April 13, 2017

Why Did the Jews Who Came To Arrest Jesus Fall to the Ground When They Approached Him?

John 18:4-6 - Jesus therefore, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth, and said unto them, "Whom do you seek?" They answered Him, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus said unto them, "I am He." And Judas also, which betrayed Him, was standing with them. When therefore He said unto them, "I am He," they went backward, and fell to the ground.

"I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance. They will say of Me, 'Only in the Lord are righteousness and strength.' Men will come to Him, and all who were angry at Him shall be put to shame."

- Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 45:23-24)

"Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

- Apostle Paul (Philippians 2:9-11)

"Why, then, do you judge your brother? Or why do you belittle your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: 'As surely as I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow before Me; every tongue will confess to God.' So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God."

- Apostle Paul (Romans 14:11-12)

"But they, it says, fell back; and this happened three times. What therefore was the purpose of this? And for what reason did the Savior offer Himself to them, but they fell down when they heard Him say, "I am He?" It was that they might learn that His passion did not happen to Him without His own will, nor could they have seized Him, had He not consented to be taken. For it was not the effect of their own strength that they took Christ, and brought Him to the wicked rulers, but He yielded Himself up to suffer, as well knowing that His passion upon the cross was for the salvation of the whole world."

- St. Cyril of Alexandria (Commentary on John)

"That He might show the fruitlessness of numbers, and the utter incapacity of all human power to affect anything against the ineffable power of God, by merely addressing them in mild and courteous language He bows down to the earth the multitude of those who sought Him, that they might be taught how powerless to endure His threatenings is the nature of created beings, unable as it is to bear one word of God, and that spoken in kindness, according to the word of the Psalmist: "Terrible art Thou, and who shall withstand Thy wrath?" That which happened to a portion, and befell those who came to take Him, is, as it were, symbolical of the humbling of the entire race; yea, the prophet Jeremiah laments for the Jews, saying: "The house of Israel is fallen: there is none to raise it up." That which here happened is a type of what inevitably comes to pass in a similar case; for it teaches us, that he is altogether doomed to fall who practices iniquity against Christ."

- St. Cyril of Alexandria (Commentary on John)

"What madness! His word threw them backward, yet not even so did they turn, when they had learned that His power was so great, but again set themselves to the same attempt. When therefore He had fulfilled all that was His, then He gave Himself up."

- St. John Chrysostom (Homilies on John)