The title of this blog is taken from the Gospel of John. Here is part of John’s narrative detailing Jesus’ arrest in the Garden of Gesthemane. It is my favorite scene in the Bible:

John, Chapter 18, NKJV

1When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, into which he entered, and his disciples.

2And Judas also, who betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus often met there with his disciples.

3Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns and torches and weapons.

4Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek you?

5They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus said unto them, I am he. And Judas also, who betrayed him, stood with them.

6As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.

In a universal timeline full of pivotal moments, this particular scene strikes me as especially grand. It only makes sense in context of the entire preceding history of creation. Here’s my summary:

God created humans, and the humans lived in harmony with God and the rest of creation. Humans rebelled against God and lost their right relationship to the Creator. The Creator established a lineage from Abraham, by which a redeemer would be raised up and sacrificed, so that humans could once again have right relations with God. Fifteen hundred years later, that Redeemer was born in Bethlehem. He proceeded to live a sinless life and spent His last few years on earth revealing heaven there.

As we see in those verses from John’s gospel, one of His own betrayed Him and came with a mob. Jesus of Nazareth revealed Himself as such to the mob. And right there is where it gets especially interesting. Look at verse 6 again:

6As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.

This mere act of identifying Himself flattened the crowd. A bomb of glory detonated in that garden. This manifestation established to anyone paying attention that Jesus was not your average criminal, if it wasn’t already evident. After regaining their feet, the mob arrested Jesus. Because He LET them do so. It is as if He said, “My I AM has knocked you over. I will now allow you to arrest me; try me in a kangaroo court; and then torture and execute me on trumped up charges.”

Heaven bared its neck to humanity. For the sake of humanity. The Whole Thing turns on that most improbable of developments in a garden on the Mount of Olives, across a small valley from the walls of Jerusalem.


In that same garden scene, Jesus restored the ear of one Malchus, after Peter hacked it off in defense of Jesus. You can’t help but wonder, after all of the arresting mob managed to get back to their feet and then saw the Malchus healing…did not one of them think, “Maybe just maybe this guy really is the son of God.” Surely Malchus did. But if anyone stopped the group and said, “Y’know, maybe this isn’t such a good idea,” history is silent on the matter. Large groups of people aren’t famous for clear thinking in moments of stress.

-11/17/16 (and edited for clarity, 04/23/20)