You might have missed it. It was hidden in plain sight, right in front of you, but you may not have noticed it. Or if you did, you didn’t recognize its importance.
What was it?
It was a proclamation – an affirmation of identity - very simply stated but full of the power of the universe.
Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, "Whom are you seeking?" They answered Him, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus said to them, "I am He." Now when He said to them, "I am He," they drew back and fell to the ground. (John 18: 4-5, emphasis added.)
Did you ever wonder why they fell to the ground?
The Plan of the ages hinged on Jesus' words at that very moment. Jesus learned obedience by the things He suffered. (Hebrews 5:8) Obedience was never a question with Jesus. It was an uninhibited, unrestrained, bold action. As the God-Man, Jesus weighed the consequences of obedience.
At that point He knew all things that would happen as a result of His obedience. The struggle was not to determine whether He would obey; He was learning the cost of obedience to Himself and to us.
In the garden of Gethsemane, He had surrendered to the Father's will. In fact,He had surrendered to the Plan from before the beginning of time. Now came the action. The doing. The consummation.
Humanity would have cowered down to the soldiers that night who, when asked, told Him that they were seeking Jesus. Humanity would have said, "Oh, you just missed Him. He went that-a-way!" All the power of eternity was in those three tiny words - "I am He." Up until that point, the Plan could have been changed - disregarded - detoured - "Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me..." Matt 26:39.
The moment He said, "I am He," He put action to His Words - "not as I will but as You will..." His words were His act of absolute surrender to the will of the Father. He surrendered to the soldiers and the plan of all ages was implemented. The force of those words coming out of His mouth knocked the soldiers down.
Even then, humanity might have tried to get away - take advantage of the soldiers' momentary impairment when they were knocked to the ground and run away! Matthew 26: 56 says that all who were with Him forsook Him and fled.
But Jesus had learned the value of obedience. Perhaps the Plan of the ages passed before His mind at that moment - from eternity to eternity. In the twinkling of an eye, He saw the wisdom of the Plan, the heart of the Father and the purpose of His life on earth culminating in those three simple words, "I am He."
Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. (Matthew 12:34)Jesus was so full of the will of God that His words rocked the universe.
Jesus learned the value (cost) of obedience to humanity - what it means to a man or woman and what it means to the Kingdom of God when one obeys no matter what the cost may be as a result.
Do we each have that moment of decision that reveals the level of our commitment - our willingness to obey no matter what? Moments, like Job, that reveal what is in our hearts - "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him." (Job 13:15) Like Rahab in that moment when she did the right thing and hid the two spies on her roof even though it could have meant her life. (Joshua 2: 1-21) Like the young girl at Columbine who met that moment head on and lost her earthly life but gained a martyr's crown.
We all have our "I Am He" challenges that require us to step over the line into commitment. Those are the moments when the will of God overrides the wisdom of the world that teaches us to “follow our heart.” Those are the moments that define who or whose we are. Those are the moments that rock the universe and draw all the attention of Heaven.
NOTE: All scripture verses from NKJV
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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