Jesus’ Power and Protection Revealed

John 18 records an amazing account of Jesus’ revealing his power to those who had come to arrest him. When Judas and the crowd came into the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus went to meet them, asking them who they were looking for. In response he declared to them that he was the one they were looking for, but he did so in a unique way. Back in John 8, Jesus had declared that “before Abraham was, I am”, to which the Jews picked up stones to kill him. They did so because Jesus used God’s personal name revealed to Moses in Exodus “I am”. His name was considered so sacred that by the time of Jesus they would not even pronounce it. In Hebrew it was the verb which in English is translated “I am”. In Hebrew we think it was either “Jehovah” (King James Version) or “Yahweh” (modern translations). When they came to arrest Jesus, he again used the same way to reveal himself “I am”. When they heard this they fell backwards and to the ground. The revelation of Jesus’ identity as Jehovah/Yahweh was so powerful that they were cast to the ground. However, John revealed that Jesus didn’t do this to reveal his power, although it was revealed, but to protect his disciples, fulfilling what he had prayed in John 17:12 that none who had been given to him by God the Father had been lost, except for Judas who betrayed him. They came for Jesus and left with Jesus, but left all the other disciples alone, when they could have arrested them all as a group. Jesus’ powerful and protective nature was revealed in this incident. In John 10 he had revealed himself as the Good Shepherd who lays his life down for his sheep. In Psalm 23:4 David had written of the Lord/Jehovah/Yahweh that his rod and staff comforted him. The rod and staff were used by shepherds to protect their sheep from predators. Jesus’ action here reveals that as he protected his disciples at the time of his arrest, his power is there to watch over those who follow him today.

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