John, Chapter 18

- מ ב ה -

Roman Soldiers Arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

1When 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. 2And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples. 3Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? 5They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. 6As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground. 7Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. 8Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way: 9That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none. 10Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. 11Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? 12Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him, 13And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year. 14 Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.(John 18:1-14)

Judas Iscariot arrives in Gethsemane, together with several Roman soldiers who have been sent on behalf of the High Priest. Judas points Jesus out to them. As they approach him, Jesus confirms his identity. Peter strikes one of the High Priest’s servants with a sword and cuts off his right ear. Jesus urges Peter to stop and restores the severed ear to the servant’s body. Jesus already knows what will happen on that night and therefore requests that the violence cease. He devotes himself to his mission and is committed to bearing the burden of his afflictions. The Roman soldiers seize Jesus and tie him up. They lead him to the court of Caiaphas, the High Priest, who plans to kill him and put an end to the turmoil brewing in Jerusalem. Jesus insists on executing God’s plan. He is not willing to reject or delay his fate any longer. The Roman soldiers and guards harass and mistreat Jesus. They represent the evil and inferiority of human nature, in drastic contrast with Jesus’ purity and devotion to lofty ideals.

Purity is achieved by restricting negative impulses and eliminating evil thoughts and deeds.