Upon the arrival of Judas and those with him, Je- John xviii. 3-12. sus, accompanied bj the apostles, goes forth from the Matt, xxvi 47-56. garden to meet him. Judas, coming forward before the Mark xiv. 43-52. others, kisses Him as a sign to them. Addressing Ju- Luke xxii. 47, 48. das, with the words, uBetrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss," He advances to the multitude and demands of them whom they seek ? At their reply, " Jesus of Nazareth," He answers, "I am He," and they go backward and fall to the ground. Again He asks the same question, and receives the same reply. He
now requests that the apostles may go free. As they Luke xxii. 49-53. proceed to take and bind Him, Peter smites a servant of the high priest, but the Lord heals the wound. Beholding their Master in the power of His enemies, all the apostles forsake Him and flee, and also a young man who had followed Him. He reproaches the multitude that they had come to arrest Him as a thief.
The time spent in the garden was probably more than an hour, so that, if they entered it about midnight, it was between one and two in the morning when Judas came.1 The Lord seems to have met him near the entrance of the garden—whether without it or within it is not certain. " He went forth," (John xviii. 4 ;) " out of the garden," (Meyer;) " out of the circle of the disciples," (Lange;) " from the shade of the trees into the moonlight," (Alford;) "from the bottom of the garden to the front part of it," (Tholuck.) The matter is unimportant. According to his arrangement with the priests, Judas, seeing the Lord standing with the disciples, leaves those that accompanied him a little behind, and, coming forward, salutes Him with the usual salutation, and kisses Him. To this Jesus replies, " Friend, wherefore art thou come ? " (Matt. xxvi. 50.) " Betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss ? " (Luke xxii. 48.) Appalled at these words, Judas steps backward, and Jesus goes toward the multitude, who were watching what was taking place, and who, beholding Him advance, await His approach. It may be that Judas had advanced so far before his companions that he was not seen by them to kiss the Lord, and that they were still awaiting the sign. He asks, " Whom seek ye ? " They reply, " Jesus of Nazareth." His words, " I am He," spoken with the majesty that became the Son of God, so overawed them that they went backward and fell to the ground.
i Jones, Notes, 381, makes the arrest to have been about 10 P.m., and Jesus taken to Caiaphas about 11 p. M. It must have been later than this.
After a like question and reply, He requests them to let the apostles go free, thus implying his own willingness to be taken; and they, thus emboldened, now lay hands upon Him. At this moment Peter draws his sword and smites one of the band. Jesus orders him to put up his sword, and declares that He gives Himself up to them voluntarily, and that, if He needed help, His Father would send Him legions of angels. The healing of the servant's ear is mentioned only by Luke, (xxii. 51.) He now addresses a few words to the chief priests and captains and elders, who had probably to this time been standing behind the soldiers, and now came forward; and, as He finished, the apostles, seeing Him wholly in the power of His enemies, forsook Him and fled. It does not appear that there was any design to arrest them. If their Master was removed out of the way, the Sanhedrim doubtless thought that they would soon sink into obscurity. There was no attempt to seize them, and in the darkness and confusion they could easily escape. Peter and John, however, continued lurking near by, watching the progress of events. The incident of the young man " having a linen cloth cast about his naked body," is mentioned only by Mark, (xiv. 51, 52.) From the linen cloth or cloak, Lightfoot infers that he "was a religious aseetic, and not a disciple of Jesus, but a casual looker-on. Lichtenstein (395) makes him to have been the Evangelist Mark himself, and son of the man at whose house Jesus ate the paschal supper; others, John ; others, James the Just.1
The circumstances connected with the arrest are put by some in another order. The incidents narrated by John, (xviii. 4-9,) the going forth of Jesus to the multitude; His questions to them; and their prostration; took place before Judas approached Him to kiss Him.2
1 See Alexander in loco. The matter is elaborately discussed by Bynaeus, ii. 228.
3 So Robinson, Alford, Stier.
According to Stier, (vii. 2*77,) Judas was with the band, but stood irresolute as the Lord came to meet them. He with the others fell to the ground, but, reviving, goes forward to give the kiss. But why give the kiss to make Jesus known, when He already avowedly stood before them ? It was not needed as a sign. Stier affirms that it was given in "the devilish spirit to maintain his consistency and redeem his word." This may be so, but the order before given is more probable.1
1 So Lichtenstein, KrafFt, Ebrard, Luthardt, Meyer, Patritius.