Thursday, February 09, 2012

John 18 1 to 8

1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.
2 And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.
3 Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.
4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?
5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.
6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.
7 Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.
8 Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:

Key Observation:
Judas betrays Jesus.

It is interesting to read how John handles the betrayal. He has already told us that Judas is a thief, helping himself to the money of the treasury. (John 12) Through John we also read of the remark at the Passover where Jesus, after giving the betrayal bread to Judas, privately tells Judas (did John overhear this remark?) to do his deed quickly.

Matthew, in contrast, does not finger Judas as the one objecting to Mary’s anointing of Jesus, in fact not telling us that it was even Mary. Matthew does directly follow the anointing with the betrayal, giving credence to John’s eyewitness account (perhaps Matthew, not being as close to Jesus, did not see all that John saw). On the other hand, Matthew does list the thirty pieces of silver as payment (Mt. 26). All of the events of the betrayal and the anointing are in Matthew 26; in John they are separated into six chapters. John gives us the last discourse of Jesus, and lets us know how that actually broke apart the betrayal of Jesus into more distinct time segments. But Matthew also has Jesus say to Judas, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Did John omit the “friend” because he felt harshly betrayed, even years later when this gospel was written?

Mark does not give the picture of Jesus privately identifying Judas to those closest to Him i.e. John. Mark records not the comment of Jesus that Matthew did: “Friend, do what you have come for.”

Luke places the anointing of the woman way too early, evidently not understanding where it fit in the timeline. The woman, as with Matthew and Mark is not identified as Mary, the brother of Lazarus. Luke does tell us much about the women, including that Jesus tells her to go her way for her sins are forgiven her and her faith has saved her. (Luke 7)

John alone tells us that the anointing took place where Lazarus lived, and that Mary, the sister of the one He had just raised from the dead, was the one that spent a fortune on the perfume. McGee speculates that Mary had purchased this expensive perfume for her own burial, and I think Judas was probably correct in estimating its worth to be over a year’s wages.

Of all of the gospels, John is my favorite, for it is in John that I learn the more personal things of Jesus, a natural consequence of being closely associated with the Master. I do notice that even when Jesus has given Himself up willingly for the cross, He still takes time to secure the freedom of his disciples. I am touched that He shows compassion to them, but also to me. And where would I be without the Lord’s Prayer of John 17. To see Him praying for me before I even was. “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.” What a wonder that God should pray for such a worm as me!

Alas, And Did My Savior Bleed

1. Alas, and did my Savior bleed,
And did my Sovereign die?
Would he devote that sacred head
For sinners [original: for such a worm as I] such as I?

2. Was it for crimes that I have done,
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! Grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

3. Well might the sun in darkness hide,
And shut its glories in,
When God, the mighty maker, died
For his own creature's sin.

4. Thus might I hide my blushing face
While his dear cross appears;
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt mine eyes to tears.

5. But drops of tears can ne'er repay
The debt of love I owe.
Here, Lord, I give myself away;
'Tis all that I can do.

Lyrics: Isaac Watts

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