Reflections on John 18:1-23: I Am He

This chapter records the beginning of the events that led up to Jesus’ crucifixion. When the soldiers came to arrest Him and they told Jesus who they were looking for, “Jesus of Nazareth”, Jesus spoke the words, “I am He.” John records the reaction of the soldiers. “They drew back and fell to the ground.” Why would they react in such a way? They were men carrying weapons who had come with authority and power.

The soldiers had come in contact with the King of Heaven, who had ultimate power and ultimate authority. His words were spoken centuries before when He told Moses, “I AM has sent me to you.” (Exodus 3:14) It was understood by the Jews of Jesus time that God was “The Great I Am.” Jesus spoke the same declaration, “I Am.” When encountered with Jesus’ words declaring Himself God, they “fell to the ground” at the power of Jesus’ words.

Jesus could have stopped the events to follow at any time. His words were powerful enough to cause big burly soldiers to fall down. BUT He did not stop what would happen. He was determined to follow through with total submission and total obedience to His Father’s will knowing exactly what He would suffer.

What love! And What an example to us who desire to follow Him with all our hearts! May we follow Him with total submission and total obedience to His will and His plan for our lives as well!

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