How many men with swords will it take to subdue Jesus?
Will he outsmart them or pull out a trick from under his sleeve!
Nobody knew.
Soldiers had never tried to take him by force before.


"Behold, the hour is a hand, and the Son of Man is being
betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. See,
My betrayer is at hand." While He was still speaking, Judas,
one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and
clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people.

Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "Whomever
I kiss, He is the One; seize Him." Immediately he went up to
Jesus and said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" and kissed Him. But Jesus
said to him, "Friend, why have you come?"

Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him.
Suddenly one of those who were with Jesus stretched out
his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high
priest, and cut off his ear. But Jesus said to him, "Put your
sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by
the sword. [{Luke 22:51} Permit even this." And He touched
his ear and healed him.] "Do you think I cannot now pray
to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than
twelve legions of angels?"

Jesus said to the multitudes, "Have you come out, as against
a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with
you, teaching in the temple and you did not seize Me. But
all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might
be fulfilled." Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled. And
those who had laid hold of Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas
the high priest.

                                                Matthew 26:45b-57 NKJV, condensed

                                      Let's Get Going

Jesus the lord of the universe
was handed over by one of his own
Judas kissed Jesus when he meant no affection
pretended nothing amiss
a smile up front and a stab in the back
peace! rabbi my teacher
turmoil my friend

suddenly we see a different picture
the whole world had not gone wild about Jesus
not everyone admired our lord of the universe
at the instigation of the religious elders
a large posse of armed civilians
joined the detail of Roman soldiers
to stop Jesus from spreading further blasphemies

accosted by this formidable crowd
displaying their clubs and swords
Jesus the friend of the poor and the weak
appeared defenseless himself
the one whom the wind and waves obeyed
gave himself over to them
it was not their power and authority that bound him

but one of his number would not permit it
pulled a sword and swung toward the head of his nearest foe
sliced off his ear
drawing the first Good Friday blood
Jesus ever the compassionate healer
picked up the broken part
and made the wounded whole

those who fight with a sword
will die by a sword
Jesus our prince of peace defused the situation
don't you know who I am
heaven will provide adequate protection
a multitude of angels
in far greater numbers than this is at God's command

why? the son of man asked
do you come at me with deadly weapons
I sat daily in the temple peacefully teaching the ways of God
why now but not then
armed men use force to get what they want
even as they arrested him
Jesus claimed the fulfillment of scripture

Jesus the lord of heaven and earth
who healed the sick
cast out demons
raised the dead
multiplied the loaves and walked on water
was not going to command the natural world tonight
there will be no supernatural intervention

depending upon how miracles are counted
there will be only one miracle here tonight
adrenalin won't do it either
our heavenly Father revealed a new battle plan
submission to earthly authorities
death and resurrection
the Savior of the world became our servant


Use the following questions for small groups, journaling, further
study or reflection.


Icebreaker: Sweet talk and swords. A kiss on the cheek and a stab in the back.
                      What is the most disgusting thing about a betrayal?


It doesn't matter how many times we've been warned, it's still a shock
when something bad happens.
            Imagine the scene when the troops arrive to arrest Jesus and
                        describe what you see.


Do you think the elders of the people were expecting trouble that night?
Jesus was unarmed and had a band of 12 followers, minus one.
            How difficult could it be to bring him in and book him?


We get a glimpse into the thinking of Jesus when he proclaimed that
his arrest fulfilled the words of the prophets. He was a master at
taking a negative and turning it into something positive.
            To what extent is a person a product of their own thinking?
                        Give some examples
            How do your thoughts determine your conduct?
Jesus fulfilled Scripture. What do your words and deeds fulfill?


Jesus rebuked the follower who drew a sword, saying, "All who take
the sword will perish by the sword."
            How universally should we apply this phrase?
            Is it likely Jesus meant it for more than just this circumstance?


"Let us be going!"--Jesus was ready to advance rather than retreat.
            Think of a situation where you need to get up and go?
            What is holding you back?
Review the steps Jesus took to get to this point and see if there's
anything that would help you move forward and make progress
toward your goal.


How do you react to Jesus healing the ear of one who was trying to
arrest him?
            Did you expect or not expect that from him?   Why?
            How well do you emulate that behavior when you are being wronged?
            When that man got home, what do you think his story sounded
                    like when he recounted the night's activities to his family
                    and friends?


All the disciples fled and Jesus was left alone with his captors.
            Why did they all cut and run?
            What did the arrest and probable conviction of Jesus mean to them?
            Where could they go for solace?
            How would they recover from the shame of their unfaithfulness?

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