Jesus answered, "Friend, do the thing you came to do." Then the men came and grabbed Jesus and arrested him. When that happened, one of the followers with Jesus grabbed his sword and pulled it out. This follower hit the servant of the high priest with the sword and cut off his ear. Jesus said to the man, "Put your sword back in its place. People that use swords will be killed with swords. Surely you know I could ask my Father and he would give me more than twelve armies of angels. But this thing must happen this way so that it will be like the Scriptures said."
— Matthew 26:50-54 NLT
Jesus makes it clear to Judas, to his enemies, and to his disciples he is not a victim. What will unfold does not happen because of Jesus' powerlessness. Instead, what happens is because of Jesus' submission to the Father's will. His prayer in Gethsemane had asked for other options. The arrival of Judas, with his treacherous and cowardly kiss, is Jesus' answer from that Father. This will play out as the prophets had said. This will be accomplished as the Father had planned. Jesus could call a myriad of angels to defeat his human foes, but the ones he loves and came to save would be left without a sacrifice for their sins and his salvation would be short-lived.
Jesus commands Judas to do what he has to do. Jesus commands Peter to put the sword away; there is no need to fight. As always, Matthew reminds us through Jesus' obedience that what happens is what the Scriptures had foretold.
No, Jesus is no victim. Even in his death he is in control, submitting only to the will of the Father for us!
O loving Father, who watched as your Son was betrayed and killed, thank you for your love and concern for me. Thank you, Jesus, for taking your obedience to the Father all the way to the cross and suffering when you could have prevented it. Give me courage as I wrestle with my own will and my own temptation to run from the Father's will to protect what I want for myself. God, as much as I am and I can, I give you my heart and will to be lived for your glory. In the name of the Lord Jesus, who conquered death and brought life and immortality to light, I pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Matthew 26:39-44
- Acts 2:23-24
- John 19:10-11
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.