Friday Study Ministries- The First Church on the Internet

Friday Study Ministries

Go to Home Page

John Chapter 18


The Gospel of John for Youth
Commentary by Pastor Ron Beckham

John Chapter 18

(Words in red in the Scriptures are the words of Jesus)

Verse 1.  “When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the ravine of the Kidron, where there was a garden, in which He entered with His disciples.”

Kidron is a small valley on the east side of the City of Jerusalem.  Jesus had several places where He would take His disciples (students) to teach them, or He would pray.

Verse 2.  “Now Judas also, who was betraying Him, knew the place, for Jesus had often met there with His disciples.”

Judas Iscariot was the disciple (student) of Jesus who would tell on Jesus to the Jewish leaders.  Jesus was in that place a lot and Judas knew it.

Verse 3.  “Judas then, having received the Roman cohort and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns and torches and weapons.”

Judas Iscariot, one of the students of Jesus, had told on him, and was bringing Roman soldiers, along with police of the Jewish leaders.  They were going to arrest Jesus.

Verse 4.  “So Jesus, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth and said to them, ‘Whom do you seek?’”

Jesus knew who they were and knew that they wanted to arrest Him, but He asked them, “Who are you looking for?”

Verse 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.”

The soldiers answered Jesus, “We are looking for Jesus who is from the place called Nazareth, which is in the north of the country of Israel.  “I’m He”, Jesus answered.

Verse 6.  “So when He said to them, ‘I am He,’ they drew back and fell to the ground.”

When the Lord spoke to Moses, in the Old Testament part of the Bible, He said something very much like this.  He said, “I am that I am.”  Jesus answered the soldiers in a way that told them He is God.

Verse 7.  “Therefore He again asked them, ‘Whom do you seek?’ And they said, ‘Jesus the Nazarene.’”

The soldiers were stunned by Jesus’ words and fell to the ground.  Jesus could have run away, but He stayed and faced them.  He asked them again, “Who are you looking for?”  They answered, “We want the Jesus who came from the town of Nazareth.”

Verse 8.  “Jesus answered, ‘I told you that I am He; so if you seek Me, let these go their way,’”

Jesus was now the prisoner of the soldiers, but He told them again that He was the One they wanted, and also told them to let His disciples (students) go free.  The soldiers obeyed Him and let them go.

Verse 9.  “to fulfill the word which He spoke, ‘Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one.’”

Jesus had said that NONE of His disciples would be lost (John 6:39), and they all would be safe.  Later, they would go to be with the Lord, just like everybody else, but right at that moment, they were safe from harm.

Verse 10.  “Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave's name was Malchus.”

The High Priest’s servant was named Malchus.  The disciple, Peter, who was ready for a fight, pulled out his sword and cut off Malchus’ ear.  Peter wasn’t too good with a sword.

Verse 11.  “So Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?’”

Jesus told His disciple (student) Peter to put away the sword.  He (Jesus) had been sent by the Father to die for the sins of the world.  All that was happening was meant to be.

Verse 12.  “So the Roman cohort and the commander and the officers of the Jews, arrested Jesus and bound Him,”

The Roman soldiers and the police of the Jewish leaders, then arrested Jesus and tied Him with ropes.  They did not need to do that, because He going with them was what He was supposed to do.

Verse 13.  “and led Him to Annas first; for he was father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year.”

The man Annas had been the High Priest of the Jews.  Five of his sons had also been High Priests, and now his son-in-law Joseph Caiaphas, was the High Priest.

Verse 14.  “Now Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was expedient for one man to die on behalf of the people.”

Joseph Caiaphas, son-in-law of Annas, was the one who had said that Jesus would die for the people of the nation Israel (John 11:50-51).

Verse 15.  “Simon Peter was following Jesus, and so was another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and entered with Jesus into the court of the high priest,”

Simon Peter was following the group that had arrested Jesus.  So was another of Jesus’ disciples (students).  Many think “another disciple” was John, the writer of the Book of John.  Whoever he was, he was known by the High Priest and was let into the courtyard.

Verse 16.  “but 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.”

Peter stayed outside the door, but the “other disciple” asked the man who was guarding the door, and they let Peter come inside.

Verse 17.  “Then the slave-girl who kept the door said to Peter, ‘You are not also one of this man's disciples, are you?’ He said, ‘I am not.’”

A servant-girl thought Peter was one of the disciples (students) of Jesus, and asked him if he was.  Peter was afraid and said, “No, it’s not me!”

Verse 18.  “Now the slaves and the officers were standing there, having made a charcoal fire, for it was cold and they were warming themselves; and Peter was also with them, standing and warming himself.”

It was a cold night.  The servants and soldiers lit a fire to keep warm.  Peter was standing with them, warming himself at the fire.

Verse 19.  “The high priest then questioned Jesus about His disciples, and about His teaching.”

Inside the building, Caiphas, the High Priest, was asking Jesus questions about His disciples (students) and about His teaching of the people.

Verse 20.  “Jesus answered him, ‘I have spoken openly to the world; I always  taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together; and I spoke nothing in secret.’”

Verse 21.  “Why do you question Me?  Question those who have heard what I spoke to them; they know what I said.

Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  They were demanding that God ANSWER.  Under their law, Jesus should not have been forced to answer.  He was saying, "If you brought true witnesses, they would say, 'He healed me', and 'Jesus touched me and I'm not blind anymore.'"

