So Judas took a company of soldiers and some temple police from the chief priests and the Pharisees and came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. John 18:3 HCSB
I have always appreciated our country’s military and the sacrifices they make for our country. While living in Clarksville, Tennessee I came to have a greater appreciation for military families who attended our church from Fort Campbell. Many brave men and women place themselves in harm’s way for our freedom every day. Throughout human history soldiers have been charged with keeping order, maintaining peace, and guarding freedom. In modern day Israel, young soldiers of the Israeli Defense Force are expertly trained to protect the country and its inhabitants.
John is the only one of the four Gospel writers who records that a company of soldiers came to arrest Jesus. A company of Roman soldiers would have been a group of 30-200 soldiers. Just imagine such a large group appearing with lanterns and torches in the middle of the night to arrest Jesus. The soldiers came to insure that there was no resistance from Jesus or His disciples. There was no real reason for such force to be used because Jesus had been in the temple almost daily teaching and healing and had never posed a threat.
Challenge: Are there those around you at work, school, or in your neighborhood who feel that Jesus and Christianity is a threat to them in some way? It seems we live in a culture that is constantly attacking Christians. Pray for strength as you make a stand and face persecution for your Christian beliefs and values. Jesus understands because He has already faced opposition and persecution.