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Jesus Betrayal - John 18:1-11

Posted on February 18, 2018

Jesus Betrayal

John 18:1 – 11

Scripture Reading

John 18:1-5

When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” 5 They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.

Introduction / Illustration: William Gladstone, in announcing the death of Princess Alice to the House of Commons, told a touching story. The little daughter of the Princess was seriously ill with diphtheria. The doctors told the princess not to kiss her little daughter and endanger her life by breathing the child’s breath. Once when the child was struggling to breathe, the mother, forgetting herself entirely, took the little one into her arms to keep her from choking to death. Rasping and struggling for her life, the child said, "Momma, kiss me!" Without thinking of herself the mother tenderly kissed her daughter. She got diphtheria and some days thereafter she went to be forever with the Lord. Real love forgets self. Real love knows no danger. Real love doesn’t count the cost. The Bible says, "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it."


One of the most lasting false views of the of Jesus is the accounts of His betrayal

  • Jesus was a sage / philosopher / teacher of morality and ethics - misunderstood
  • Jesu was a revolutionary and was trying to overthrow the Roman gov’t
  • Jesus went up against the Jews / Romans and was unintentionally executed
  • But the Bible teaches that Jesus did not die a victim’s death!!

John 10:17-18

17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”

  • Jesus was in absolute control and His suffering depicted in an amazing way His power, majesty, and glory even though He was crucified
  • The shameful and humiliating way the authorities treated Him did not take away from who He was but instead showed once and for all exactly who He was, the very Son of God.
  • Jesus fully knew what lay before Him, yet He went to the Garden in obedience to the Father’s will. He left eight of the men near the entrance, and took Peter, James, and John and went to another part of the Garden to pray (Matt. 26:36–46; Mark 14:32–42). His human soul longed for the kind of encouragement and companionship they could give Him at this critical hour; but, alas, they went to sleep! It was easy for the men to boast about their devotion to Christ, but when the test came, they failed miserably. Before we judge them too severely, however, we had better examine our own hearts.
  • Jesus had just completed His final teaching in prayer in chapters 13 -17. He left the Upper Room and was now walking through the streets of Jerusalem praying as He went His high priestly prayer we looked at the last two weeks.

Purpose: Every Christ follower must fully understand that the humility of Christ was the passageway to His receiving back His glory that He will share with us.  

Transition: Let’s pick up the story now of Jesus betrayal in John 18. John turns now for the rest of His Gospel to narrate the events of the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus.

Jesus Supreme Courage – John 18:1-4a; Psalm 27: 1-3; Joshua 1

John 18:1

When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered.

  • The Kidron Valley is located east of Jerusalem, between the city wall and the Mount of Olives; and the Garden of Gethsemane is on the western slope of Olivet. Jesus often went to this Garden with His disciples, no doubt to rest, meditate, and pray (Luke 22:39). Jerusalem was filled with pilgrims attending the Passover, and Jesus would want to get away from the crowded city to a private place. He knew that Judas would come for Him there, and He was ready.
  • Human history began in a Garden (Gen. 2:8ff), and the first sin of man was committed in that Garden. The first Adam disobeyed God and was cast out of the Garden, but the Last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45) was obedient as He went into the Garden of Gethsemane. In a Garden, the first Adam brought sin and death to mankind; but Jesus, by His obedience, brought righteousness and life to all who will trust Him. He was “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:8).
  • History will one day end in another garden, the heavenly city that John describes in Revelation 21 and 22. In that garden, there will be no more death and no more curse. The river of the water of life will flow ceaselessly and the tree of life will produce bountiful fruit. Eden was the Garden of disobedience and sin; Gethsemane was the Garden of obedience and submission; and heaven shall be the eternal garden of delight and satisfaction, to the glory of God.
  • The name Gethsemane means “oil press.” Even today there are ancient olive trees in Gethsemane, though certainly not the ones that were there in Jesus’ day. The olives would be picked and put into the press for their oil. What a picture of suffering! So, our Lord would go through the “oil press” and the “winepress” (Isa. 63:3) and taste our judgment for us. – Warren Wiersbe Commentary

Isaiah 63:3

“I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with me

  • Jesus entered into the Garden of Gethsemane in verse one and left it (18:4).  Some believe it may have had a wall around it and was owned by a wealthy family in Jerusalem and they gave Jesus and His disciples permission to use it.

John 18:2

2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples.

