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John 18

Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the BibleBox on Selected Books

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Not This Man, But Barrabas John Eighteen

Jesus went to a place where he had often been with His apostles. At this familiar place a familiar friend came to complete his betrayal of Jesus. He guided a group of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees to capture Jesus They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons. Jesus boldly identified Himself to them. Concerning His apostles Jesus told these people, "If you are looking for me, then let these men go." It had been a part of Jesus' prayer that the apostles would be preserved and united. Peter attempted to defend Jesus by cutting a man's ear off with a sword. The man's name was Malchus. The Lord told Peter to put up his sword. Jesus was willing to die in our stead. Jesus was then carried from one mock trial to another. He was first brought to Annas. Later He was tried before Caiaphas, the High Priest that year. He advised that it would be good for one man to die for the people.

John gave us a look at Peter’s sad denials of Jesus. Peter's first denial was "I am not one of His disciples." Later he denied a second time. Then one said that he had seen Peter with Jesus in the garden. Peter denied that also. After Peter's third denial the rooster crowed. The High Priest asked Jesus about His disciples. His reply was that He had taught people openly and that all should know about His disciples. An official slapped Jesus and rebuked Him saying, "Is this the way you answer the High Priest?" They had no right to smite Jesus because He had spoken the truth to them. Jesus was then sent to Caiaphas, the High Priest. Pilate wanted to free Jesus but he did not have the courage to do right. He asked Jesus "Are you the king of the Jews?" Jesus replied, "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 now is my kingdom not from hence." ( Joh_18:36 ) Pilate asked the people if they wanted to release Jesus or Barabbas. They said, "No, not him! Give us Barabbas!"

Verses 1-11

Jesus betrayed and arrested in a garden -- Joh_18:1-11 : When Jesus ended that amazing prayer that is recorded in Joh_17:1-26 He and His disciples crossed the Kidron Valley and went into a garden. Jesus often met at this special place with His disciples. Now it would become a place for betrayal. Judas came to identify Jesus for the Roman officials. He went to the garden with some Roman soldiers and Temple police. They came to take Jesus with torches, lanterns, and weapons. Jesus identified Himself to them and asked them to allow His disciples to go free. When asked who are you looking for they said, "We are looking for Jesus from Nazareth!" It would be wonderful if people throughout the world were looking for Jesus of Nazareth to love and serve Him. Peter attempted to defend the Lord with a sword. He cut off Malchus' right ear. Jesus told him to put up the sword. The sword was not the answer.

Verses 12-18

Jesus is brought to Annas -- Joh_18:12-18 : In the peaceful garden Jesus was arrested and bound. Jesus faced several illegal, mock trials. He was first brought to Annas. Later Jesus was sent to Caiaphas who had told the Jews, "It is better if one person dies for the people." It was during this time that Peter's denials of Jesus began. Peter had followed Jesus into the courtyard of the palace. Then the sadness of Peter began. A "damsel that kept the door" asked Peter, "Art not thou also one of this man's disciples? He saith, “I am not." It was cold so Peter warmed himself at the Devil’s fire and that led to more denials. Let us learn to never warm ourselves by Satan's fire.

Verses 19-27

Jesus is questioned by the High Priest -- Joh_18:19-27 : The High Priest asked Jesus about His disciples. He likely was asking about their authority to do their work. Jesus said He taught openly and everyone should know and understand His disciples. Jesus taught openly and freely and with courage and so must we. We should all listen well and understand what Jesus says. Sadly when Jesus said they could asked those who heard Him what He taught one of the officers slapped Him and said, "That's no way to talk to the high priest!" Jesus said, "If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?" Jesus had done no wrong and He did not deserve to be smitten. At this point Jesus is sent to Caiaphas the high priest. While there Peter's denials continue. While he warmed himself Peter again denied being a follower of Jesus. Peter denied it and said, "No, I am not!" "One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him?" Once more Peter denied it, and right then a rooster crowed.

Verses 28-40

Jesus is tried by Pilate -- Joh_18:28-40 : Jesus was dragged from one ungodly and illegal trial to another. They did not even have any real charges against Jesus. Pilate asked, "What charges are you bringing against this man?" The people said, “If he were not a criminal we would not have brought him to you.” Pilate wanted to get Jesus off his hands by allowing the Jews to take Him and judge Him. The Jews did not have the power to put someone to death and they wanted Jesus killed. Pilate asked Jesus, "Are you the king of the Jews?" Jesus was interested in knowing if Pilate really wanted to know this for himself or if he was just repeating what he had heard. Jesus informed Pilate, "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 now is my kingdom not from hence." ( Joh_18:36 ) Jesus said He came to the world to tell the truth. Pilate admitted that he did not find guilt in Jesus. Yet he sentenced him to die by releasing Barabbas, a terrorist. Jesus would now face the death that was necessary for our atonement.

Bibliographical Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on John 18". "Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/box/john-18.html. 2014.
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