Imagine for a moment that you are being arrested for a crime that you didn’t commit. You knew the arrest was coming. You are even aware that you’ll be unjustly convicted. It’s no surprise to you that the authorities have come to take you.
So, as they’ve surrounded you and your friends, with guns drawn, what’s your first response? Do you try to run? Do you ask your friends to help you resist? Are you even aware that there are others there with you? After all, the impending arrest must be foremost in your mind, right?
Jesus found Himself in a situation like this.
“So he asked them again, ‘Whom do you seek?’ And they said, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus answered, ‘I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.’” (John 18:7-8)
I find it amazing that even in the hour of His arrest, Jesus was so very concerned about His friends. “If you seek me, let these men go.”
They were surrounded by the authorities, when Jesus, in essence, said, “Take me and let the rest get out of here.”
This scene causes me to flash forward to the cross, where Jesus again demonstrates His care and concern for His mother and also for His good friend John. “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” (John 19:26-27) Even with His dying breaths, Jesus demonstrated great compassion.
As a leader, I am challenged by Jesus’ reactions. Do I care that deeply and fervently for people? Jesus certainly did.