                            were not Spirit Filled people, they were sinners come out to arrest Jesus Christ. These sinners
                            were knocked over by the voice of God, the followers of Jesus were not.

    [C]
Verses seven and eight - Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.
            Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:
            [1] I can almost see these men armed to the teeth, carrying torches and spears, picking themselves up off
                    the ground, and Jesus asking them again, Who seek ye?
            [2] Again they said, we are seeking Jesus of Nazareth
            [3] Jesus then said, I already told you I am he then he said something else
            [4] If you seek me, let these go their way
                    [a] You cam out to get me – let my followers depart in peace
                    [b] I’m the one you want, those who are with me are innocent.
            [5] Maybe this is the reason the mob fell backwards – maybe Jesus was showing them that he had power
                    to move them or to restrain them simply by speaking the words
                    [a] Just imagine the power Jesus possesses – it was he who said let there be light and there was
                            light. It was he who created everything that was created.        
                    [b] If Jesus would have spoken the words and said, disappear, the whole mob would have
                            disappeared.
                    [c] It was Jesus who spoke to the wind and the storm and it became still
                    [d] In his voice there was power untold                

    [D]
Verse nine - That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost
            none.
            [1] Even in his worst time of his earthly life. Jesus still showed care and love for his disciples.
            [2] He expected to die, and they were to carry the news of his death to the ends of the earth.  
            [3] Even in his darkest hour. He was concerned enough to secured the safety of little flock,                 
            [4] Questions
                    [a] What does this tell you about the love Jesus has for his followers?
                    [b] Does Jesus still concern himself with our protection and safety?
                    [c] If so, why does he allow some to suffer?
            [5] In Ethiopia, Christianity is under great persecution from the Muslims. This year at annual conference
                    several of our Ethiopian Brothers came to attend. Several of them spoke at some of our area
                    churches. They told of the persecution they have been facing and also told of how their faith there
                    was so much stronger than our faith here in America, and they said it was due to the persecution
                    they were under. One reported there coming out of a church meeting one particular day, and the
                    Muslims approached the pastor of their church and made him kneel down in front of the church after
                    the service and there the beheaded him right in front of all the church goers.   
                    [a] What do you think the congregation who witness this did?
                    [b] What would you have done?
                    [c] They gathered around the man who was killed and sang songs and praised God that he had
                            found them worthy to face persecution for him.
             [6] These visitors made a statement I find very interesting. They said they would rather be a Christian in
                    Ethiopia than to be a Christian in America, because we don’t know what is means to be a Christian,
                    nor do we live or act like one should. This my friends is very sad.
                    [a] What are we to do?
                    [b] What can we do to make Christianity real to people here in America?
                    [c] What can we do to make the church get serious about following Christ?
                    [d] I hate to tell you this, but my prayer to God is that he will do whatever it takes to bring us to our
                            knees and make us look to him and live and act like we ought. You know what. I believe he’s
                            going to do it.