John 18

Judas Betrays Jesus

1 When Jesus had spoken these words, 1He went forth with His disciples over 2the ravine of the Kidron, where there was 3a garden, in which He entered with His disciples.
2 Now Judas also, who was betraying Him, knew the place, for Jesus had 4often met there with His disciples.
3 5Judas then, having received 6the Roman cohort and 7officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns and 8torches and weapons.
4 So Jesus, 9knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth and said to them, "10Whom do you seek?"
5 They answered Him, "Jesus the Nazarene." He said to them, "I am He." And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them.
6 So when He said to them, "I am He," they drew back and fell to the ground.
7 Therefore He again asked them, "11Whom do you seek?" And they said, "Jesus the Nazarene."
8 Jesus answered, "I told you that I am He; so if you seek Me, let these go their way,"
9 to fulfill the word which He spoke, "12Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one."
10 Simon Peter then, 13having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave's name was Malchus.
11 So Jesus said to Peter, "Put the sword into the sheath; 14the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?"

Jesus before the Priests

12 15So 16the Roman cohort and the commander and the 17officers of the Jews, arrested Jesus and bound Him,
13 and led Him to 18Annas first; for he was father-in-law of 19Caiaphas, who was high priest that year.
14 Now Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that 20it was expedient for one man to die on behalf of the people.
15 21Simon Peter was following Jesus, and so was another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and entered with Jesus into 22the court of the high priest,
16 23but Peter was standing at the door outside. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the doorkeeper, and brought Peter in.
17 24Then the slave-girl who kept the door said to Peter, "25You are not also one of this man's disciples, are you?" He said, "I am not."
18 Now the slaves and the 26officers were standing there, having made 27a charcoal fire, for it was cold and they were 28warming themselves; and Peter was also with them, standing and warming himself.
19 29The high priest then questioned Jesus about His disciples, and about His teaching.
20 Jesus answered him, "I 30have spoken openly to the world; I always 31taught in synagogues and 32in the temple, where all the Jews come together; and I spoke nothing in secret.
21 "Why do you question Me? Question those who have heard what I spoke to them; they know what I said."
22 When He had said this, one of the 33officers standing nearby 34struck * Jesus, saying, "Is that the way You answer the high priest?"
23 35Jesus answered him, "If I have spoken wrongly, testify of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you strike Me?"
24 36So Annas sent Him bound to 37Caiaphas the high priest.

Peter's Denial of Jesus

25 38Now 39Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, "40You are not also one of His disciples, are you?" He denied it, and said, "I am not."
26 One of the slaves of the high priest, being a relative of the one 41whose ear Peter cut off, said, "Did I not see you in 42the garden with Him?"
27 Peter then denied it again, and immediately 43a rooster crowed.

Jesus before Pilate

28 44Then they led Jesus from 45Caiaphas into 46the Praetorium, and it was early; and they themselves did not enter into 47the Praetorium so that 48they would not be defiled, but might eat the Passover.
29 49Therefore Pilate went out to them and said, "What accusation do you bring against this Man?"
30 They answered and said to him, "If this Man were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him to you."
31 So Pilate said to them, "Take Him yourselves, and judge Him according to your law." The Jews said to him, "We are not permitted to put anyone to death,"
32 to fulfill 50the word of Jesus which He spoke, signifying by what kind of death He was about to die.
33 Therefore Pilate 51entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, "52Are You the King of the Jews?"
34 Jesus answered, "Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?"
35 Pilate answered, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?"
36 Jesus answered, "53My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm."
37 Therefore Pilate said to Him, "So You are a king?" Jesus answered, "54You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, 55to testify to the truth. 56Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."
38 Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?" And when he had said this, he 57 went out again to the Jews and said to them, "58 I find no guilt in Him.
39 "59But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover; do you wish then that I release for you the King of the Jews?"
40 So they cried out again, saying, "60Not this Man, but Barabbas." Now Barabbas was a robber.

