The job of the Roman soldier was to invoke so much fear into the life of the citizens that there was no room for disobedience.  When a Roman soldier appeared, people ran.  It was trained into them to be brutal and heartless.  Their very presence invoked fear.  The Romans expected it.  They were drunk on that kind of power.

But things don’t always work out the way they’re supposed to.

A detachment of soldiers was sent out to get Jesus.  Blood was in the air but orders were to bring him back alive.  They confidently marched to the grove of olives, hardened and tough.  Judas was going to lead them to him and they would hunt him down.  This one would be easy.

But as they drew near, instead of Jesus running in fear, he “went out” to them.  He stood up and instead of running from them, he went to them.  Instead of the Romans demanding answers, Jesus asked them the question.  “Who is that you want?”

“Jesus of Nazareth,” they responded.

“I am he.”

With that the Roman soldiers drew back in fright and fell to the ground all over each other.  A bumbling mess.

“If you are looking for me, then let these men go.”

His concern?   To protect his disciples.  He didn’t run from the battle, he ran into it, protecting his men (who all ran away).

Jesus is the true warrior.   The one turning the tables on the enemy.

Where men try to invoke fear, He is their fear (Is 8:13).