Still wondering about John 18?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic Pages Forum : One Thread
No one has answered my question yet, so I hope some one can help me: 18:5 They answered him, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus said to them, "I am he." Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 18:6 When he said to them, "I am he," they drew back and fell to the ground. When Jesus said "I am He." What happened? Was a veil lifted from his humanity to show his divinity for a split second? Were there hearts illumened? Because they seemed to of forgot whwn He asked them again whom they were seeking?
-- Anonymous, July 09, 1998
Robert, Yes, when Jesus answered, the men coming to arrest Him in the garden cowered at hearing the voice of the Lord (maybe similar to St. John the Baptizer leaping in Elizabeth's womb at the sound of the Blessed Mother's voice?). Also, I think they recognized His Divinity in the words He chose to respond with, "I AM He"; the same words God chose as His Name in response to Moses' question.
-- Anonymous, July 10, 1998
Here's what Saint Augustine had to say about this
2. "Judas also," he says, "who betrayed Him, knew the place;(2) for Jesus oft-times resorted thither with His disciples." There, accordingly, the wolf, clad in a sheep's skin, and tolerated among the sheep by the profound counsel of the Father of the family, learned where he might opportunely scatter the slender flock, and lay his coveted snares for the Shepherd. "Judas then," he adds, "having received a cohort, and officers from the chief men and the Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns, and torches, and weapons." It was a cohort, not of Jews, but of soldiers. We are therefore to understand it as having been received from the governor, as if for the purpose of securing the person of a criminal, and by preserving the forms of legal power, to deter any from venturing to resist his captors: although at the same time so great a band had been assembled, and came armed in such a way as either to terrify or even attack any one who should dare to make a stand in Christ's defense. For only in so far was His power concealed and prominence given to His weakness, that these very measures were deemed necessary by His enemies to be taken against Him, for whose hurt nothing would have sufficed but what was pleasing to Himself; in His own goodness making a good use of the wicked, and doing what was good in regard to the wicked, that He might transform the evil into the good, and distinguish between the good and the evil. 3. "Jesus, therefore," as the evangelist proceeds to say, "knowing all things that should come upon Him, went forth and saith unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered
Him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am [He]. And Judas also, who betrayed Him, stood with them. As soon then as He had said unto them, I am He, they went backward, and fell to the ground." Where now were the military cohort, and the servants of the chief men and the Pharisees? where the terror and protection of weapons? His own single voice uttering the words, "I am [He]," without any weapon, smote, repelled, prostrated that great crowd, with all the ferocity of their hatred and terror of their arms. For God lay hid in that human flesh; and eternal day was so obscured in those human limbs, that with lanterns and torches He was sought for to be slain by the darkness. "I am [He]," He says; and He casteth the wicked to the ground. What will He do when He cometh as judge, who did this when giving Himself up to be judged? What will be His power when He cometh to reign, who had this power when He came to die? And now everywhere through the gospel Christ is still saying, "I am [He];" and the Jews are looking for antichrist, that they may go backward and fall to the ground, as those who have abandoned what is heavenly, and are hankering after the earthly. It was for the very purpose of apprehending Jesus that His persecutors accompanied the traitor: they found the One they were seeking, for they heard, "I am [He]." Why, then, did they not seize Him, but went backward and fell, but just because so He pleased, who could do whatever He pleased? But had He never permitted them to apprehend Him, they would certainly not have done what they came to do, but no more would He be doing what He came to do. They, verily, in their mad rage, sought for Him to put Him to death; but He, too, in giving Himself to death, was seeking for us. Accordingly, having thus shown His power to those who had the will, but not the power, to hold Him; let them now hold Him that He may work His own will with those who know it not. 4. "Then asked He them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am [He]. If therefore ye seek me, let these go their way: that the saying might be fulfilled which He spake, That of those whom Thou hast given me I have lost none." "If ye seek me," He says, "let these go their way." He sees His enemies,(1) and they do what He bids them: they let those go their way, whom He would not have perish. But were they not afterwards to die? How then, if they died now, should He lose them, were it not that as yet they did not believe in Him, as all believe who perish not?
End of St. Augustine. No doubt that those who came to arrest Jesus knew Him, certainly Judas did. Yet, even with lanterns, and on hearing His voice, He was not recognized.
Hope this helps.
-- Anonymous, July 10, 1998