John 18 Commentary

Chapter 18

Christ taken in the garden. (1-12) Christ before Annas and Caiaphas. (13-27) Christ before Pilate. (28-40)

Verses 1-12 Sin began in the garden of Eden, there the curse was pronounced, there the Redeemer was promised; and in a garden that promised Seed entered into conflict with the old serpent. Christ was buried also in a garden. Let us, when we walk in our gardens, take occasion from thence to mediate on Christ's sufferings in a garden. Our Lord Jesus, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth and asked, Whom seek ye? When the people would have forced him to a crown, he withdrew, ch. 6:15 , but when they came to force him to a cross, he offered himself; for he came into this world to suffer, and went to the other world to reign. He showed plainly what he could have done; when he struck them down he could have struck them dead, but he would not do so. It must have been the effect of Divine power, that the officers and soldiers let the disciples go away quietly, after the resistance which had been offered. Christ set us an example of meekness in sufferings, and a pattern of submission to God's will in every thing that concerns us. It is but a cup, a small matter. It is a cup that is given us; sufferings are gifts. It is given us by a Father, who has a father's authority, and does us no wrong; a father's affection, and means us no hurt. From the example of our Saviour we should learn how to receive our lighter afflictions, and to ask ourselves whether we ought to oppose our Father's will, or to distrust his love. We were bound with the cords of our iniquities, with the yoke of our transgressions. Christ, being made a sin-offering for us, to free us from those bonds, himself submitted to be bound for us. To his bonds we owe our liberty; thus the Son makes us free.

Verses 13-27 Simon Peter denied his Master. The particulars have been noticed in the remarks on the other Gospels. The beginning of sin is as the letting forth of water. The sin of lying is a fruitful sin; one lie needs another to support it, and that another. If a call to expose ourselves to danger be clear, we may hope God will enable us to honour him; if it be not, we may fear that God will leave us to shame ourselves. They said nothing concerning the miracles of Jesus, by which he had done so much good, and which proved his doctrine. Thus the enemies of Christ, whilst they quarrel with his truth, wilfully shut their eyes against it. He appeals to those who heard him. The doctrine of Christ may safely appeal to all that know it, and those who judge in truth bear witness to it. Our resentment of injuries must never be passionate. He reasoned with the man that did him the injury, and so may we.

Verses 28-32 It was unjust to put one to death who had done so much good, therefore the Jews were willing to save themselves from reproach. Many fear the scandal of an ill thing, more than the sin of it. Christ had said he should be delivered to the Gentiles, and they should put him to death; hereby that saying was fulfilled. He had said that he should be crucified, lifted up. If the Jews had judged him by their law, he had been stoned; crucifying never was used among the Jews. It is determined concerning us, though not discovered to us, what death we shall die: this should free us from disquiet about that matter. Lord, what, when, and how, thou hast appointed.

Verses 33-40 Art thou the King of the Jews? that King of the Jews who has been so long expected? Messiah the Prince; art thou he? Dost thou call thyself so, and wouldest thou be thought so? Christ answered this question with another; not for evasion, but that Pilate might consider what he did. He never took upon him any earthly power, never were any traitorous principles or practices laid to him. Christ gave an account of the nature of his kingdom. Its nature is not worldly; it is a kingdom within men, set up in their hearts and consciences; its riches spiritual, its power spiritual, and it glory within. Its supports are not worldly; its weapons are spiritual; it needed not, nor used, force to maintain and advance it, nor opposed any kingdom but that of sin and Satan. Its object and design are not worldly. When Christ said, I am the Truth, he said, in effect, I am a King. He conquers by the convincing evidence of truth; he rules by the commanding power of truth. The subjects of this kingdom are those that are of the truth. Pilate put a good question, he said, What is truth? When we search the Scriptures, and attend the ministry of the word, it must be with this inquiry, What is truth? and with this prayer, Lead me in thy truth; into all truth. But many put this question, who have not patience to preserve in their search after truth; or not humility enough to receive it. By this solemn declaration of Christ's innocence, it appears, that though the Lord Jesus was treated as the worst of evil-doers, he never deserved such treatment. But it unfolds the design of his death; that he died as a Sacrifice for our sins. Pilate was willing to please all sides; and was governed more by worldly wisdom than by the rules of justice. Sin is a robber, yet is foolishly chosen by many rather than Christ, who would truly enrich us. Let us endeavour to make our accusers ashamed as Christ did; and let us beware of crucifying Christ afresh.