Verse 22.  “When He had said this, one of the officers standing nearby struck Jesus, saying, "Is that the way You answer the high priest?’”

An officer slapped Jesus in the face and criticized Him for answering the High Priest.  The real question is this:  "Was that any way to treat the Son of God?"  We must remember that when we speak to Jesus, we are talking to our King.

Verse 23.  “Jesus answered him, ‘If I have spoken wrongly, testify of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you strike Me?’”

They were telling lies about Jesus and then slapped His face.  He was the One who told the truth, and calmly asked, "If I did something wrong, tell Me what it is.  If what I said is true, then why did you hit Me?'

Verse 24.  “So Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.”

They tied Jesus with ropes, as though ropes could hold Him.  It's amazing that people think God can be "bound".  He could have escaped, but all that happened was Planned before the world ever existed.

Verse 25.  “Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, ‘You are not also one of His disciples, are you?’ He denied it, and said, ‘I am not.’”

Peter had said he would never deny Jesus (Matthew 26:35), but now he did.  We only serve God in HIS Strength; not our own.

Verse 26.  “One of the slaves of the high priest, being a relative of the one whose ear Peter cut off, said, ‘Did I not see you in the garden with Him?’”

Peter had grabbed his sword in the Garden of Gethsemene and cut off a man's ear.  Jesus put the ear back on and healed the man.  Here was someone that remembered Peter and what he had done.

Verse 27.  “Peter then denied it again, and immediately a rooster crowed.”

Peter said he did not know Jesus one more time and then the long night was over.  Peter had denied the Lord, just as Jesus had said.  God knows what we will do.

Verse 28.  “Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas into the Praetorium, and it was early; and they themselves did not enter into the Praetorium so that they would not be defiled, but might eat the Passover.”

It was dawn.  Jewish officers and Roman soldiers had taken Jesus from Caiphas' house to the home of Pilate, the Roman Governor.  The Jews were ready for the special religious time called "Passover", and because of that, did not enter his house.

Verse 29.  “Therefore Pilate went out to them and said, ‘What accusation do you bring against this Man?’”

The Jews would not go into Pilate's house, so he went out to them, asking what criminal charges they were bringing against Jesus.

Verse 30.  “They answered and said to him, ‘If this Man were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him to you.’”

If the Jewish leaders really knew something about Jesus that was wrong, this was the time to tell Governor Pilate.  But they only answered with a "smart" remark about Him.

Verse 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,’”

Governor Pilate answered the Jewish leaders, "You have nothing against Jesus, so YOU judge Him under Jewish Law.  The Jews wanted Jesus to be dead, but the right to kill a prisoner had been taken from them by the Romans.

Verse 32.  “to fulfill the word of Jesus which He spoke, signifying by what kind of death He was about to die.”

If the Jews could legally kill Jesus, they would have "stoned" Him (thrown rocks at Him).  The Romans killed by nailing prisoners to a cross.  Jesus had said He would die on a cross, and that was how it would be.

Verse 33”Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?’”

Governor Pilate went back into his official house (the "Praetorium") and asked Jesus if He was King of the Jews.  According to Roman Law, a king had to be appointed by the Romans.

Verse 34.  “Jesus answered, ‘Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?’”

Pilate had already heard about Jesus.  Everybody in that area had heard about Him.  The Jewish leaders had been saying bad things about Him.  Jesus asked Pilate, "Who did you hear it from that I am King of the Jews?"

Verse 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?’”

Gov. Pilate, who was a Roman, did not answer Jesus' question, but said "I'm not a Jew."  The Governor said to Jesus, "Your own people sent You, because they want You to be killed.  What have you done to upset them so much?"

Verse 36.  “Jesus answered, ‘My 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.’”

They accused Jesus of saying He was a king.  The Caesar of Rome was the King, and the family were kings in Judea.  Jesus was telling Pilate that His kingdom was not of this world.  He was no threat to Caesar or Herod.  By His answer, Jesus showed He was innocent of their charges.

Verse 37.  “Therefore Pilate said to Him, ‘So You are a king?’  Jesus answered, ‘You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth.  Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.’”

Pilate began to understand that Jesus really IS our King, but not the kind of king he expected.  Jesus was sent by God the Father as our King and that is the reason He came to this earth.  He is the truth (John 14:6) and if we are true, He is our King.

Verse 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 guilt in Him.’”

Many Roman and Greek teachers asked that question:  "What is truth?"  The TRUTH was standing right in front of Pilate at that moment.  If only he had received the Lord Jesus, but he did not.  He did see that Jesus was innocent of all charges against Him, and went outside, telling the Jews, "He's innocent!"

Verse 39.  “But 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?”

At some time, it had become a custom that a prisoner of the Romans would be set free at the beginning of the Jewish Passover Feast.  Pilate said that Jesus (the King of the Jews) should be set free.

Verse 40.  “So they cried out again, saying, ‘Not this Man, but Barabbas.’ Now Barabbas was a robber.”

The Jewish Officers and other leaders who were there, shouted back at Governor Pilate, "No, don't set Jesus free."  Someone shouted "Free Barabbas", a man who was a well-known criminal, and others asked for him, too.  A criminal would go free.  Jesus was to die.

Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries

Back to Book of John