Luke 12:47 - 53 The Arrest of Jesus
Topic: Sunday AM Passage: Luke 22:47–22:53
Luke 12:47 - 53 The Arrest of Jesus
47 While He was still speaking, behold, a multitude came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was preceding them; and he approached Jesus to kiss Him. 48 But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 And when those who were around Him saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And a certain one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus answered and said, “Stop! No more of this.” And He touched his ear and healed him. 52 And Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders who had come against Him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as against a robber? 53 “While I was with you daily in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me; but this hour and the power of darkness are yours.” nasb77
In the long history of redemption; it's showtime. Since the fall of Adam in the garden, and indeed, before the foundation of the world, and time began, this time and these events have been planned by the sovereign Creator of everything.
Why did God wait 3000 + years to get to this night you ask? You'll have to ask Him, but ultimately the story of redemption is the story of God rescuing different souls of men and women who He chose, countless numbers rescued out of the condemnation of the fall, according to His will and pleasure.
And always for the same purpose. The glory of God. God has glorified Himself as history unfolded through those He has chosen and over time He also revealed Himself to all in His God breathed book.
Little by little His plan has unfolded. First with the patriarchs. The fathers chosen by God to belong to Him. Enoch, Noah, Job, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the 12 tribes of Jacob's sons become a great nation to whom God reveals Himself first through Moses, and then through a long series of prophets.
Finally the promised messiah has arrived who will save His people from their sins. Jesus the Messiah. He arrives announced by angels, preceeded by the prophet John the baptizer, born of a virgin, in Bethlehem, in the family of David, in the lineage of the kings.
The story pre-told by the prophets is unfolding in His sinless life. The evidence is massive. The miracles and great works are beyond anything ever witnessed since creation. The demons fear and obey His voice, but not just the demons, the wind and the waves obey His commands.
Every created thing is in obedience of His authority except for one category. Mankind, fallen and lost in Adams fall into sin, does not respect and obey the authority of the King of kings.
Fallen men are slaves of an evil murderer lier and they unwittingly follow their father's wishes. And according to Jesus, their father is the devil. Adam's spawn, Adam's children, follow the ruler of this world, Satan.
God's chosen ones have come out of that mess to obey Him and do His bidding, but the two kingdoms, the authority to reign of Light, and the authority to reign of darkness are at war with each other over who will rule on this real estate we call earth.
That long war, running parallel with the history of redemption is at a crossroads in our passage this morning. Sovereign God is always in control, even of the evil Satan is allowed to do. God restrains evil and controls what Satan can and cannot do.
In this passage before us this morning we have God who is in full control, allowing darkness to accomplish His redemptive purposes. Satan is foolish enought to think he can murder the Son of God and then own the real estate that is rightfully that Son's inheritance.
God is causing redemption to take place, using Satan to perform what is necessary. All of it glorifies God. Even evil can glorify God when God uses it and causes the evil act to accomplish His perfect will and purpose.
None of the events we will speak of this morning recorded for us in this passage caught God by surprise. Every nano-second has been determined in pre-history.
22 “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know— 23 this Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.
by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God. Every micro second under His authority and sovereign rule. This is awesome. Sad but awesome. Grotesque but glorious. The most wicked act ever conceived, betraying the Son of God into wicked hands will ultimately bring triumph that will overthrow the authority to reign of Satan on earth.
47 While He was still speaking, behold, a multitude came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was preceding them; and he approached Jesus to kiss Him.
According to the other accounts we have, Jesus and Peter and James and John have rejoined the other 8 disciples at this point and they are still having the discussion about prayerful avoidance of temptation which no one has accomplished because they are anesthetized by sadness and exhaustion.
All of them were asleep, and while He's telling them to pray, a multitude shows up. Judas has gone to the temple chief priests to sell Jesus, the chief priests have gone to fort antonio and gotten the romans to send out a cohort to arrest Jesus who is obviously going to claim He's a king and overthrow Rome.
We've got temple police, we've got roman troops, we've got chief priests and all of their entourage, we've got scribes and lawyers and pharisees. This is a mob. It's between 100 and 600+ people by most scholarly guesses. A cohort if it was a complete unit was 600.
