Updated: May 29, 2022
God has equipped us with so much! He created us in His image, and has given us dominion over everything He made; the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the livestock, and over every creeping thing that creeps over all the earth (Genesis 1:20) Yet, at times, we fail to forget that we are who He says we are and our identity is in Him! When Jesus walked the earth, He exemplified everything we were supposed to be, with so much poise, grace, and wisdom. Everything, already inscribed in our hearts by our Father. The book, The American Church by Sophie Stubbs summarizes the enemy's attempt to alienate us from that knowledge. It is written that the enemy “is fearful of people who truly know who they are in Jesus -a generation of people who know their kingdom identity and truly walk with the Lord on a daily basis,” (Stubbs, 1).
In John 18, Judas led a band of soldiers and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees to the garden. Jesus, knowing this would happen to Him, stepped forward and asked them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
Jesus said to them, “I am He.” Judas who betrayed Him was standing with them.
When Jesus spoke, they drew back and fell to the ground, “John 18:6”.
So He asked them again, “Whom do you seek?”
They said, “Jesus of Nazareth”.
Jesus answered, “I told you that I am He. So, if you seek Me, let these men go.” (John 18:2-8)
This was an attempt of the serpent to disrupt everything God created in the garden of Eden. But Jesus, stood with the authority of God, and said I am.
I AM HE.
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
Jesus never denied who He was. He never operated outside of the calling and the purpose God established for Him. “I am He” he said, “If you seek Me, let these men go”. All the way to the end, He stood by His Kingdom identity. There was so much authority spoken in these words, so much weight in Him knowing what was to come, yet boldly and firmly stating He was one with the Father, (John 14:9,11; see also John 8:19, 10:38, 12:45).
“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, Malchus, and cut off his right ear.” (John 18:9-10). It’s important to reflect on the role of Judas in Gethsemane (John 18:5), to that of the serpent’s in the garden of Eve. Both trespassed a holy environment (the presence of the Lord in Eden and at Gethsemane) and attempted to create a disruption and derail God’s plan (the serpent leading Eve and Adam to sin, and also the presence of the serpent at Gethsemane, Judas, leading Peter to cut Malchus’ right ear).
As the serpent attempted once more to lead the disciples astray by turning all the grace, wisdom, and love they’ve learned from Jesus to violence, God’s purpose prevailed.
“No more of this!” Jesus said and touched Malchus’ ear and healed him, (Luke 22:51).
Then He said to Simon Peter, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and He will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Mathew 16:52-53).
In the midst of the chaos, He reminded His disciples of all they’ve heard from Him, the teachings, wisdom, and character. At that hour, Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness, (Luke 22:53). All this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” (Matthew 16:52-54). For it was written, “I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered,” (Mark 14:27).
All the disciples left Him and fled.
On the account of Mark, a young man followed Him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized him, but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked” (Mark 14:51). The young man’s identity is unknown but both his presence and fleeing after all other disciples led was poignant. Scripture tells us that he too, “followed Jesus” and scattered like the other sheep.
Everything spoken by God in genesis prevailed.
Genesis 1:20, John 18:6, John 18:2-8, John 14:6, John 14:9,11; see also John 8:19, 10:38, 12:45, John 18:9-10, John 18:5, Luke 22:51, Mathew 16:52-53, Luke 22:53, Matthew 16:52-54, Mark 14:27. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Stubbs, Sophie. The American Church. WestBow Press, 2022.
The Found Sheep