Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he…. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.
— John 18:4-6
Just as the Roman soldiers and temple police were preparing to arrest Jesus, a supernatural power was suddenly released that was so strong, it literally knocked an entire band of 300 to 600 soldiers backward and down on the ground! It was as if an invisible bomb had been detonated. So much explosive strength was released that the power knocked the soldiers flat on their backs! Where did this discharge of power come from, and what released it?
After Jesus received Judas’ kiss of betrayal, He stepped forward and asked the crowd of militia, “…Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he…. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground” (John 18:4-6).
Notice how Jesus identified himself. He told them, “…I am he….” These mighty words come from the Greek words ego eimi, which is more accurately translated, “I AM!” It was not the first time Jesus used this phrase to identify Himself; He also used it in John 8:58 and John 13:19. When the hearers of that day heard those words ego eimi, they immediately recognized them as the very words God used to identify Himself when He spoke to Moses on Mount Horeb in Exodus 3:14.
But let’s look at the two additional examples of the word ego eimi in the Gospel of John. In John 8:58, Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” Those final words in the verse, “I am,” are the Greek words ego eimi and should be translated, “I AM!”
In John 13:19, Jesus said, “Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.” If you read the King James Version, you will notice the word “he” is italicized, meaning it was supplied by the King James translators and is not in the original. The Greek simply says, “…Ye may believe that I AM!” In both of these cited texts, Jesus strongly and boldly affirmed that He was the Great “I AM” of the Old Testament.
Now in John 18:5 and 6, Jesus uses the words ego eimi again. The soldiers wanted to know, “Who are you?” They probably expected him to answer, “Jesus of Nazareth” — but instead, He answered, “I AM!” John 18:6 tells us, “As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.” A more accurate rendering would be “As soon then as he said unto them, I AM, they went backward and fell to the ground.”
The words “went backward” come from the Greek word aperchomai. In this case, the words depict the soldiers and temple police staggering and stumbling backward, as if some force has hit them and is pushing them backward. The word “fell” is the Greek word pipto, which means to fall. It was used often to depict a person who fell so hard, it appeared that he fell dead or fell like a corpse.
The members of this militia that came to arrest Jesus were knocked flat by some kind of force! In fact, the verse says they went backward and fell “to the ground.” The words “to the ground” are taken from the Greek word chamai, which depicts these soldiers falling abruptly and hitting the ground hard. Some force unexpectedly, suddenly, and forcefully knocked these troops and temple police flat!
Think of it — 300 to 600 Roman soldiers and a large number of trained temple police had all come laden with weapons, swords, and clubs to help them capture Jesus. After they announced that they were searching for Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus answered them with the words, “I AM” — thus identifying Himself as the “I AM” of the Old Testament. And when Jesus spoke those words, a great blast of God’s power was unleashed — so strong that it literally thrust the troops and police backward, causing them to stagger, wobble, and stumble as they hit the ground hard.
What a shock it must have been for those military men! They discovered that the mere words of Jesus were enough to overwhelm and overpower them! The tales they had heard about Jesus’ power were correct! Of course He really was strong enough to overcome an army. After all, He was the Great “I AM!”
After Jesus proved He couldn’t be taken by force, He willfully surrendered to them, knowing that it was all a part of the Father’s plan for the redemption of mankind. But it’s important to understand that no one took Him. It was Jesus’ voluntary choice to go with the troops.
The Jesus we serve is powerful! There is no force strong enough to resist His power. No sickness, financial turmoil, relational problems, political force — absolutely nothing has enough power to resist the supernatural power of Jesus Christ! When the Great “I AM” opens His mouth and speaks, every power that attempts to defy Him or His Word is pushed backward and shaken until it staggers, stumbles, and falls to the ground!
What is your need today? Why not present those needs to Jesus, the Great “I AM”? Let Him speak to your heart, directing you to His Word. Once you see the promise you need, get your mouth into agreement with His Word, and you, too, will see the power of God unleashed against the forces that try to defy you!
My Prayer for Today
Lord, I am so glad that You are the Great “I AM” and that You have power over every force in the universe. When You speak, demons tremble, sickness flees, poverty is vanquished, and your Kingdom rules and reigns! Because You live inside me, Your power is resident in me and ready to set me free from any force that tries to come against me. I stand on Your Word, Lord. I speak it out loud by faith and therefore expect to see mountains move out of the way for me!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
My Confession for Today
I declare that there is no force strong enough to resist God’s power in my life. No sickness, financial turmoil, relational problems, political force — absolutely NOTHING has enough power to resist the supernatural power of Jesus Christ that is resident in me! When I open my mouth and speak the Word of God, every power that attempts to defy His Word is pushed backward and shaken till it staggers, stumbles, and falls to the ground. When my mouth gets into agreement with God’s Word, I see His power unleashed against the forces that try to come against me!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
Questions to Answer
1. Do you have a mountain in your life right now that is so big, only God’s power can move it out of the way?
2. Can you think of a time in your life when you spoke God’s Word and saw almost instantaneous results in the physical and material realm?
3. If you are not facing a mountain right now, how might you spiritually prepare yourself for one in the future?