God’s Renewing Word of Hope
John 18:1-18: John 17 (the reading from February 17) records Jesus’s prayer for his disciples prior to his betrayal and arrest. Today’s reading continues the narrative. After praying, Jesus and his disciples enter a garden where Jesus encounters Judas, who betrays him. Jesus is arrested, and Peter denies that he knows Jesus.
The Arrest of Jesus
(Matthew 26.47-56; Mark 14.43-50; Luke 22.47-53)
1After Jesus had said this prayer, he left with his disciples and went across Kidron Brook. There was a garden in that place, and Jesus and his disciples went in. 2Judas, the traitor, knew where it was, because many times Jesus had met there with his disciples. 3So Judas went to the garden, taking with him a group of Roman soldiers, and some Temple guards sent by the chief priests and the Pharisees; they were armed and carried lanterns and torches. 4Jesus knew everything that was going to happen to him, so he stepped forward and asked them, “Who is it you are looking for?”
5“Jesus of Nazareth,” they answered.
“I am he,” he said.
Judas, the traitor, was standing there with them. 6When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they moved back and fell to the ground. 7Again Jesus asked them, “Who is it you are looking for?”
“Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.
8“I have already told you that I am he,” Jesus said. “If, then, you are looking for me, let these others go.” ( 9He said this so that what he had said might come true: “Father, I have not lost even one of those you gave me.”)
10Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the High Priest’s slave, cutting off his right ear. The name of the slave was Malchus. 11 Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back in its place! Do you think that I will not drink the cup of suffering which my Father has given me?”
Jesus before Annas
12Then the Roman soldiers with their commanding officer and the Jewish guards arrested Jesus, tied him up, 13and took him first to Annas. He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was High Priest that year. 14 It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jewish authorities that it was better that one man should die for all the people.
Peter Denies Jesus
(Matthew 26.69,70; Mark 14.66-68; Luke 22.55-57)
15Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. That other disciple was well known to the High Priest, so he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the High Priest’s house, 16while Peter stayed outside by the gate. Then the other disciple went back out, spoke to the girl at the gate, and brought Peter inside. 17The girl at the gate said to Peter, “Aren’t you also one of the disciples of that man?”
“No, I am not,” answered Peter.
18It was cold, so the servants and guards had built a charcoal fire and were standing around it, warming themselves. So Peter went over and stood with them, warming himself.
Today’s Key Verse: John 18:11
Jesus said to Peter . . . “Do you think that I will not drink the cup of suffering which my Father has given to me?”
After Jesus was arrested, what did Simon Peter do? Why do you think he denied knowing Jesus? Have you ever been in a situation where you were confronted about being a follower of Jesus? If so, how did you feel at the time? Are there ways in which people deny Jesus today?
Lord Jesus, help me to claim and share your presence in my life. Forgive me for those times when I have acted in ways that denied you. Keep me united to you and help me to be a source of encouragement to other believers. Amen.
John 18:19-40: Jesus is taken to Pilate.