4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, “Whom are you seeking?” 5 They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. 6 Now when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him,
Jesus was fully aware of everything that would happen to Him. All four gospels indicate that He was fully knowledgeable of what was about to happen. He could have fled in the darkness, but He chose to launch a sequence of events that would lead to His crucifixion. Jesus knew that Judas knew where His customary retreat was located.
went forward and said to them,
Jesus freely admitted who He was; He voluntarily presented Himself to the menacing crowd. The sacrifice of Christ upon the cross was intentional.
Our Lord took the initiative to confront Judas and the goon squad. He went out to meet these people and direct questions to them.
“Whom are you seeking?”
Instead of avoiding the trouble that was to come upon Him, Jesus resolutely addressed the crowd (Jn 10:18). He also volunteered Himself or gave Himself over to the authorities here so that He could finish His work on the cross. He was no victim of circumstance.
They answered Him,
The goon squad of religious leaders and temple police responded to Jesus collectively. It was a group response to Jesus’ question.
“Jesus of Nazareth.”
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but His home town was Nazareth, where He grew up.
Jesus said to them, “I am He.”
Jesus openly disclosed Himself with “I am He.” Notice that “He” is italicized. That means it is not in the original text. Jesus simply said “I am.” There was no need for a kiss of betrayal, for Jesus made His claim for deity before them all.
And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them.
Imagine Judas, the ex-treasurer of the apostles, standing there with the goon squad. Just a few hours previous he was in the upper room with Jesus and the apostles. He was with Jesus for His three-year public ministry, but he betrayed Jesus to this motley crew. He stood there with those from the prince of darkness.
Now when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
When Jesus said “I am” the goon squad fell to the ground by the majesty of His deity.
Jesus took the initiative to launch events leading to the cross.
The events in the Garden of Gethsemane were no surprise to Jesus. He was no victim there. He confronted His adversaries with full knowledge of why they were there. God’s reason for them being there was for our Lord to die on the cross for the sins of the world.