The Romans will have broad swords because capitol punishment is possible for them. The temple police will have clubs because Rome does not allow them to do capitol punishment. This is a violent mob. They have torches to light up the night.
They've Come to try to reign in the baddest man who ever roamed the streets of Jerusalem? No. Come to arrest the most peaceful person on God's earth with 11 semi helpless men. They have two machaira's. Two hunting knives between all 12 of them.
It's ridiculous. The odds are ridiculous. Except for one thing. Let's look at Johns account of what happened.
1 When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the ravine of the Kidron, where there was a garden, into which He Himself entered, and His disciples. 2 Now Judas also, who was betraying Him, knew the place; for Jesus had often met there with His disciples. 3 Judas then, having received the Roman cohort, and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Jesus therefore, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth, and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” 5 They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He said to them, “I am He.” And Judas also who was betraying Him, was standing with them. 6 When therefore He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back, and fell to the ground. John 20:1 - 6
He gave the Greek version of the Tetragrammaton, or the Aramaic version of the Tetragrammaton, the name of God, I Am that I Am. “‘I Am The word He in your versions isn't in the original nor is it needed if you understand what He just said. He just claimed to own the name of God.
And just like when His words throttled the wind and the waves to a still calm, this time His words mowed down an entire Roman cohort with all of the jewish officers and priests and pharisees. Knocked them flat. With 2 words out of His mouth. They go down like so many dominoes.
So, yeah, it wasn't a fair fight at all. Satan was smart to get an army of 600 plus as many high ranking jews as could be rounded up to go arrest Jesus. Those folks were massively outnumbered by the single person, Jesus of Nazareth.
Way back in John 7, at the feast of booths, Jesus said “If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’” And the people were starting to believe, starting to be persuaded, and the jews sent the temple police out to round Him up and bring Him in, and they couldn't do it then either.
In vs. 44 it says; 44 And some of them wanted to seize Him, but no one laid hands on Him. 45 The officers therefore came to the chief priests and Pharisees, and they said to them, “Why did you not bring Him?” 46 The officers answered, “Never did a man speak the way this man speaks.”
Never a man spoke like this man spake. They were helpless. It wasn't His time. On this night He speaks 2 words and the whole Roman cohort goes down like dominoes. But, now, it is His time.
L22Vs48 But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
It's night time, there's going to be confusion, there can be no mistake about which man is Jesus. It's going to be the one that I kiss. Repeatedly. Make no mistake.
Proverbs 27:6 looks forward to this day and this act when it says;
Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
Your friends can give you tough love and it can hurt. And we welcome that. But your enemies kiss you while they stick the dagger in. They feign love while they murder you. Satan is a liar. This kiss is a lie, the same as Judas whole 3 years with Jesus has been.
from Matthew's account M26:47 And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came up, accompanied by a great multitude with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and elders of the people. 48 Now he who was betraying Him gave them a sign, saying, “Whomever I shall kiss, He is the one; seize Him.” 49 And immediately he went to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. 50 And Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him.
Notice the dignity that the gospel writers give to Judas as they write these accounts long years after the fact. Later writers that were not Holy Spirit inspired dreamed up all sorts of gross indignities to express their hatred for the traitorous Judas.
To the gospel writers he is the ultimate tragedy. A friend lost. An empty place that once was filled but now is missing. He is the ultimate tragedy to have spent so much time in the intimacy of the 12, daily with Jesus and after all of that to have dis-believed and then turned traitor. Incredibly tragic. But again, Sovereign all knowing God uses even evil acts to accomplish His purposes.
To this day, Judas is still the ultimate traitor. So much so, think about this. After Jesus the most recognized biblical name is Judas. How many friends and aquaintances do you have with that name. Know anyone named Judas? Jude, maybe, but not Judas. We don't name our children after hated traitors.
49 And when those who were around Him saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?”
But Peter is a man of action. Sometimes too much so. Act first, think later. Peter isn't going to let the question go through committee. By the time the other disciples get the question said, Peter's already got an ear off. He was going for the head but he only got an ear. Better fisherman than warrior.
50 And a certain one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear.
From John 18; 10 Simon Peter therefore having a sword, drew it, and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus. 11 Jesus therefore said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?”
