In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me. But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.”
Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.
— Matthew 26:55-56.
Men, Peter has just struck the servant of the high priest and cut his ear off. Jesus orders a “stand down”, and speaks to the assembly. “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me?” Jesus has made Himself a public figure, teaching in the temple, and town centers. While Jesus taught in front of these men, during the day time they made no arrest, but now, in the dark, they’ve come with fierceness.
Jesus goes on to say to them, “But all this was done that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Jesus isn’t making a defense plea. He is making a case for fulfillment. Jesus states the obvious to make a point. There was nothing against Jesus that could form a legitimate indictment in the light, but now, in the dark, in secret, there is an action.
Jesus cares for individuals as much as nations. Jesus is speaking reason to the mob that they may see which side they’re on and come to repentance. Why else tell them in concession “that all this is done that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled?” Though being arrested, in route to torturous death, Jesus is still at peace, bringing light into darkness.
Our natural response to trouble, especially false or erroneous claims is to emphasize defense, even with hostility. Not Jesus. Jesus has eyes to see the much larger picture of events and purpose and allows these things to unfold.
As He submits to their charge, the disciples forsake Him and flee. How many of us walk with Jesus daily, but when things get beyond our understanding, presuppositions or control, we turn and run back to the familiar asking “WHY?” Jesus doesn’t say anything new. He reminds everyone present, that this all was prophesied.
Move forward men, bringing light into darkness with peace and long-suffering. Jesus knew their hearts, and had authority in Heaven, yet spoke in simple terms to offer truth upon deception, light upon darkness, and legitimacy upon secret schemes.