I have told you that I am he: if therefore you seek me, let these go their way:
Read Chapter 18
Cyril of Alexandria
He asks them again a second time, of set purpose, that He might show the extent of the blindness He had put in their minds. For they were robbed of their right judgment, and had their minds, as it were, deranged by their impiety, and knew not that they were speaking to Him Whom they sought. Christ, indeed, proved by His actions the truth of what He professed: I am, He says, the Good Shepherd: the good shepherd layeth down his life for the sheep. Christ, then, saves the Apostles as with a shield; and, bearing the brunt of the danger Himself, advances to those who were come to lead Him to death, sent thereunto, that is, by the high priests and Pharisees. When they answered, Jesus of Nazareth, to His question, Whom have ye come to take and bind in the bonds of death? He pointed to Himself, and, well-nigh accusing them of delay, bade them take Him away and let the rest go free; for it was necessary that One should die for all, Whose life was an equivalent for the lives of all men, that He ...
See the forbearance of the Evangelist, how he does not insult over the traitor, but relates what took place, only desiring to prove one thing, that the whole took place with His own consent. Then, lest any one should say that He Himself brought them to this, by having placed Himself into their hands, and revealed Himself to them; after having shown to them all things which should have been sufficient to repulse them, when they persevered in their wickedness, and had no excuse, He put Himself in their hands, saying,
If therefore ye seek Me, let these go their way.
Manifesting until the last hour His lovingkindness towards them. If, He says, ye want Me, have nothing to do with these, for, behold, I give Myself up.