Here we see the betrayal of Jesus take place. All that he said would happen came to pass. Judas came by night to this private garden with a contingent of soldiers and others to betray him into the hands of the chief priests for trial and his murder.
What is typical of the way this took place is the same as criminals and the evil have conducted their affairs throughout history. They came under false pretences, under cover of darkness, in hefty numbers and appearing to be something other than they actually are. Judas had given the soldiers a sign saying, “The one I shall kiss is the man; seize him and lead him away under guard.” (Verse 44) In a false act of greeting he came to Jesus calling him “Master” and kissing him to betray him into the hands of evil men.
This is the nature of evil people. They will appear to be your friend, but their intention is deception for their own ends. Is it any wonder that Jesus did not trust himself to men (John 2:24-25). And they do their deeds under the cover of darkness and in secret places for they fear being exposed for the frauds and the evil that they are. Thus as Jesus did not trust himself to men, we need to beware of men as well for if they did it to him, they will do it to the followers of the Lord as well.
Now we see that one of those with Jesus struck back by drawing a sword and cutting off the ear of the slave of the high priest. In another version of this event we see that it was Peter who did this act. But there Jesus said for him to cease and he healed the ear of the man struck, for Jesus knew he was to go through this ordeal and death and he did not want the disciples to suffer as well. (John 18:9-11) This was to fulfil prophecy that he was not to lose any of those the Lord God had given to him.
At this point the disciples all forsook Jesus and fled, as Jesus had already told them they would. Despite their earlier bravado, when confronted by the angry mob they ran for safety, which was what the Lord told them they would do and what they needed to do so that the gospel would be preached after Jesus’ death. They would suffer grief over this, and Peter especially who would shortly deny even knowing Jesus, but when they came around and repented they would return to their faith and seek the Lord as they moved forward.
The lesson here for us is that when we too fall, we must pick ourselves up and return to the Lord as well. We must not allow our weaknesses and failings to prevent us from standing with the Lord. Even if we fall and fail over the same issue many, many times. When we come to our senses we need to turn to the Lord with a repentant heart and be prepared to move forward. In due course we will have the victory over the issue as he strengthens us when we look to him for the truth.
(Clipart sourced from oChristian.com http://clipart.ochristian.com/)