As the evening began, after Jesus and His disciples had celebrated the Passover, they came to the garden. At some point, Jesus took three of them—Peter, James and John— to a place separated from the rest. Here Jesus asked them to watch with Him and pray so they would not fall into temptation (Matthew 26:41), but they fell asleep. Twice, Jesus had to wake them and remind them to pray so that they would not fall into temptation. This was especially poignant because Peter did indeed fall into temptation later that very night when three times he denied even knowing Jesus. Jesus moved a little way from the three men to pray, and twice He asked His Father to remove the cup of wrath He was about to drink, but each time He submitted to the Father’s will. He was “exceedingly sorrowful unto death,” but God sent an angel from heaven to strengthen Him (Luke 22:43).
After this, Judas Iscariot, the betrayer, arrived with a “multitude” of soldiers, high priests, Pharisees, and servants to arrest Jesus. Judas identified Him by the prearranged signal of a kiss which he gave to Jesus. Trying to protect Jesus, Peter took a sword and attacked a man named Malchus, the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Jesus rebuked Peter and miraculously healed the man’s ear. It’s surprising that witnessing this amazing miracle of healing had no effect on the multitude. Neither were they shaken by His awesome display of power as described in John 18:5-6, where either at the majesty of His looks, or at the power of His words, or both, they became like dead men, falling to the ground. Nevertheless, they arrested Him and took Him to Pontius Pilate, while the disciples scattered in fear for their lives.