Jesus is the Son of Man
Judas Betrayal/ Jesus Arrest
All right! Please turn in your Bibles with me to Luke chapter 22. As always, if you do not have a Bible or are in need of a Bible, please come see me after the service.
So, previously in Luke Chapter 22; Judas goes behind the back of Jesus and the rest of the disciples and makes a deal with the chief priests to turn over Jesus to be arrested.
Jesus knew this and still had the Passover meal in the Upper Room with all 12, including Judas. He predicted Judas betrayal without naming names to the group. He predicted Peters upcoming denial. He instituted the New Covenant with the sacrament of communion. He prayed for the disciples and then they left the Upper Room. At some point when they were in the Upper Room, after communion, Judas left to do what he was going to do.
Jesus and the rest of the disciples left Jerusalem and went to the Mount of Olives where they were staying. We went out into the Garden of Gethsemane to pray to the Father\, knowing what was coming. He was agonizing over the wrath of God that was about to be poured out on him.
And the section we looked at last week, Jesus came back from praying and the disciples had fallen asleep, and Jesus said to them, Wake up! Pray that you do not fall into temptation.
And that’s where we pick up in this morning’s sect, Luke chapter 22, verses 45 through 53. So, I will be reading out of the English Standard Version though I encourage you to follow along in your preferred translation. The key point being to read for yourself what the Word of God says.
Luke 22:47-53, Luke writes, inspired by the Holy Spirit:
While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the servant[h] of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53 When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”
May God Bless the Reading of His Word
So, while Jesus was speaking to the disciples, and specifically the inner three, Peter, James and John, He would have known that Judas and the temple guards were coming right up to arrest him. Maybe he heard the clanging of the metal, the swords and the chain mail, or whatever was used as armor then. Maybe he saw the glint of the torches or lanterns through the trees as Judas lead them to the secluded spot.
And maybe that’s why Jesus left his prayer area and came back to the disciples.
But he gave those last instructions to the disciples and here comes this crowd, this group. They were isolated from the crowds and the people, outside Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives, in the Garden of Gethsemane, an olive grove.
There was no one else around. It was after dark, late in the night. The people who were around Jesus during the day in the temple, whom the chief priests were afraid of, they weren’t there that night, couldn’t do anything to stop Jesus from being arrested.
And here comes Judas, who had agreed to betray Jesus, leading this group. They had arranged ahead of time a signal so that the guards knew, without any mistake, without any doubt, exactly which one was the guy who they were supposed to arrest. Judas was the one who would give that signal.
He knew Jesus. He knew where they would be. He knew where they were staying because he had been staying there too. He knew Jesus’ routine, where he went to pray, because he was with him each night. He knew where to lead the group to meet and Find Jesus.
This group was a mix of temple guards, under the authorization and command of the Sanhedrin and the chief priests, and some Roman soldiers from the garrisons stationed in Jerusalem.
They came up to where Jesus and the disciples were and Judas approached Jesus and greeted him with a kiss, both a common custom of respect, but also the signal that Jesus was the one they wanted.
Jesus calls him on that. “Really, Judas? That’s how we are going to play this?” I knew you were going to betray me, that you had made this deal, but to greet me with a kiss as you do so is the ultimate in disrespect.
The Disciples saw what was starting to happen. They saw where things were headed. And they remembered what Jesus had said, just a few verses ago, likely a few hours ago in real time, about going out and buying a sword, again, completely missing the point that Jesus was making.
During this confrontation, “one of them,” Luke doesn’t mention who. Luke is very polite and politically correct with the disciples. “I don’t want to mention who, get anyone in trouble… *cough* Peter *cough*”
John knows who, he was there after all, and he names Peter in his Gospel. Peter jumps into action, without waiting for Jesus’ advice or waiting to think, as is his personality, and he cuts off the ear of one of the high priest’s servants. One of the asides we see in this, is that unlike what he said back in verse 33, Peter is not actually prepared to go to prison for or with Jesus.
We see Jesus respond and as we do, I feel his response. It feels like a father. Kids, knock it off! The kids, the disciples are acting in ways they knew they weren’t supposed to. They were doing things with out the permission of Jesus. And he stops them in their tracks.
And he gently, fully, quietly heals the servant’s ear.
The last miracle he performs before his crucifixion. He heals the ear of one of the men sent to arrest him and bring him towards his death.
And this is where we see that Jesus comments in v 36 & 37 about bringing swords are to be taken as symbolic instead of expressly literal.
