Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

John 18:1-14

When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it.

2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 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.

4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”

5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.

“I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.)6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

7 Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?”

“Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.

8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9 This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”

10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)

11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”

12 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officialsarrested Jesus. They bound him 13 and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.

Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus 

Earlier in the history of redemption, another king crossed the Kidron Valley, reeling in the pain of betrayal. King David, barefoot and weeping, went away from Jerusalem because his son, Absalom, had conspired to replace his father by force—enlisting a small army to assist him. David’s dear friend and counselor, Ahithophel, was also a part of the conspiracy (2 Samuel 15–17). King David fled from their advances; but Jesus, the greater Shepherd-King promised in 2 Samuel 7, fled into the betrayal of those closest to him—Judas and Peter.

No one could take Jesus’ life from him; he freely laid it down for us (John 10:17–18). A large army of natural enemies, both Jews and Gentiles, tried; but Jesus spoke two words, “I am,” and they fell back to the ground (18:6)—an echo of divine encounters in the past (Ex. 3:14) and a preview of the day when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord—many to their coronation; many others to their condemnation (Phil. 2:1–11).

Not only was the glory of the Son of God revealed in Jesus’ arrest, but also the compassion of a caring Savior. Peter’s misguided action of cutting off Malchus’s ear is superseded by Jesus’ merciful action of reattaching the severed ear (Luke 22:51). Oh, how low our God stoops to show mercy to the ill-deserving!

*These devos are taken from Crossway's, ESV Gospel Transformation Bible.