  • Judas knew from the past times with Jesus that this was most likely where He would find Him.
    • Olivet Discourse was spoken there – Matthew 24:3
    • Previous Passover nights, the disciples had slept there during the feast – Luke 2:37
    • It was a secluded place and Jesus would need that as He poured His heart out to the Father in private
    • Jesus on the other hand knew that Judas would find Him because it was God’s sovereign plan
      • Jesus left the crowds in Jerusalem because of Palm Sunday and the possibly of being arrested there could create a revolt and an uprising where people may be killed in just arresting Jesus
      • The disciples might also be killed in the ensuing melee’s and Jesus wanted to protect them.
      • He came to die as a sacrifice for sin, not to revolt or have innocent lives destroyed. He was always thinking of others to the very end.

3 So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him

  • Judas carries out his plot without a hitch
  • According to Luke 22:47, Judas was at the front of the entourage
    • There was a band or cohort of soldiers
    • About 600 soldiers in a cohort but because of the Passover crowds this may have been more like what is called a “maniple “or a smaller detachment of about 200 men.
    • The commanding office was with them. The temple guards were there for back up and the chief priests came to supervise the arrest
    • The Jews and Romans may set off a riot plus Jesus and His disciples may flee so they needed a contingent to chase after them.
    • John was an eyewitness you can tell by his attention to details in the story
      • The moon was full at Passover so they would not have needed the lanterns and torches except they were concerned if the group fled to the mountainside, they would have trouble finding them thus the need for extra light.
  • Jesus had no intention of hiding or fleeing.
    • You see His quiet resolve to surrender to the Father’s plan and will
    • You see Jesus majestic calmness, His absolute self-control, and His supreme courage
  • Notice especially, verse 4a
    • His omniscience and His sovereign control gave Him assurance in this very difficult confrontation with His enemies and with the conflict in His soul. This is where His humanity and His deity meet and are on full display
    • As we face the difficult confrontations in relationships, the conflicts that we despise, do we show courage in those times
      • Dealing with the truth of relationships
        • Finding out your child is attracted to people of the same sex
        • Your teenage daughter is pregnant
        • Your spouse has been involved in an affair
        • Your husband is involved with pornography
        • Hidden addictions
        • Having the courage to show love / tough love for God’s best
  • It takes supreme courage like Jesus had

Illustration: The Henry Ford website had a post. It's one of the most famous moments in modern American civil rights history: On a chilly December evening in 1955, on a busy street in the capital of Alabama, a 42-year-old seamstress boarded a segregated city bus to return home after a long day of work, taking a seat near the middle, just behind the front "white" section. At the next stop, more passengers got on. When every seat in the white section was taken, the bus driver ordered the black passengers in the middle row to stand so a white man could sit. The seamstress refused.

But theologian Michael Horton notes that this extraordinary act flowed from Rosa Parks' ordinary life of obeying and following Jesus. Horton writes:

“Rosa Parks didn't wake up one day and decide to become the "first Lady of Civil Rights." She just boarded a bus as she did every day for work and decided that this day she wasn't going to sit in the back as a proper black person was expected to do in the 1950s in Montgomery, Alabama. She knew who she was and what she wanted. She knew the cost, and she made the decision to pursue what they believed in enough to sacrifice her own security. At that point, she wasn't even joining a movement. She was just the right person at the right place and time. What made her the right person were countless influences, relationships, and experiences—most of them seemingly insignificant and forgotten. God had already shaped her into the sort of person who would do such a thing. For her at least, it was an ordinary thing to refuse to sit in the back of the bus on this particular trip. But for history it had radical repercussions.”

Application: Are you willing to be courageous in the face of conflict and confrontation?

Transition: We see not only Jesus supreme courage but His supreme power and self -control.

Jesus Supreme Power – John 18:4b – 6; Colossians 1:15 – 20

John 18:4b-5a

(Jesus), Came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” 5 They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

  • Jesus was not hiding and thinking of fleeing. He was out front at the entrance to the Garden to meet Judas and His accusers front and center. This shows more of His courage to face death because of the will of His Father and His love for mankind
  • Judas betrayed Him with a kiss.
    • Several types of kisses in that culture and in the Bible. Kiss people’s feet, kiss people’s hands as a sign of respect
    • This was a kiss of affection from an intimate friend which made this act of betrayal the most despicable kind for all time.
    • This showed the height of human depravity in the heart of man and the depth sin will go to betray the King of Kings and Lord of Lords with the kiss of a supposed friend. This act was born in the pit of hell by Satan himself.
    • That is why Christ, Paul, Peter and others in the NT are so strong against false teaching. People who pretend and masquerade as to show the love and knowledge of God but are fake is just like what Judas did to Jesus.
    • Whom do you seek, Jesus said? Wanting them to have to verbalize the purpose they were there for.
    • Then we see Jesus reply in the last part of verse 5