Cross References 60

  • 1. Matthew 26:30, 36; Mark 14:26, 32; Luke 22:39
  • 2. 2 Samuel 15:23; 1 Kings 2:37; 1 Kings 15:13; 2 Kin 23:4, 6, 12; 2 Chronicles 15:16; 2 Chronicles 29:16; 2 Chronicles 30:14; Jeremiah 31:40
  • 3. Matthew 26:36; Mark 14:32; John 18:26
  • 4. Luke 21:37; Luke 22:39
  • 5. John 18:3-11: {Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-50; Luke 22:47-53}
  • 6. John 18:12; Acts 10:1
  • 7. John 7:32; John 18:12, 18
  • 8. Matthew 25:1
  • 9. John 6:64; John 13:1, 11
  • 10. John 18:7
  • 11. John 18:4
  • 12. John 17:12
  • 13. Matthew 26:51; Mark 14:47
  • 14. Matthew 20:22; Matthew 26:39; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42
  • 15. John 18:12: {Matthew 26:57f}
  • 16. John 18:3
  • 17. John 18:3
  • 18. Luke 3:2; John 18:24
  • 19. Matthew 26:3; John 11:49, 51
  • 20. John 11:50
  • 21. Matthew 26:58; Mark 14:54; Luke 22:54
  • 22. Matthew 26:3; John 18:24, 28
  • 23. John 18:16-18: {Matthew 26:69; Mark 14:66-68; Luke 22:55-57}
  • 24. Acts 12:13
  • 25. John 18:25
  • 26. John 18:3
  • 27. John 21:9
  • 28. Mark 14:54, 67
  • 29. John 18:19-24: {Matthew 26:59-68; Mark 14:55-65; Luke 22:63-71}
  • 30. John 7:26; John 8:26
  • 31. Matthew 4:23; John 6:59
  • 32. Matthew 26:55
  • 33. John 18:3
  • 34. John 19:3
  • 35. Matthew 5:39; Acts 23:2-5
  • 36. John 18:13
  • 37. John 18:13
  • 38. John 18:25-27: {Matthew 26:71-75; Mark 14:69-72; Luke 22:58-62}
  • 39. John 18:18
  • 40. John 18:17
  • 41. John 18:10
  • 42. John 18:1
  • 43. John 13:38
  • 44. Matthew 27:2; Mark 15:1; Luke 23:1
  • 45. John 18:13
  • 46. Matthew 27:27; John 18:33; John 19:9
  • 47. Matthew 27:27; John 18:33; John 19:9
  • 48. John 11:55; Acts 11:3
  • 49. John 18:29-38: {Matthew 27:11-14; Mark 15:2-5; Luke 23:2, 3}
  • 50. Matthew 20:19; Matthew 26:2; Mark 10:33; Luke 18:32; John 3:14; John 8:28; John 12:32
  • 51. John 18:28, 29; John 19:9
  • 52. Luke 23:3; John 19:12
  • 53. Matthew 26:53; Luke 17:21; John 6:15
  • 54. Matthew 27:11; Mark 15:2; Luke 22:70; Luke 23:3
  • 55. John 1:14; John 3:32; John 8:14
  • 56. John 8:47; 1 John 4:6
  • 57. John 18:33; John 19:4
  • 58. Luke 23:4; John 19:4, 6
  • 59. John 18:39-19:16: {Matthew 27:15-26; Mark 15:6-15; Luke 23:18-25}
  • 60. Acts 3:14

Footnotes 14

John 18 Commentaries

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