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John 18

Jesus in Gethsemane
When Jesus had spoken these words, he went with his disciples over the brook Kidron, where there was a garden into which he and his disciples entered. 2 Now Judas, the one who betrayed him, also knew the place. For Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3 Judas along with a detachment of temple guards whom he had been given, and the servants of the chief priests, and the Pharisees, arrived there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Jesus knowing all the things that must come upon him, went forward and said to them: Whom do you seek? 5 They answered him: Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus said to them: I am he (Judas, the one who betrayed him, was standing with them). 6 When he said to them: I am he, they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 Again he asked them: Whom do you seek? And they said: Jesus of Nazareth. 8 Jesus answered: I told you that I am he. If therefore you seek me, let these go their way- 9 that the word might be fulfilled which he spoke: Of those whom you have given me I lost not one. 10 Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and struck the high priest's servant and cut off his right ear. Now the servant's name was Malchus. 11 Jesus said to Peter: Put the sword into its sheath. The cup which the Father has given me, shall I not drink it?

Jesus before the High Priest
12 So the detachment of temple guards and their chief captain and the magistrates' attendants of the Jews seized Jesus and bound him, 13 and led him to Annas first. For he was father in law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 It was Caiaphas that had counselled the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. 15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest; and he entered with Jesus into the court of the high priest. 16 But Peter was standing outside the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the maid who kept watch at the door. 17 The maid keeping watch at the door said to Peter: Are you also one of this man's disciples? He said: I am not! 18 Now the servants and the officers were standing there, having made a fire of coals. For it was cold, and they were warming themselves; and Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.
   19 The high priest asked Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 Jesus answered him: I have spoken openly to the world. I often taught in the synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together, and have never spoken in secret. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those that have heard me what I spoke to them. Behold, these know the things which I said. 22 And when he had said this, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying: Do you answer the high priest so? 23 Jesus answered him: If I have spoken evil, testify of the evil, but if well, why do you hit me? 24 Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. 25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said to him: Are you also one of his disciples? He denied and said: I am not! 26 One of the servants of the high priest, being a relative of him whose ear Peter cut off, said: Did I not see you in the garden with him? 27 Peter denied again; and immediately the cock crew.

Jesus before Pilate
28 They lead Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium; but it was early, and so they did not enter into the Praetorium, that they might not be defiled and might eat the Passover. 29 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 should not have delivered him up to you. 31 Pilate replied to them: Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law. The Jews said to him: It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death. 32 That the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spoke, signifying by what manner of death he should die.
   33 Pilate therefore went into the Praetorium and called Jesus, and said to him: Are you the King of the Jews? 34 Jesus answered: Do you say this of yourself, or did others tell it to you concerning me? 35 Pilate answered: Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered you to me. What have you done? 36 Jesus answered: My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight that I should not be delivered to the Jews, but my kingdom is not from here. 37 Pilate replied to him: Are you a king then? Jesus answered: You say that I am a king. To this end have I been born, and to this end I came into the world, that I should testify to the truth. Everyone that is of the truth hears my voice. 38 Pilate said to him: What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them: I find no crime in him! 39 But you have a custom, that I should release to you one prisoner at the Passover. Will you have me release to you the King of the Jews? 40 Therefore they cried out: Not this man but Barabbas! (Now Barabbas was a bandit).


18:4 Knowing all… went forward- His bravery and sense of mission appears the greater when we realize that He ‘knew all’ that would come. We are to carry His cross, and have His spirit.

18:6 The “I am” was probably a reference to His Father’s Name which Jesus carried. The fact He came in His Father’s Name (Jn. 5:43) is quite normal and to be expected, but it in no way suggests He was one and the same as His Father.

18:10,11 This incident was a contradiction of Jesus’ stated principle that His servants did not fight, because His Kingdom is not yet (18:36). We can embarrass and shame Jesus even now by the contradiction between our lives and His life in the eyes of the world, to whom we are His representatives.

18:15 Another disciple- John, the author of the Gospel, doesn’t push himself nor his own name in the preaching of the Gospel. Neither should we.

18:22 Jesus did not literally turn the other cheek and invite more abuse; instead He challenged His abusers.

18:28 The legalistic mind is very careful not to break the letter of the Law whilst committing the awful sin of crucifying God’s Son.

18:36 The Kingdom of Christ will come when He returns, at His second coming. One implication of that is that true Christians will not seek to enforce His principles and Kingdom upon this world in this time by using violence. There is no such thing as a ‘just war’.

18:40 Barabbas is a symbol of us all. According to Jewish tradition at the time (Pesach 8.6) “They may slaughter the Passover lamb… for one whom they [the authorities] have promised to release from prison". The Passover amnesty freed a man justly condemned to death- on account of the death of the lamb. We can imagine the relief and joy and almost unbelief of Barabbas, as he watched or reflected upon the crucifixion of Jesus- that he who rightfully should have been there on the cross, was delivered from such a death because of the cross of Christ. The image of condemned prisoners being released due to the death of Messiah is an Old Testament figure for our redemption from slavery.