< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Jesus was NOT a victim!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Jesus was NOT a victim!

Mark 14: 43-52 43 Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders.

44 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” 45 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. 46 The men seized Jesus and arrested him. 47 Then one of those standing near drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.

48 “Am I leading a rebellion,” said Jesus, “that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” 50 Then everyone deserted him and fled. 51 A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, 52 he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.

We shouldn’t feel sorry for Jesus! He was NEVER a victim and we’ll look at five things from this passage that show that in just a minute. We can mourn that He had to go through what He did. But He was always in control of the situation.

The Jewish leaders would have gone to the Romans about arresting Jesus. The Jews and Romans were NOT friends and this may have been the only time they ever agreed on anything! Jesus either draws people together: believers. Or He’s a divider: those who hate the truth.

Jerusalem would have been very quiet this late at night. So Jesus and His disciples would have heard this huge crowd coming. John 18:3 says it was a Roman cohort, which is 600 Roman soldiers. Plus the Jews leaders and temple guards. There could have been 1000 people in the crowd!

At this point Judas was a pawn of Satan’s. But he had set himself up for that through his life style and thoughts and attitudes. Here he greets Jesus with “Rabbi”, but in the Matthew account he says “Hail, Rabbi!” a term of honor and respect. And he kissed Him! At this time in history it would have been normal for a slave to kiss his master’s feet, or a subject to kiss a ruler’s hand or a friend to kiss his friend’s cheek.

But the hypocrisy would have been blatant! Everyone in the crowd knew why they were there and that Judas was betraying his friend. Yet Judas was still acting like he cared about and honored Christ.

And actually he wasn’t the only one who betrayed Jesus that night – the other disciples fled.

But here’s where Jesus’ authority strongly showed through:  In verse 42 He had told the disciples ahead of time who was coming and what was going to happen. And He went toward the Jews and the Romans. In verse 49 He said “this has to happen to fulfill scripture.”

Psalm 55:12-14 If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide. 13 But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, 14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers.

Believers and non-believers are ultimately under the control of God. There is a plan authored by Christ and God that has been playing out and will continue to play out. The believers will enjoy His gracious control and the non-believers will fight it.

Another place this passage shows His complete authority is spelled out better in the John version. John 18:6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

The Greek used for “I am” is the eternal name of God. It was the name God gave Moses when Moses asked God for His name to give the people. And when Jesus said this all 1000 people in the crowd fell to the ground!

He also showed His authority when Peter cut off the slave’s ear and Jesus healed it. All this chaos going on all over the place and Jesus just automatically does what He does – He healed. Luke 22:51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

In the Matthew version He says in verse 26:53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?

12 legions were 72,000 angels! Back when the Assyrian soldiers had surrounded Jerusalem ONE angel killed 180,000 men in a night. Can you imagine what 72,000 angels could do?

Jesus was NOT a victim!

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