“And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.” Mark 14:43
As you study the gospels’ accounts of Jesus betrayal, arrest, and trial it becomes clear that, in regard to the most important things that were happening at that time, no one was listening to either Jesus or the scriptures.
The scribes, the Pharisees, and the rest of the Jewish leaders weren’t really listening to Jesus. Oh yes, they had their spies that were dogging Jesus’ every step and straining their ears to hear his every word; but they were just listening for him to say something they could report to their masters so that they could use it against him. They weren’t listening so that they could understand.
The disciples were also listening but they too were only listening for Jesus to say something that would fit within the scope of their plans. Whenever he would say something that didn’t fit they were sent into confusion until they, apparently, had convinced themselves that they had simply misunderstood.
Now they’re all in the garden. Jesus with his disciple and Judas with those sent to help him take Jesus. But if they’d all been listening to Jesus and paying attention to the prophecies they would have all known that he was not going to, in fact, he didn’t even want to, resist being arrested. The arrest, and all of the humiliation accompanying it, fit with the plan heaven had made for the worlds messiah. His enemies didn’t need a mob armed with clubs and swords, and his allies weren’t supposed to rush forward, with swords swinging in an attempt to defend him.
On this night, as Christ submitted to being taken and bound by his enemies, he was fulfilling the final necessary steps that he would need to take in order for him to be our defender. Heaven had chosen that on this night, just like every other night, they would once again consider the needs of sinful men more important than they’re own. Only this time the Godhead would give more than they ever had before. They had given the Son, and the Son would give himself so that we could be saved from our sinfulness.
But no one had really been listening as Christ had tried to make them understand. Are we any better today? Or are we still, like both Jesus’ enemies and his allies, just listening for him to tell us something that fits with our plans?
If we’re going to be saved we must throw our plans in the trash, where they belong, and start prayerfully listening to him like we never have before.