Soldiers take Jesus to the leader of the priests
1 When Jesus had finished praying, he and his disciples went out. They went across the Kidron valley. On the other side, there was a garden. Jesus and his disciples went into it. 2 Judas, who sold Jesus to his enemies, knew the garden. He knew the place because Jesus and his disciples had met there often. 3 The leaders of the priests and the Pharisees sent a group of soldiers and some officers with Judas. He led these soldiers and officers to the garden. The soldiers had weapons and they carried lights.
18:3The soldiers were Roman soldiers. The officers were Jews who may have worked like police at God's Great House.
4 Jesus knew everything that would soon happen to him. He went towards them and he asked them, ‘Who are you looking for?’ 5 They answered, ‘Jesus, who comes from Nazareth.’ Jesus said, ‘That is who I am.’
Judas, who sold Jesus to his enemies, was standing there with the soldiers. 6 When Jesus said the words, ‘I am,’ the soldiers quickly moved away from him. They fell down to the ground. 7 So Jesus asked them again, ‘Who are you looking for?’ They said, ‘Jesus, who comes from Nazareth.’ 8 Jesus replied, ‘I have told you already, that is who I am. Since it is me that you are looking for, let these other men go.’ 9 Jesus said this because earlier he had said, ‘I have lost none of those people that you gave to me.’ This made what he had spoken earlier really happen.
18:6The Jews used ‘I am’ as the name of God. When Jesus said, ‘I am,’ they would have recognized this name. He was saying that he is God.
10 Simon Peter had a sword. He took hold of it and he attacked the servant of the leader of the priests. He cut off the servant's right ear. The servant's name was Malchus. 11 Then Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put your sword away in its place! My Father has decided what great pain I must have. I will obey him completely.’
12 The group of soldiers, with their captain and the Jewish officers, took hold of Jesus and they tied his arms. 13 They led him first to Annas, who was the father of Caiaphas's wife. Caiaphas was the leader of the priests that year. 14 It was Caiaphas who had spoken to the Jewish leaders some time before. He had told them, ‘It is better that one man should die on behalf of the people.’