L22Vs. 51 But Jesus answered and said, “Stop! No more of this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.
From Matthews account; 26: 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. 53 “Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 “How then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen this way?”
Those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. Military power never advances the kingdom of God. God doesn't advance His purposes, His authority to reign, by using physical might, fleshly powers. It is a spiritual kingdom and fleshly swords cannot advance a spiritual kingdom. Put your swords away.
In fact, once you go there, all you're doing is declaring a flesh vss flesh war on Satan's turf and we are massively outnumbered. Plus God has given governments the power of the sword. Once Peter goes to war and kills someone with his sword, the government now has the power to take Peter's life. That isn't how the kingdom of God rolls. Completely inneffectual.
How we do roll is according to what Jesus says next in Matthews account. Very important distinction. Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?
Mano a mano is not how God's purposes get accomplished. God has unlimited resources to use against men and armies and military might.
12 legions of angels. A legion is 6000 men. A cohort is 600 men, one tenth of a legion. 12 legions is 72,000 angels. In the old testament one angel killed an army of 185,000. Do we need to do the math. Jesus has unlimited power at His fingertips. He doesn't need Peter, or Peter's sword. God doesn't do His works through human fleshly might. His war is spiritual and He has unlimited resources. Put your swords away.
Did you notice that Jesus takes care of the 11 in His charge even in this situation. He asks the leader of the cohort who do you seek and after giving the answer in the name of God, I Am He, Jesus tells them, take me then and leave these others go their way. The 11 disciples will flee from this danger just as the prophet said. Jesus was in charge of that. He doesn't lose even one. They won't go into custody with Him.
L22Vs52 And Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders who had come against Him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as against a robber? 53 “While I was with you daily in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me;
The inconsistency and irrationality of deceitful wickedness. Oh how we see this in our day. People crying "foul" and "harm" when there is no foul or harm, in fact it's a deceit to bring harm on the innocent. That's how Satan rolls. That's how false religion in the hands of Satan rolls.
The jewish leaders have convinced the Romans that an innocent man who has never harmed anyone, who only heals and loves His people, is a threat and a harm. Jesus is a big threat. Take swords! Arm yourselves with clubs and swords to go get this dangerous threat, Jesus of Nazareth.
By the way, that term Jesus of Nazareth is used derisively. It's a term that associates Jesus with a place where all Israel knows the Messiah will NOT come from. Messiah is born in the city of David. He doesn't come from Nazareth. This Nazarene is a poser. An imposter. He's dangerous. Get Him!
Jesus doesn't speak here to the Romans. He knocked them all down with two words and instructed them to leave the disciples alone. He did His final healing miracle, putting Malchus ear back on. But when He speaks of the wicked inconsistency of hypocrisy, bringing a Roman army to arrest someone who was openly available every day in the temple, He directs these words distinctly to the jewish leadership and hierarchy.
They are guilty of gross hypocrisy and they know it, but hatred has clouded all reason. They want one thing and they need the Romans to accomplish the capitol death of this person who must be eliminated. Reason is gone. Light is gone. Darkness has encompassed them and they are dupes in the hands of Satan
53 “While I was with you daily in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me; but this hour and the power of darkness are yours.”
This hour and the power of darkness are yours. How many times had they tried to lay hands on him "but His hour had not yet come"
Way back at the beginning of His ministry, when Herod took John the baptist captive and it wasn't safe in Judea for Jesus, He headed north up into the regions of Galilee. He preached in the synagogue in His home town of Nazareth and the folks there became enraged, overpowered by the darkness and sought to end His life.
In Luke's gospel account, this is very early, right after the temptation in the wilderness, He told them that God would set Israel aside and bring blessing instead to the gentiles;
L4:28 And all in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; 29 and they rose up and cast Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff. 30 But passing through their midst, He went His way.
Passing through their midst? How does that happen when there's a mob who has drug you to the edge of a cliff to cast you over it? I picture it as something like a freeze action, Jesus simply walks away while they are frozen in motion. That's what it sounds like. His hour had not come. This phenomenon will happen over and over during His ministry.
In John 7 the jewish leadership tried to reign Jesus in. He claimed to not only know the Father but to have come from Him. It says; 29 but I know Him, because I am from Him and He sent Me.” 30 So they tried to seize Him, but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.
