John 18:1-18

We have a betrayal (Judas) contrasted with a denial (Peter). Peter, out of fear and perhaps
disillusionment, refuses to acknowledge that he is one of Jesus’ disciples. We may have done that ourselves. Judas, for profit, turns Jesus over to those who want to kill him. There is a distinct difference in degree and kind. If we want to understand how this relates to us today, think of it this way: Peter falls away for a time, but he understands what he has done, he continues to follow, and ultimately is completely restored! Judas denies and betrays, and goes to his grave without any suggestion that he is restored. Judas shows that he never really understood and believed. Peter is a disciple, but Judas is a pretender.

The reason I say that Peter may be disillusioned is because he was still looking for a political and military Messiah and was itching for a fight (10)! Jesus stops him, and reiterates that this is the way it has to be. Peter is most likely confused, probably disillusioned, and possibly depressed at this point. The same thing happens to us when we think God is going to act in a certain way and He doesn’t. Disciples need to make sure that they manage their expectations. God is God, and we are not!

In the midst of this we also see another indication of deity. It’s true that the Greek in verse 6 can be understood as “I am he.” But Jesus literally says, “I am.” John certainly wants us to connect that with Jesus’ other “I am” sayings, as well as John 8:58 where Jesus said, “Before Abraham came into existence, I am.” John wants us to understand that Jesus is more than a prophet, more than a teacher, and more than a man. It’s why he records the soldiers response: “they retreated and fell to the ground.

Finally, notice Jesus’ love and care for His disciples: “I have not lost a single one of those whom you gave me.” We have a similar promise that relates to our salvation. When we know Jesus we are His, and we are His for eternity!

1 Peter 1:3-5 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he gave us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, that is, into an inheritance imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. It is reserved in heaven for you, who by God’s power are protected through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last
time
.”

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