Judas had told them to arrest the man he greeted, for that would be the one they were after. So now Judas came straight to Jesus and said, “Hello, Master!” and embraced him in friendly fashion.
Jesus said, “My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for.” Then the others grabbed him.
One of the men with Jesus pulled out a sword and slashed off the ear of the high priest’s servant.
“Put away your sword,” Jesus told him. “Those using swords will get killed. Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what is happening now?” Then Jesus spoke to the crowd. “Am I some dangerous criminal,” he asked, “that you had to arm yourselves with swords and clubs before you could arrest me? I was with you teaching daily in the Temple and you didn’t stop me then. But this is all happening to fulfill the words of the prophets as recorded in the Scriptures.”
At that point, all the disciples deserted him and fled.
Judas had told the crowd to arrest the man he kissed. This was not an arrest by Roman soldiers under Roman law, but an arrest by the religious leaders. Judas pointed Jesus out not because Jesus was hard to recognize, but because Judas had agreed to be the formal accuser in case a trial was called.
Forcing the Issue
The religious leaders had not arrested Jesus in the Temple for fear of a riot. Instead, they came secretly at night, under the influence of the prince of darkness, Satan himself. Although it had looked as though Satan were getting the upper hand, everything was proceeding according to God’s plan. It was time for Jesus to die.
Still not understanding this and wanting to protect Jesus, one of the disciples (Peter, see John 18:10) pulled a sword and wounded the high priest’s servant. But Jesus told Peter to put away his sword and allow God’s plan to unfold. At times it is tempting to take matters into our own hands, to force the issue. Usually such moves lead to sin. Instead, we must trust God to work out his plan, even when times seem to go against us.