Rise up, let us go; see, he that betrays me is at hand.…
I. THE ARRIVAL ON THE SCENE OF JUDAS AND HIS COMPANIONS. While Judas believed that Jesus was shortly to appear in great glory as the predicted King of the Jews, he followed Him loyally. "Hephestion," said a certain great personage of history, "loves me as Alexander, but Craterus loves me as king." So we may venture to say Judas did once upon a time love Jesus, not, indeed, as Jesus, but as king. "He was the father of all the Judases," remarks a Puritan, "who follow Him, not for love, but for loaves; not for inward excellencies, but for outward advantages; not to be made good, but to be made great."
II. THE PANIC. How are we to explain it? Was it the power of the human eye, like that by which the lion tamer quells the lion? This has been suggested by a modern critic. Was it magic? This was said by an ancient reviler. Was it all in the mere fancy of the simple folk who told the tale? This notion has found much popular favour. For my own part, believing, as I do, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, this phenomenon does not strike me as unlikely or unexpected. Pat out your hand, man, and arrest the locomotive when it comes thundering into the station, making the ground tremble; arrest the shot as it bursts blazing from the lip of the cannon; arrest the lightning as it stabs the cloud before it strikes the tree; arrest a ray of light, catch it and turn it out of its course; arrest the tidal wave, as King Canute essayed to do; arrest the force now travelling under ground, and which, as the scientific prophet tells us, is next year to burst out in many earthquakes I If you really could succeed in these arrests, and turn back these natural powers, could you arrest their Lord Himself?
III. THE CAPTURE.
IV. A BLOW STRUCK FOR JESUS — "And behold one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's and smote off his ear."
V. THE APPEARANCE OF A YOUNG MAN IN A LINEN CLOTH NEXT CLAIMS CONSIDERATION.
VI. THE GREAT FORSAKING — "Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled." You pardon a politician when he forsakes a cause that he once thought perfect, because he has now found out its glaring imperfections: you pardon a theorist when he forsakes a theory that he once thought perfect, because he has now found out its fallacies; you pardon a merchant when he forsakes a concern that he once thought perfect, because he has now found out that it is hollow: you pardon one man when he forsakes another as his own confidential friend, though once, thinking him perfect, he had been ready to do any. thing or bear anything for him, with no incentive but a wish, and no reward but a smile; if now he has found him. out to be a person not safe, not true, not to be trusted. But he who forsakes Christ forsakes perfection. We can challenge any man to say that he thought Him perfect once, but that he has now found stains on that snow, spots in that sun.
(Charles Stanford, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand.