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John55 – Democracy wins

Having said these things, Jesus came out with his disciples beyond the winter-flowing-torrent of the Kidron, where there was a garden into which he himself came in and his disciples . (John 18: 1)
We’re entering the closing pages of John’s eye-witness biography of Jesus, written around AD 90. The year is AD 30, the place Jerusalem. It’s Jewish “Passover” time (now “Easter”) when they celebrated the anniversary of the release from slavery in Egypt of their ancestors around BC 1350. This included the crossing of the Red Sea.

The words above show that John was recalling that parallel Passover event. Jesus brings himself and his disciples “beyond the winter-flowing-torrent of the Kidron” (Kidron, translated, means ‘dark’) and into “a garden”. A reminder of the long-lost Garden of Eden? Is that the plan?   

And in fact he, Judas, the one giving him over, had discerned the place, because Jesus often gathered there with his disciples. So Judas, having laid hold of the cohort and, from the chief priests and from the Pharisees, of officials, comes there with torches and oil-lamps and implements. 

Judas, one of Jesus’ twelve disciples and the one who gave him over to death, knew “the place” – knew this earthly “garden”. He (and his company) had other ideas about who was to be in charge of this “garden”. The Roman authority has given him a “cohort” (usually 600 soldiers). The religious “chief priests” and political “Pharisees” had backed him with a company of their own “officials”. A majority party in the garden that night.

Judas and those behind him also had other ideas about securing their future “garden”.  It would not contain Jesus. It would be achieved “with torches and oil lamps and implements”.Humankind without Jesus needs light and power.

So Jesus, discerning everything coming upon him, came out and he states to them, “Who are you seeking?” They answered him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He states to them, “I am.” 

Yes, John carefully records that Jesus knows all – and he wants to proceed with their plans to be rid of him. The company consensus gave the name of the destructive criminal as “Jesus of Nazareth” which means “YHWH is salvation, the separated one”. YHWH is the Hebrew title for the LORD God and translates as, ‘I am who I am’. 

Jesus replies, “I am”.

In fact, Judas , the one giving him over, had also stood with them. So when he said to them, “I am,” they came away into the things behind and fell groundward. So again he asked them, “Who are you seeking?” In fact they themselves said, “Jesus the Nazarene.” Jesus answered, “I said to you that I am; so if you seek me, leave these to go away,” - in order that the word may be fulfilled that he said that: “Those whom you have given to me—I destroyed no one from them.” 

It seems that, initially, Judas did not take the lead. But, as soon as Jesus said “I am”, the company fell back behind him – to the ground. Jesus gives the company a second opportunity themselves to speak his name, (see above)“I am who I am is salvation, the separated one”. He repeats “I am.” Then comes a third repeat, “I am” and he then requests the release of his disciples. They are not to be “destroyed” as part of his destruction. An hour or so ago he had stated that openly in his prayer to his father (John53). 

So Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the slave of the lead priest and cut off his right ear. In fact, the name of the slave was Malchus. So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath! The cup that the father has given me—may I not drink it?” 

Simon Peter, the bravest of Jesus’ disciples, decides to act instead of running away. His sword does the exact opposite of the good which Jesus is about to do for others. It damages the hearing apparatus of a man who was only there as “a slave of the chief priest”. Swords that damage others are not for Jesus who wants to “drink the cup which the father has given” him to drink.  

So the cohort and the lead-over-a-thousand and the officials of the Judeans took over Jesus and tied him up. And brought first towards Annas, because he was father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was lead priest that same year. In fact Caiaphas was the one having advised the Judeans that it profits one man to die on behalf of the community. 

The company “took over Jesus”. And "the garden". In charge is a model leader. 10x10x10 has a huge majority in our garden today..
Sinner Syvret

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