They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus said unto them,
I am he.
And Judas also, who betrayed him, stood with them.
All Commentaries on John 18:5 Go To John 18
Cyril of Alexandria
But perhaps some may reply: The Roman soldier perhaps knew not Jesus, and the servants of the Jews shared their ignorance. We answer that any such suggestion is groundless. For how could they who were selected to the priesthood fail to know Him, Who was in their power continually when He was teaching daily in the temple, as our Saviour Himself says? But that no one should trust in arguments of this sort, and miss apprehending the truth, the inspired Evangelist, foreseeing this, is impelled to add, that with the soldiers and the servants was standing Judas also, which betrayed Him. Then how could the traitor fail to recognise the Lord? You may answer that it was night, and dark, and therefore not easy to see Him of Whom they were in search. How worthy our admiration is the writer of the book, in that not even so small a point as this has escaped his notice! For he has said that, when they came into the garden, they had lanterns and torches in their hands. A solution, therefore, is found to this curious inquiry, and the Divine dignity of Christ is seen, Who brought Himself to those who were seeking Him, though they could no longer of themselves recognise Him. In order to prove that they were so blinded as not to be able to recognise Him, He says plainly, I am He. And that He might show the fruitlessness of numbers, and the utter incapacity of all human power to affect anything against the ineffable power of God, by merely addressing them in mild and courteous language He bows down to the earth the multitude of those who sought Him, that they might be taught how powerless to endure His threatenings is the nature of created beings, unable as it is to bear one word of God, and that spoken in kindness; according to the word of the Psalmist: Terrible art Thou, and who shall withstand Thy wrath? That which happened to a portion, and befell those who came to take Him, is, as it were, symbolical of the humbling of the entire race; yea, the prophet Jeremiah laments for the Jews, saying: The house of Israel is fallen: there is none to raise it up. That which here happened is a type of what inevitably comes to pass in a similar case; for it teaches us, that he is altogether doomed to fall who practises iniquity against Christ