John 7:46 - The officers answered, "No one ever spoke like this Man!"
The crowd of soldiers and officers who came to arrest Jesus must have been disconcerted. Jesus wasn't behaving like anyone they'd captured before. To begin with, He stepped forward to meet them, instead of hiding in the darkness. It's recorded in John 18:4-6. "Who are you looking for?" He asked. When they answered, "Jesus of Nazareth," He calmly identified Himself: "I am He."
The Gospel writer John says that when Jesus said that, "they drew back and fell to the ground." There was power in Jesus' words, and they couldn't help responding! What power? When Jesus said, "I am," He was basically saying the very Name of God, "I am who I am" (Exodus 3:14). It was as if He had said, "I am YHWH, the Lord, your God." No wonder they fell to the ground!
But rattled as they were, they pulled themselves back together—only to start taking orders from the very Man they came to arrest. Jesus said, "So, if you seek Me, let these men go." And that's what happened.
But that wasn't the end of it. Jesus' disciple Peter pulled out a sword and cut off a man's ear—only to be stopped by Jesus, who rebuked him and healed the man's ear. And as far as we can tell, the soldiers simply let it happen. Jesus was in charge.
But Jesus had one more thing to do before submitting to arrest. He made it absolutely clear to everyone what was happening in the garden that night—that it was foolish and evil: "Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 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" (Luke 22:52-53). And having said this, He submitted—and the soldiers finally took Him away.
Did the soldiers wonder about Jesus in years to come? Surely, a Man of such power could have avoided the cross. But that wasn't what Jesus was doing with His authority. He was in charge that night, because He was about the business of saving us. And now that He has risen from the dead and ascended into heaven, we know that He is in charge of everything in heaven and earth—and we are safely His forever.
THE PRAYER: Lord, thank You that You are in charge of my life and all the things I am concerned about. Help me to trust in You. Amen.
Are you comfortable being in charge of events at work, at home, or at church? If yes, in what situations?
When do you feel like events are spinning out of control? What do you do to feel better?
Have you ever had an experience when you sensed the power in God's Word? Tell about it if you like.
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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