- It should be remembered that Passover, the celebration of freedom from foreign domination, brought thousands of Jewish pilgrims to Roman-dominated Jerusalem. It was a volatile time.
- Jesus was clandestinely arrested by night on the secluded Mount of Olives. Evidently, Jesus was popular enough with the general Jewish populace to worry those who wanted to maintain order. His foes did not want to trigger a riot (see Mk. 14:2; Luke 22:2; John 11:47- 57).
- Multiple references in different forms and settings to Jesus’ death as “a cup” to be drunk suggest that Jesus himself grappled with the likelihood of his Passover execution in Jerusalem. See Mt 20:22-23;
26:27, 39 (and parallels in Mk 10:38-39; 14:23, 36, and Lk 22:20, 42); Jn 18:11; and 1 Cor 10:6, 25-26.
- The identity of the arresting party is unclear. Mark and Matthew describe it as from “the chief priests,” but John adds “soldiers” (Romans). Since Pilate effectively appointed the high priest, and since they had a durable working relationship, the composition of the arresting party may not really matter.
- Although Jesus does not resist arrest, there is swordplay that Jesus stops.
- It seems likely that the disciples scattered into the night.