Hey everyone! Just wanted to give you the heads up that I'm off for two weeks to do some seminary classes in Atlanta. I'll still be posting here, but the posts will be appearing later in the day most likely. FYI.
Some helpful information and insights about the arrest of Jesus:
"During festival seasons the Romans were aware of the explosive atmosphere in the city, and reinforcements routinely came to Jerusalem. At the beginning, then, we have a signal of Roman interest in Jesus and a hint that Pilate may already be participating. The presence of chief priests and Pharisees recalls their appearances elsewhere in the Gospel (7:32, 45; 11:47, 57) and indicates that these leaders, priestly aristocrats and teachers of the law, who had plotted Jesus’ death earlier under Caiaphas’s direction (11:53), are now putting their plan into action. Therefore John’s portrait is clear: The entire world—both Jew and Gentile—has come against Jesus. Responsibility for what happens next rests with all of them.
But Jesus is not taken by surprise (18:4). In Mark 14:42 Jesus knows that Judas is coming before he arrives. Likewise here, Jesus’ foreknowledge (1:47–48; 6:6; 13:1) gives him the ability to see the arrest before it unfolds. He does not shrink from the moment but has already made the decision to lay down his life under his own volition (10:18). Therefore Jesus steps forward and asks the first question, “Who is it you want?” (which echoes Jesus’ first words in the Gospel; 1:38). The answer is surprising (18:5): “Jesus of Nazareth.”
Jesus identifies himself plainly (18:5–7) but this certainly means a great deal more than a mere self-identification. Jesus uses the “I am” formula we have seen elsewhere in the Gospel (e.g., 4:26; 8:24, 58), which no doubt recalls God’s divine name. John underscores this in 18:6, “When Jesus said, ‘I am …,’ they drew back and fell to the ground.”