“When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.” ~ John 18:6
We are in the age of the skeptic. And we are more than ever having to beef up our arguments in order to debate atheist’s and agnostic’s into belief. It is true that we ought to contend for the faith, especially on this side of history where there is so much confusion. And Paul does encourage us to destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:5). Which gives us every reason to study apologetic’s and go deeper in our knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures.
And yet when Christ speaks, all worldly authority is held captive.
Jesus was waiting for them. The Jewish officers finally arrived after a painful night of prayer in the garden. The time had come and Jesus warned His disciples it would happen. And although He had just finished pleading with the Father for another way, it was clear that He would surely have to drink the cup.
So He does what none of us would have done. He takes a step closer to His accuser’s and knowingly ask’s who they would like to see. “Jesus of Nazareth” they say. And without pause and with what only can be described as humble boldness, Christ offer’s Himself by saying, “I am he”.
But what is not clear to the common reader is that He is not just answering their question, He is making a statement. In the greek He is actually saying, “I AM”.
Jesus stares these deeply sinful men in the eyes and declares His divinity one more time. This is not an act of defiance but of grace. He is obedient to His call of pain and death and yet He is giving them one last chance. And it is clear that the soldiers felt something deep within themselves, because with Christ’s declaration came weak Jewish knees, as they drew back and collapsed.
Who would accept this call of wrath willingly, unless it was in pure submission to a Holy God who demanded it for the salvation of the world.
Many denied Him than and many deny Him now. But every single confused and skeptical soul when faced with the great I AM will become faint and fall. We ought not be overcome by the evil in this world. Justice will be won. As it already has been.