One thing we have seen history prove, is that Christianity cannot, should not and will not be spread by the sword. But Christianity is and will be spread by the preaching and the hearing of the Gospel, and by the lives and example of those who follow it.
Historically, Christianity works against itself when it attempts to spread the Gospel by force. J.C. Ryle wisely says:
The Sword has a lawful office of its own. It may be used righteously, in the defense of nations against oppression; it may be positively necessary to use it, to prevent confusion, plunder and rapine upon earth: but the sword is not to be used in the propagation and maintenance of the Gospel. Christianity is not to be enforced by bloodshed, and belief in it extorted by force. Happy would it have been for the church if this sentence had been more frequently remembered! There are few countries in Christendom where the mistake has not been made of attempting to change men’s religious opinions by compulsion, penalties, imprisonment and death. And with what effect? The pages of history supply an answer. No wars have been so bloody as those which have arisen out of the collision of religious opinions: often, mournfully often, the very men who have been most forward to promote those wars have themselves been slain.
Faith comes from fear.
Faith comes from vigorous moral and intellectual debates.
Faith comes from trying to escape death, imprisonment, punishment.
Faith comes by hearing, hearing the Word of God. Faith comes from hearing the Gospel, the Holy Spirit changing hearts to accept the Gospel and respond to it. Faith comes from the grace of God as a gift from God by the preaching of the Word.
Back to the story here. Jesus stops the disciples and heals the servant because he knew that this had to happen. He knew where this was going, and he knew that it needed to be done.
And so, he was telling the disciples, Stop trying to get in the way of my purpose! This was the same thing Peter was doing way back when, when he confessed Jesus as the Christ and then said that he would not let Jesus be killed in Jerusalem. Jesus called him Satan for trying to prevent the will of God
This is where the application is difficult when we say, not our will, but Gods will be done.
Our will, in this case the will of the disciples, and, if we are honest, the will of many of us today, only a slight change in context, is Jesus to reign over our national country, national Israel then, to expel and destroy Rome, democrats and socialists today if you listen to many churches, and to sit on a physical throne and rule as King like David.
But Lord, not our will, but your will be done. Your will, going to the cross as the Passover fulfillment. Your will, to shed your blood and dying for the forgiveness of sins. Your will, to absorb the necessary wrath of God. Your will, to resurrect from the dead, defeating death and sin. Your will, reigning spiritually right now, over spiritual Israel, all believers, in all time, called the church with a future inauguration of the physical and eternal kingdom of God.
Not our will, but LORD, your will be done.
Jesus turns and speaks to the leaders of the group coming to arrest him.
He asks them, Why the swords? Why are you acting like you are expecting violence? You are treating me like a violent criminal and all I’ve done is talk.
Again, Jesus knew this, remember he said that he would need to be identified with the transgressors. They were seeing him as a violent insurrectionist. They were placing him in those categories that categorically did not fit.
They wouldn’t touch him during the day. They wouldn’t touch him when the crowds were there. They wouldn’t do anything when they were in the temple and there were witnesses around.
But nothing good happens after midnight, right?
Jesus says that darkness suits them perfectly. Darkness covers up people’s ability to see sin. It allows sin to hide. It allows sin to fester. Satan loves the dark, loves shadows, loves things to be hidden. But Light drives out darkness. And Jesus has said in many places that everything that is in the dark will be brought to the light, everything that is hidden will be made seen.
Jesus tells them, this is your hour. You are at home in the dark, at night. This is appropriate for your spiritual darkness to take action in the dark. And this is your hour, where it appears you have won.
This section, starting today, and through the rest of this chapter and through chapter 23 of Luke’s Gospel, this is the darkness. This is the section here it appears that Satan has won. This is the section where the chief priests, the Sadducees, the pharisees, and whoever else, all can start relaxing and thinking to themselves, “We got him!”
It is always darkest before dawn. The darkness that is falling on Jesus and Jerusalem will not stay.
Post Tenebras Lux. Out of Darkness, Light. The motto of the reformation.
Jesus knows and is actively allowing it to happen. Not just passively. Not sitting back and letting whatever happens to happen. But actively allowing it to happen. Actively stopping the disciples from stopping what is happening. Knowing that this all has to happen in order for you and I to have our sins forgiven. For you and I to be freed from sin. For you and I have to experience life and life abundantly. For you and I to be saved from the wrath of God and to be reconciled to God.
And so, Yup, Satan, this is your hour. Chief priests, temple guards, all of you guys, this is your hour, enjoy it while it lasts, because it wont last.
Enjoy it while it lasts because the light is coming to drive out the darkness.
Enjoy it while it lasts because Sundays coming.