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LUKE - Christ, the Savior of the World
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Luke


7. The Arrest of Jesus (Luke 22:47-53)

LUKE 22:47-53
47 And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. 48 But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and the elders who had come to Him, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 
53 When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

As Jesus was praying in the midst of the night, wrestling with God for the redemption of the world, with his disciples sleeping, Judas and the servants of the high council stole quietly into Jesus’ isolated place, and jumped suddenly with Judas at the head of them. Knowing that Jesus would not oppose the authority, Judas embraced Jesus and kissed him as a brother and a friend.

Jesus did not send the traitor away from him, or strike, but looked into his eyes, and called him by name. He rebuked his conscience for the last time, to save him, and exposed the depth of his evil, for the traitor hid his intense dislike under the kiss of love, and covered his determined treachery with the sign of friendship and affection. Thus the devilish hypocrisy reached its climax. The devil dwelling in the traitor appeared as a loving brother. Judas did not believe in Jesus’ divinity, but saw only his humanity. If the Lord had stood before him in glory, could he have kissed him as he did? Satan prompted and blinded the poor man. The evil one is known by his false kiss and soft-spoken words, that are full of treachery. Men are inclined to follow this example. Jesus stabs our wicked, traitorous hypocritical hearts with his question, which he addressed to Judas.

The other disciples who got up sluggishly from their sleep, knew to some extent that the critical hour had come, and got ready to fight. They were not cowardly, but moved with urgency to free Christ. Peter did not wait for his Lord’s reply and permission to use the sword, but stroke immediately the first soldier who tried to seize Jesus, thinking that it was impossible to catch Jesus and imprison him. The soldier noticed the shining sword aimed at his head, and soon moved aside. Then the polished edge of the sword cut his right ear, and blood gushed out.

Immediately Jesus cried out saying to him: “Stop! Bring down the sword, and put it in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Now, my Father’s will, to which I submitted in prayer all the night long while you were asleep, is being fulfilled.” Jesus prayed to do God’s will, and did not oppose it; but the disciples were not prepared to oppose temptation and fell, defending and fighting. They did not know that the world is redeemed not through violence and murder, but through self-sacrifice and suffering death.

Jesus touched his ear, and immediately it became sound again as it had been. The bleeding stopped, and the pain disappeared. Moreover, the healed soldier heard the words of his Savior and Healer. Would that those guards recognized this last miracle of Jesus: that Jesus loved his enemies to the end. The Lord himself healed those who arrested him. Now, do you understand who Jesus is, and what are the depths of his divine love?

When the disciples saw that the Almighty allowed the soldiers to handcuff his hands and arrest him, they became startled, and fled away. Then many torches were lighted. The high priests, the guard officers, and the elders; those who had hidden themselves until they were certain of the soldiers’ success in arresting Jesus, moved forward proudly as a victor, and condemningly as a judge.

Jesus spoke to them as if he were asking them: “Why did you come with spears, swords, and clubs? Do you fear me, or do I look like a robber? Did you not recognize my meekness, humility, and love? I stood daily before you teaching in the Temple courtyard, and never sought to conceal myself from you though I knew your intent. So why did you not arrest me there? You are cowards. You need the night to hide your evil work. You were not able to arrest me because my hour had not come yet. But now, you did not actually arrest me, for it is God who delivered me into your hands, and I accept the planning of his will. Now your malice overflows. This hour is a declaration that you are false, and a manifestation that you are ripe for judgment. You are not the doers, but poor instruments in the hand of your father Satan. He prompts you to abominable action, and you come covered with a veil of godliness, with many lights to light the darkness, while you are in fact spreading the dark night, horrible injustice, and the banners of hell. Now the power of darkness prevails, and overpowers the truth. But it will be broken by my meekness, for love and truth are stronger than violence and force.”

PRAYER: Thank you Lord Jesus, for you did not flee, but delivered yourself to the hands of the guards who arrested you, to complete our redemption. Please teach us meekness, love for our enemies, and the knowledge of our heavenly Father’s will at all times, and give us the power to follow it.

QUESTION 134: What is meant by Jesus’ arrest and imprisonment?


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