I was studying John 18:1-11 with some friends and was struck by something one of my friends said. We had just discussed John 18:3 where the word “σπεῖραν”1 could mean either a tenth of a legion (a legion was 6,000 men, so this would mean 600 men were coming to arrest Jesus) or used as Polybius referring to 200 men2. Either way, you likely have a good number of men coming to arrest Jesus.
We then discussed John 18:4-6, which is a fascinating passage for a number of reasons. Let me just mention two reasons:
- Note in John 18:4 that Jesus knew “all the things that were coming upon Him”. Throughout this passage, it has been emphasizing Jesus' deliberate refusal to flee or avoid the cross. In this verse, we find explicitly that Jesus is fully aware of what He is doing and what is coming upon him!
- Note the “I am” (“Ἐγώ εἰμι”) statement in John 18:5. This relates both to the “I am” statements in the book of John as well as to God’s revelation of His name to Moses in Exodus 3:14. Notice also the effect of Jesus' statement in John 18:6. Again, we see that Jesus had the power and authority to make a good number of soldiers fall back and fall to the ground.
One of my friends commented:
“That is a man worth trusting. One who has authority over all earthly authorities and, yet, is so loving and faithful that He will obey the Father’s Will even to the point of death. That’s a man I want to trust.”
I found this tremendously encouraging3 and wanted to share it.