The Gospel of John for Youth
Commentary by Pastor Ron
John Chapter 18
(Words in red in the Scriptures are the words of Jesus)
“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.
“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.
“Judas then, having received the Roman cohort and officers from the chief
priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns and torches and
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?”
“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.
“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.”
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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
“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.
“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).
“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
“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.
“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!”
“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.
“The high priest then questioned Jesus about His disciples, and about His
Inside the building, Caiphas, the High
Priest, was asking Jesus questions about His disciples (students) and
about His teaching of the people.
“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.”
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.'"
“When He had said this, one of the officers standing nearby struck Jesus,
saying, "Is that the way You answer the high priest?’”
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.
“Jesus answered him, ‘If
I have spoken wrongly, testify of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you
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?'
“So Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.”
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.
“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.’”
said he would never deny Jesus (Matthew 26:35), but now he did. We only
serve God in HIS Strength; not our own.
“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?’”
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.
“Peter then denied it again, and immediately a rooster crowed.”
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.
“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.”
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.
“Therefore Pilate went out to them and said, ‘What accusation do you bring
against this Man?’”
would not go into Pilate's house, so he went out to them, asking what
criminal charges they were bringing against Jesus.
“They answered and said to him, ‘If this Man were not an evildoer, we
would not have delivered Him to you.’”
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.
“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,’”
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.
“to fulfill the word of Jesus which He spoke, signifying by what kind of
death He was about to die.”
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.
33”Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus
and said to Him, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?’”
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.
“Jesus answered, ‘Are
you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?’”
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?"
“Pilate answered, ‘I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief
priests delivered You to me; what have You done?’”
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?"
“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.’”
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.
“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.’”
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.
“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.’”
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,
“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?”
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.
“So they cried out again, saying, ‘Not this Man, but Barabbas.’ Now
Barabbas was a robber.”
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