I love the beauty of words in the Gospels especially in situations of parallels like we see in John 18.
When the soldiers come for Jesus, he goes out to them and asks who they seek. When they answer, He responds with three words, “I Am He”. Twice he says these words and twice they fall back through the power of these three words. On the third time, He is taken and the disciples flee and darkness is at hand.
When John is hiding in the midst of the soldiers he too is confronted and he too responds with three words, “I am not.” Twice it is recorded that he says these three words and upon the third denial the cock crows as prophesied by Jesus.
Jesus, though captured, walks and speaks in the light of truth. John, though free, hides in the darkness attempting to blend in with those who betray Jesus. Jesus, though showing extreme restraint, is fully in control. Peter has lost control of his tongue and his will and his confidence and his strength.
What three words will you choose when confronted about your faith? Will you fall into Peter’s temptation of “I am not.” And assume a position of weakness in the face of darkness. Or will you follow the example of Jesus and profess, “I Am His”?
As Jesus shows, the path of following Him is not an easy path. The world will hate those who profess they belong to Him because they first hate Jesus. But, it is the right path. It is the path of perpetual light. It is the path that allows us to walk side by side with Jesus and be with Him for all eternity.
It is also the path that Peter turns back to, as chronicled in the book of Acts. It is the path he followed when he enters the house of Cornelius. It is the path that leads to his own death on a cross, and it is also the path that leads to his name being written on one of the 12 foundation stones of the New Jerusalem as noted in Revelation 21.
What three words do you choose? Jesus Loves Me? I Am His? Jesus, forgive me? Lord save me? I am saved?
Fear, concern, reaction. He ran away from the Lord and tried to hide among those persecuting Him.
Stay with Jesus no matter what. Avoid those who persecute Jesus.
It was Jesus’ most recent prophecy. The entire night was about the fulfillment of prophecy, both old and new.