John 18:5b – 6

 Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

  • In the original language, he is not there. It is implied by our English translators
  • Jesus made His infamous statement again describing the fact that He is God “I Am” – This is the name God used when He met with Moses’ at the burning bush. This is the term Jesus used seven times in this Gospel to describe His equality with God
  • There is tremendous power in the name of Jesus. At Jesus descriptive name the crowd including Judas as noted by John, moved backward away from Jesus and fell to the ground
    • Liberal commentators who do not want to believe in miracles or the power of God have tried to explain this away that Judas was overcome with emotion in the moment and stepped back away from Jesus as others in the front of the crowd did and that everyone was packed in so tight these 200 or so people fell one into another toppling them like dominoes.
    • The problem is that according to books that describe Roman soldiers, they would always make circle or at least a semi-circle around the accused to prevent fleeing and to secure their capture.
    • Jesus showed His power in a limited fashion here as they fell to the ground at the recitation of His name. The amazing power of that name
    • God spoke and at His words the heavens and earth were created instantaneously. Read Genesis 1
    • In Genesis 3:14 – 16, we see at God’s word, Satan and the mankind will be judged
    • At God’s word, Israelites died in the wilderness because of their unbelief and complaining to God.
    • In Revelation 19, the Word of the Lord will come out of the mouth of Jesus and appear as a two-edge sword destroying those who rejected God in the Tribulation period as He returns for the second time.
    • John here is highlighting Jesus divine power and Judas experienced the fact that he inevitably had no power over Jesus at all.
    • It is important to note here that they did not seize or have to seize Jesus but He willingly went with Him. He allowed them to bind and arrest Him
    • Even after His short display of power, He exhibited self-control to fulfill the mission of being the final sacrifice on the cross to pay for the sins of man so that mankind would have a path to eternal life.
    • How about you and I? Do we have expectant faith when it comes to trusting God to do the impossible in our lives? Do we look forward to His displaying His power in us and through us in expected or unexpected ways? Do we consistently pray for people who need the Lord without giving up even if it takes years?
    • Never give up seeking and asking God to display His power, to do something that only He can do in your life, in other’s life, and in the life of the church.

Application: Are you claiming the power that comes with the name of Jesus?

Jesus Supreme Love – John 18:7-9; I Corinthians 10:13; Romans 8:35 – 39; Psalm 91:11-13

John 18:7-9

7 So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” 9 This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.”

  • Jesus asks for the second time “Whom do you seek?”
    • Jesus, willing to go with the soldiers ask to let the disciples go and take just Him
    • The soldiers had to be thinking hard as Jesus made this request after the awesome power they had just experienced.
    • Do you see the selfless love that Jesus had for His disciples by protecting them as He had just prayed in the previous chapter?
      • He as the Good Shepherd wants to protect His sheep

John 10:12-13

12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

  • Jesus is not like the hired hand who flees at the first sign of trouble
  • Jesus was willing to die for them instead of their dying for Him.
  • Jesus was keeping His word to His disciples

John 17:12

12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

  • His love for us and the disciples was intentional and demonstrative
  • He willingly laid down His life for the potential salvation of all of His human created beings.

John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

John 13:1

When Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

  • Jesus said in giving His final commission to His disciples in Matthew 28:20 that He would be with them even to the end of the world. Jesus and the Holy Spirit will always be with us.

Illustration: John Ortberg shares: A few weeks ago, when I was out surfing, there was no one else in the water except for a huge guy practicing martial arts on the beach. After I'd been out a little while, a tiny wisp of a kid came paddling up out of nowhere. I couldn't believe he was out there by himself. He pulled his little board right up next to mine. He was so small he hardly needed a board. He could have stood up in the ocean on a Frisbee. He told me his name was Shane. He asked me how long I'd been surfing. I asked him how long he'd been surfing. "Seven years," he said. "How old are you?" I asked. "Eight."

Then he said, "What I like about surfing is that it's so peaceful. You meet a lot of nice people here." We talked a while longer. Then I asked him, "How did you get here, Shane?"

"My dad brought me," he said. Then he turned around and waved at the nearly empty beach. The Goliath doing martial arts waved back. "Hi, Son," he called out.

Then I knew why Shane was so at home in the ocean. It wasn't his size. It wasn't his skill. It was who was sitting on the beach. His father was always watching. And his father was very big. Shane wasn't really alone at all. Neither are we.

