Jesus is a lot more powerful than you think, and you are a lot less powerful than you think. I saw a picture recently that really captured me. It was of a tiny, little baby, squatting under a power-lifting bar, with a massive amount of weight on each side. The caption read, “You, trying to live the Christian life in your own strength.” We can lose sight of how powerless we are when we lose sight of the infinite power of Jesus. Our story in John today is intended to leave us in awe of the power of Jesus. As Jesus heads toward the cross, we see that in no way was his power taken away, but freely given up.
- What are the contributing factors that make you lose sight of the infinite power of Jesus?
READ THE WORD: JOHN 18:1-11 (ESV)
18:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” 5 They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” 9 This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” 10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- List everyone present at this scene.
- What four different aspects of Jesus’ power are revealed in this passage (vss. 4, 6, 9, 11)?
- What specific details are given when Jesus reveals who he is (vss. 4-9)?
- What is the difference between how Jesus demonstrated power and how Peter did? What does this teach us about Jesus’ approach to power?
- If you found yourself in the middle of this scene, how might you have responded?
RESPOND TO GOD
In the beginning, God demonstrated his power by creating the whole world with his words. In John 18, we see Jesus demonstrating his power by knocking a band of soldiers on their backs with three words, “I am he.” It’s wild to imagine all that Jesus could have done at the moment of his arrest. He could have shot fireballs from his eyes and consumed them all. He could have called lightning down from the sky. He could have simply walked away. Instead, he revealed his unlimited power and then laid it down to demonstrate his great love and mercy. Jesus shows us that greatness is not in how much power you have over others, but in how much you are willing to give up to love and serve others.
- Prayerfully spend some time recognizing the unlimited power of Jesus. Thank him for laying it down by giving his life on the cross for your sin.