They can't lay a hand on Jesus until the set hour has arrived. Way back in Matthew 12, early in his ministry: vs.14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus. They plot His death. They want Him dead. They are trying to figure out how to accomplish making Jesus disappear. But they can do nothing until God's sovereign hour comes.
In John chapter 8 we read Jesus claim; 58 “Truly, truly, I tell you,” Jesus declared, “before Abraham was born, I am!”
That's the tetragrammaton again. I am that I am. Jesus is claiming deity here and the jews understood exactly what and who He was claiming to be. Equal with God, the Father.
59 At this, they picked up stones to throw at Him. But Jesus was hidden and went out of the temple area.
Again they would have murdered Him that day, but His hour had not yet come. He walks away. He was hidden and walked away. How does that work. Hidden in plain sight. He just walks away from those who would stone Him to death.
In John chapter 10, Jesus teaches about His sheep that the Father has given to Him. At the end He says simply v30 I and the Father are one.” 31 At this, the Jews again picked up stones to stone Him. 32 But Jesus responded, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone Me?”
They literally have the stones in their hands but they can't seem to get their muscles to respond and actually throw the stones. Jesus has a conversation with them while they're standing their holding their stones that they would murder Him with. Which of the miracles are you stoning me for? They are helpless to proceed. His hour had not yet come.
The jews who are in control in Israel, the chief priests and scribes, the lawyers, the pharisees, the council of 70 elders, all of the leaders in that false religion that was there in Jesus time, want Him dead. And they have been helpless to make a move against Him for 3 years. Every time they try to stone Him they're paralyzed, perhaps literally.
Time after time He walks out of the midst of an angry murderous mob who would have killed Him if they could, but they couldn't ever make it happen. He walks away. Out of their midst. Stones in hand. One time He even has a conversation with them while the stones are at the ready to be thrown. Which miracle are you stoning me for? Helpless. They can't do it. Until now.
53 “While I was with you daily in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me; but this hour and the power of darkness are yours.”
The hour of darkness has finally come. Under God's sovereign control to the micro second. They couldn't. Now they can. All restraint is lifted. It's Satan's hour to do to Jesus what Satan always does. He was a murderer from the beginning. Jesus words. About to come true in just a few more hours. According to the sovereign plan and foreknowledge of God, on God's schedule, for God's purposes, the hour of darkness has come.
Woe upon these men and this world that struggles to murder God. This world that hates God's elect.
Beloved, nothing has changed. No matter what happens to us in the future, if God tarries, nothing happens to God's elect except what God allows to happen. But like Jesus, we transcend this place. We are citizens of another world.
Nothing can happen or will happen to God's elect except what God sovereignly allows for His glory and our good. Lk. 21:17 And you will be hated by everyone because of My name. 18 Yet not even a hair of your head will perish.
Jesus is in shackles getting led away to be tried by Satan's puppets. The disciples have fled in every direction fearful of their own skin. God is in control of it all. You and I are sitting here this morning because of these events that happened that night.
God sovereignly manipulated all of the powers of darkness and evil to accomplish redemption according to His plan and on His schedule down to the nano-second. Every moment in the upcoming hours which we will be looking at for many more weeks, is going to happen according to the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God.
Those who were working as dupes of Satan to accomplish the death of Jesus are guilty and will stand trial before God for all of the evil they did. Even though God used their evil acts to accomplish His good plan, they are still guilty of the murder of the Son of God.
2000 years on this side of redemption through the shed blood of Jesus we still see God in control, moving history towards His final purposes, using both good and evil to accomplish His plan. He is in total control. Every micro second is under His sovereign plan.
Soon, we believe, Jesus is going to come again into this world to depose Satan and take the thrown of this world which is rightfully His. We wait for that day, recognizing that no matter what happens next as history unfolds, God is working towards that final day. All is on schedule. We wait, and watch.
More in The Gospel According to Luke
November 21, 2021....there they crucified Him Luke 23:32 - 38
November 14, 2021Sympathy and Indifference for God the Son Luke 23:26 - 31
November 7, 2021The Lynch Mob Takes control of Pilate Luke 23:13 - 25