Application: Do you believe that God will never put more on you than you can handle?

Transition: Jesus supreme courage, His supreme power, His supreme love and lastly;

Jesus Supreme Obedience – John 18:10 -11; John 14:15; Joshua 1:8

John 18:10

10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant's name was Malchus.)

  • Peter was emboldened by Jesus display of power and as impetuous as Peter was, he thought with his short sword or dagger, he could hack his way through the detachment.
  • John, in his gospel is the only one of the four gospels to identify Peter as the one using his sword. Since Peter had been martyred before John’s writing of this Gospel, John may have felt there would be no repercussions from Peter by using his name in the story.
  • Peter was impulsively and needlessly defending Jesus
  • Peter was better with a fishing net then he was with a dagger. Malchus must have ducked and Peter cut his ear off. Jesus was concerned that the disciples could be starting a battle in which they would be all killed.
  • Jesus steps in quickly and puts an end to it by rebuking Peter. Jesus was not an earthly king who needed protected

Matthew 26:52 – 54

52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?”

  • I want to pause here for a moment as we witnessed on through our media choices this week, the shooting in the high school in Florida. How tragic it was and continues to be for the families who have suffered the loss of their child and for those who were injured.  
    • As I processed the accounts and stories and ideas of what should be done, Congress, the legislature in our states and local officials need to attempt to pass legislation and enforce current laws to do all we can to prevent a repeat of this tragedy. Sadly, there have been 18 shootings in schools, numerous shootings were suicides and not mass shootings.
    • We need to have more mental health help, some have said to make sure there are psychologists and armed guards in all schools
    • If there is any legislation that can be done to secure back ground checks and other things to make it more difficult for those who intend to kill others to get a gun, it must happen
    • But those who claim Jesus was a pacifist is inaccurate.

Luke 22:35-38

35 And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” 36 He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” 38 And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”

  • As I stated, I don’t think Jesus was a pacifist but I don’t believe He was a militant promoting revolt and aggression with weapons. He was allowing for the self – protection and defense against aggression for the disciples by allowing them to own a sword or two.
  • In verse 11, Jesus does not tell them to get rid of their sword but to put it away.
  • I just want to make that clear that Jesus was not against people having arms to protect themselves and their families it appears from this passage. Now back to John 18 as we wrap up today.
  • In Luke’s account of this story, Jesus created a new ear on the head of Malchus. This would be the last recorded miracle before going to the cross.
  • The soldiers were probably perplexed at witnessing the amazing, divine power of Jesus.
    • But instead of the crowd worshiping Jesus, these acts of power and divine healing cemented in their hearts their bitterness and hatred toward Jesus. It only increased their blindness and the hardness of their hearts and made them determined to execute Him.

John 12:37

37 Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him

John 18:11

11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

  • Jesus had compared His own sufferings to the drinking of a cup and the experiencing of a baptism (Matt. 20:22–23). When He instituted the Last Supper, He compared the cup to His blood, shed for the remission of sins (Matt. 26:27–28). The image was a familiar one to His disciples, and it is not an unfamiliar image today. To “drink the cup” means to go through with a difficult experience; and “not my cup of tea” means saying no to a certain course of action. The fact that some trophies are designed like cups suggests that winners have been through demanding experiences and had to “swallow a lot.” Peter resisted God’s will but Jesus embraced it.
  • Jesus was able to accept the cup because it was mixed by the Father and given to Him from the Father’s hand. He did not resist the Father’s will, because He came to do the Father’s will and finish the work the Father gave Him to do. “I delight to do Thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart” (Ps. 40:8). Since the Father had mixed and measured the contents of the cup, Jesus knew He had nothing to fear.
  • This is a good lesson to us: we need never fear the cups that the Father hands to us.
    • To begin with, our Savior has already drunk the cup before us, and we are only following in His steps. We need never fear what is in the cup because the Father has prepared it for us in love.
    •  If we ask for bread, He will never give us a stone; and the cup He prepares will never contain anything that will harm us. We may suffer pain and heartbreak, but He will eventually transform that suffering into glory. – Warren Wiersbe

I Corinthians 10:13

13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Application: What is your limit to obeying God’s Word?

Key Thought: Jesus courage, power, love and obedience are necessary to bring saving faith to all who will believe

Three Questions to Ponder this Week

1.    What does courage look like to you and for you on your spiritual journey?

2.    Is the resurrection power in Jesus name sufficient to bring new changes to your life?

3.    Are you all in when it comes to taking God at His Word and obeying Him?


 “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela


“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the mastery of it” – Mark Twain