Fighting Against Grace (John 18:1-11)

Fighting Against Grace (John 18:1-11)

In this passage Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested.

Substitutionary Atonement

Here we see Jesus insisting that the disciples go free. He does this by willingly offering Himself. He offers no resistance; He only insists that the disciples go free. Jesus is not going to lose a single one of His sheep. As the Shepherd He gives Himself to the wolves so that His sheep may live. Jesus is the perfect substitute. He dies our death so that we might have His life.

Jesus’ willingness

Jesus is more than willing to give up Himself for His disciples. He does not hide behind them or insist that they fight for Him. He does not want them to risk their lives fighting for Him. He willing gives up His life for His disciples. No one takes it from Him; it is freely given.

Peter’s unwillingness

Peter is not willing to watch Christ die in his place. He has to prove his loyalty to Jesus by fighting to avoid His arrest. Jesus has told Peter repeatedly that this is the Father’s will, but Peter is unwilling to let it happen. He will have his way or die trying.

Our fight against grace

As humans we are far more like Peter than we are Jesus. We want to be the hero of the story. We want to earn our place at the top. We want to show our loyalty, bravery, and commitment to Christ. We do not want Jesus to do something for us, we want to do something for Him. Like Peter, we will all fall short. We are in need of grace, but we fight against grace because we want to earn it for ourselves. In the Gospel there is only one Hero, Jesus. We are simply failures who receive His grace. The Gospel humbles us because we fight tooth and nail to show our worthiness, but the Gospel is only for the unworthy. We must realize our unworthiness in order to receive grace.


Will you receive Christ’s sacrifice for you?


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