While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: "The one I kiss is the man; arrest him." Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" and kissed him.
Jesus replied, "Friend, do what you came for."
Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus' companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
"Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?"
At that time Jesus said to the crowd, "Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled." Then all the disciples deserted him and fled. Matthew 26:47-56
Jesus’ arrest really wasn’t interesting material for tabloid television. It was fairly uneventful. Jesus wasn’t taken forcibly. There were no tazers. There were no handcuffs. While Jesus could have called in His own angelic SWAT team, He simply cooperated. Jesus had already surrendered Himself to the Father’s will back in the garden. It was a done deal. There was no need to protest. There was no need to struggle. God was in control.
Peter, being his impulsive self, picked up a sword and wildly swung. We can assume that his target wasn’t merely an ear. As Peter jabbed, Jesus’ thought wasn’t “don’t stop there,” or “seriously, dude, that’s pathetic.” Jesus simply instructed His disciples, “No more of this.” Violence was not on the agenda for that day.
Then, in a poignant moment, according to Luke, Jesus touched the man’s ear, and he was healed (Luke 22:51). You wonder what was going through the servant Malchus’ head at that point (John 18:10): “Are you SURE this isn’t the Messiah? My ear was on the ground. I was bleeding profusely. Now look. It’s like nothing ever happened.” But, nothing would deter their cause that day.
Jesus was able to calmly approach the arrest because things were settled between Him and the Father. He had surrendered Himself completely. Jesus was emotionally and spiritually prepared for that day.
What things are rocky inside of you today? What is unsettled? What answer or direction do you need? What reassurance could God provide? What is going on in you that is anything but calm today? I want to challenge you to carve out a short amount of time, even your daily commute, to surrender these things to God.